There are many reasons to wear a watch while participating in water sports. Perhaps you need a timer, or simply need to know the time while on your boat fishing. As more people participate in water activities such as fishing, skiing, swimming, and boating, watch companies compete more to provide the most water-resistant watches available.
Table of Contents
- What to Look for When Choosing a Watch
- Best waterproof Watches Comparison Chart
- 7 Best waterproof Watches Reviews in 2018
- Final Thoughts
What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant? Waterproof indicates that the item can be immersed in water with no chance of water penetrating the outside core. A diving watch would need to be waterproof. Water resistant indicates that the item can be used around, or even submerged, for a specific amount of time with a specific amount of pressure.
If you are active in activities that involve water, you will want to be sure you have the best waterproof watch.
What to Look for When Choosing a Watch
People often have specific characteristics they want in products. If you are choosing a watch that is water resistant, chances are that you will be using it for outdoor activities – including water sports.
Construction and design are important to consider. You want a watch with solid construction that will hold up to the activities you plan to participate in – camping, hiking, surfing, swimming, fishing. You will also want a sturdy wristband that will decrease the risk of your losing the watch. A few more notable features are listed below.
There are various levels of water resistance when it comes to watches. The water resistant mark is most often stated in meters. The water resistant mark refers to the static water pressure – not the depth in which the watch can be immersed.
Here is a breakdown of the marks:
- Waterproof (no number) – splash-proof only and can withstand small splashes and/or rain – do not immerse
- Waterproof 30m – splash-proof; waterproof in tiny amounts of water (puddle, cup)
- Waterproof 50m – Can be worn for swimming
- Waterproof 100m – Can be worn for shallow diving and swimming
- Waterproof 200m – Can be worn for fresh-water diving
- Waterproof 300m – Can be worn for fresh-water and deep-sea diving
Another measurement of water resistance is a water rating.
- 1 ATM = 10m
- 3 ATM = 30m
- 5 ATM = 50m
- 10 ATM = 100m
- 20 ATM – = 200m
- 30 ATM = 300m
Shock resistant is defined as “strong or resilient enough to sustain minor impacts without damage to the internal mechanism”. A shock resistant watch is one that can withstand the impacts of a moving body without harming the internal mechanisms that make the watch work.
For instance, a shock resistant watch would be able to withstand the arm movements of a tennis player or swimmer without messing up the internal mechanisms. Or, it would be able to withstand a drop from a specific height without damaging the inside. Shock resistance can play a vital role in protecting your watch from damage during outdoor activities.
Battery life is another vital component of choosing a watch – especially when worn for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or fishing. Your choices can include battery-operated, mechanical, or solar-powered watches.
For battery-powered watches, it is extremely important to note the battery life duration. Mechanical watches present less of a problem if you remember to wind your watch. Solar-powered watches are great for outdoor activities and usually have a long battery life with access to no light.
Best waterproof Watches Comparison Chart
|Brand||Water Resistance||Shock Resistant||Battery Life||View on Amazon|
|Garmin Fenix 5X||10 ATM||Yes||Smartwatch mode – 12 days GPS mode – 20 hours Battery saver – 35 hours||Check Price|
|Garmin vivoactive 3||5 ATM||Yes||Smartwatch Mode – 7 days GPS Mode – 13 hours||Check Price |
|Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch||5 ATM||Yes||Smartwatch – 4 days GPS Mode – 10 hours||Check Price |
|Nixon’s Men’s Quartz Watch||30 ATM||Yes||Not specified||Check Price|
|Seiko Men’s Diver’s Watch||20 ATM||Yes||44-hour power reserve||Check Price|
|Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch||20 ATM||Yes||Powered by light – reserve power not stated||Check Price|
|Casio Men’s GW-9400-1CR||20 ATM||Yes||10-year battery life||Check Price|
7 Best waterproof Watches Reviews in 2018
#1. Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire – Slate Gray with Black Band
The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire is a stylish multi-sport watch. Its ruggedness and elegance make this a great watch for work, dress, and play. The Garmin Fenix SX Sapphire watch feature a sapphire lens that is scratch-resistant, and the watch is water-resistant to 100 meters.
10 ATM (100 meters) indicates that a watch can be worn safely for swimming, fishing, snorkeling, poolside diving, and while participating in sports – though not recommended for scuba diving or jet skiing.
The Fenix 5X smart watch provides many features that allow you to track your activities and navigate the world around you. Some consumers consider this one of the best waterproof fitness watches on the market.
Color choices and style of the Garmin vivoactive Smartwatch make this one of the best waterproof watches for women. This watch features Garmin Pay, which allows you to pay for purchases using your watch.
5 ATM (50 meters) allows this watch to be worn during athletic sports, around shallow water, and can withstand splashes when you are around the sink, fishing, or recreational swimming.
From the Garmin store, you can download many free apps, widgets, and watch faces so that your vivoactive watch is personalized to your needs.
As with most Fitbit products, the Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch is geared toward health and fitness. This smartwatch is water-resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM) and tracks swimming stats such as duration, number of laps, and calories burned.
The Fitbit Ionic is also equipped with contactless payment technology that allows you to use your debit or credit card at any location that accepts contactless payments. The Ionic is one of the best waterproof watches for men on the go.
The Ionic has multiple sports modes and many apps that can be downloaded. This watch will track your activity 24 hours a day, including sleeping time. It tracks such things as heart rate, steps taken per day, and how many calories you burn each day. Filled with features that allow you to become the healthiest you possible.
With a water-resistance rating of 30 ATM (300 meters), this watch could be one of the best waterproof watches for surfing. This watch is suitable for all water sports, including scuba diving and deep-sea diving.
The Seiko Men’s Diver’s Automatic Watch is one of the best men’s waterproof watches on the market. This watch functions without a battery – it is automatically powered by the movement of your arm. This eliminates the necessity of charging a battery and the worry of losing a charge while enjoying the great outdoors.
With an ATM of 20 (200 meters), this watch is suitable for all high-impact water sports as well as scuba diving. (Not suitable for deep-sea diving).
If you are searching for the best boy’s waterproof watch, this watch might be one to consider. It fits most wrists and is made from stainless steel to guarantee durability.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch is another watch the never needs a battery. Though not powered by movement, it is powered by light and fully charged has a power reserve of around 180 days. Never worry about recharging, even in total darkness.
A 20 ATM ranking (200 meters) makes this an ideal watch to wear while participating in all watersports, even diving in depths that do not require a tank.
The Promaster Diver watch is super luminous, and it is easy to read underwater or in the dark. It is stylish enough to wear in casual settings and rugged enough for all your hardcore outdoor activities.
The Casio Men’s G-Shock Solar Watch is shock-resistant and water-resistant. This watch was built with the outdoorsman in mind and is rugged enough to stand up to most any situation you find yourself in.
It has a water-resistance rating of 20 ATM (200 meters) and can be safely used for all water sports, including recreational diving. It is also an accurate tool to have for forest rangers and rescue crews.
With so many options available, it can be a daunting task. Whether you are looking for the best women’s waterproof watch, the best waterproof watch for nurses, or the best waterproof watch under $50, there is something for everyone.
When selecting the best waterproof watch from the seven I reviewed, I applied several criteria. First, what is the water-resistance number? Second, is it a smartphone with technology to help you train and monitor your progress? Third, since we are reviewing waterproof watches, is it the best waterproof watch for swimming?
With these questions in mind, my favorite is the Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire. It is stylish and light enough enough to be worn by men or women, the design makes it appropriate for casual, business, or sports, and the many features allow you to use it as a fitness tool.
The full-color topographical United States map makes this a reliable tool to have while exploring the great outdoors – whether fishing, camping, hiking, cycling, or skiing. The compass, gyroscope, and barometer/altimeter are icing on the cake.
Though the dive watches have a higher water-resistance number, the Fenix 5X is the best waterproof watch because it is submersible, and it allows you to track your activity throughout the day and night. The multisport GPS capability allows you to record and create a customized workout routine that suits you best.
Another notable feature is the battery life. The battery can last up to 12 days in smartwatch mode and up to 20 hours in GPS mode. This can be extremely important if you lose your way while hiking or walking in unfamiliar terrain. If you are lost and trying to find your way, the last thing you want to worry about it your battery dying.
The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire is classy enough to wear all the time and rugged enough to withstand the most strenuous workout. GPS with maps gives you the confidence you need to step out of your safe zone and explore the world around you. The built-in features plus the free downloadable apps and watch faces allow you to personalize you entire experience – from showing off your sense of style to creating the most efficient and healthy workouts so that you are always in top shape.