7 Sailing Watches That'll Really Float Your Boat - Men's Health Magazine Australia

7 Sailing Watches That’ll Really Float Your Boat

Whether seafarer or landlubber, these sailing watches will float your boat - by Luke Benedictus

Australian sailor Glenn Ashby captained the team that won this year’s America’s Cup. But while Team New Zealand tacked to another glorious victory, one of the skipper’s key nautical tools was strapped to his wrist.

Ashby’s Omega Seamaster Diver 300M America’s Cup was specially designed for maritime functionality. Water-resistant to 300m as the name suggests, the pushers on the side are made from tactile rubber to make them easy to work in wet conditions. The watch’s “Chrono Lock” system, meanwhile, protects the chronograph function to ensure it can’t be accidentally activated if the watch gets knocked when your boat hits an iceberg (or similar).

“Timing is absolutely everything for us onboard,” said Ashby regarding his dependence on the watch. “We work to absolute precision timing with everything that we do on board, particularly in the pre-start.”

The “pre-start” that Ashby refers to happens before the gun goes off as the boats jostle for positioning at the start line. To secure the optimal spot, skippers must time their arrival at the line to the second – not easy when having to negotiate the changing wind and currents. That’s why you need a watch with a countdown function to help you judge the timing. Unlike chronographs, which continue to measure time until you press “stop”, a countdown function monitors a five-to-10-minute chunk of time. This obviously has multiple uses on dry land, too, where it can help with anything from boiling an egg to timing your rest between sets.

The relationship with sailing and watchmaking actually goes back a long way.  In fact, it was the pressure to make a portable timepiece – or “chronometer” – accurate enough to navigate uncharted waters that led 18th-century horologists to invent many of the features that still whir away inside your modern wrist candy. Today, a sailing watch generally amounts to a souped-up diving watch that’s packed with extra technical features to help you navigate life on the high seas. But they’re not just about rugged pragmatism.

Given that yachts tend to be the playthings of the super-rich, sailing watches also pack serious aspirational cachet. Which is a nice way of saying they can be very expensive. Still, if you’re after a hardy timepiece to see you through weather fair and foul, these watches might still tempt you to push the boat out.

Citizen Promaster Diver Eco-Dive

Jam-packed with functions, this watch also has a 1/100th of a second chronograph plus a regatta race timer to help you seal pole position. ($850)

Seiko SPB213

Okay, so it’s a diver not a sailing watch, but if you want a watch for watersports that won’t break the bank, Seiko delivers (again). ($1895)

IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph “Orlebar Brown”

British brand Orlebar Brown makes the best swimwear in the business and they’ve now collaborated on this equally stylish nautical chronograph. ($18,000)

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M America’s Cup

This utility-driven sports watch comes with quick-change straps so you can transition from rubber to a dressier metal bracelet with zero fuss. ($15,675)

Panerai Luminor Chrono Luna Rossa

This sailing watch is directly inspired by the America’s Cup, the red stripe on the strap a visual nod to the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team. ($13,500)

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300

The Aquaracer family is inspired by sailing and watersports. This green machine is hewn from titanium to make it ultra lightweight. ($6100)

Rolex Yacht-Master 40

Yes, it’s a gold Rolex with a price tag to match. But the matte-black ceramic bezel and rubber strap make it the ultimate stealth-wealth acquisition. ($38,450)

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