While a Rolex seems like the dream watch, you can’t wear it while you’re on a run, biking a trail, or competing in a triathlon. Only James Bond can do that. Which means, you’re going to need something that’s going to withstand the rigors of your outdoor adventures – a sports watch.
The thing is, there are quite a lot of sports watches for men to choose from. Which one should you get? Well, that’s where we come in. We’ve got just the list of the best ones in the market today that will suit a variety of needs.
Top 10 Sports Watches for Men in 2018 Reviewed
- Top 10 Sports Watches for Men in 2018 Reviewed
- 1. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
- 2. Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch
- 3. G-Shock DW-9052-1CCG Black Military Watch
- 4. Aposon Men’s Digital LED Sport Watch
- 5. PALADA Men’s Sports Digital Wrist Watch
- 6. Casio Rescue Big Case Watch
- 7. G-Shock GA100A-7A X-Large Resin Sport Watch
- 8. Suunto Ambit3 Vertical HR Monitor Running GPS Unit
- 9. ETEVON ‘Captain’ Stylish Outdoor Sport Watch
- 10. Timex Ironman Essential 10 Full-Size Watch
- How to Choose a Men’s Sports Watch for You or a Loved One
1. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
If you’re looking for a smart watch to serve as your sports watch, then the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is your best bet. It’s a military grade watch that’s tough enough to handle the elements – water, extreme temperatures, and dust. It has a built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor, activity tracking, and an altimeter. Some models come with LTE.
And it can also track quite a number of activities such as cycling, rowing machines, and lunges. While these are all great features for the athlete in you, what really places this watch at the top of our list is the fact that it is compatible with smartphones using Android OS 4.4 and later with at least 1.5GB RAM as well as iPhone 5 and later with iOS 9.0 and above.
- compatible with a lot of the latest Android phones and iPhones
- measures a variety activities
- can withstand a lot of abuse (the gorilla glass really holds up)
- limited apps
- large size (might be a bit too big for petite wrists)
2. Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS WatchSports Watch for Men Under $200
If you want a solid, basic GPS watch for running, then the Garmin Forerunner 10 is exactly what you’re looking for. It has a waterproof design and allows you to track speed, pace, distance, and calories. The four buttons located on each watch for controlling the watch’s features. It has an Autopause feature which allows the watch to sense when you’ve stopped running or slowed down to a walk.
For those who are new to running, the Run/Walk feature lets you know when you should run and when you should walk through beeps. And you can store 7 days’ worth of data in your Garmin Forerunner 10 before you need to sync it with your Garmin Connect account.
- perfect for newbie runners
- waterproof design
- getting a location can take a while (2-5 minutes)
- you can only see two specs at a time (i.e. time and distance only)
- battery runs out pretty fast
3. G-Shock DW-9052-1CCG Black Military WatchSports Watches for Men Under $100
Casio’s G-Shock (short for Gravitational Shock) line of watches have been around since the 80s (gasp!) and for good reason. These babies were built to last, specifically designed specifically to withstand the rough and tumble activities of men. The G-Shock DW9052 features a daily alarm, countdown timer, stopwatch, and an auto calendar. It’s not only shock resistant, it’s also water resistant to 660 feet (200 M) which means you can take it scuba diving.
- water resistant up to 660 feet
- easy to use
- the strap is too short for big wrists
- not a lot of features like altimeter, speed, pace, etc
- some users found it hard to read the number display when adjusting
4. Aposon Men’s Digital LED Sport Watch
This is an extremely affordable, cool-looking sports watch that has just the basics – LED Backlight, alarm, stopwatch, calendar month, date, day, and time (12H/24H). It features has a mineral glass, a silicone rubber band, and a stainless steel case. The watch is also water resistant up to 50 meters so you can definitely swim with this watch.
- extremely affordable
- minimalist design
- water resistant up to 50 meters
- lacks features
- hard to read in dimly lit environments even with the backlight
- the bezel moves but doesn’t do anything
5. PALADA Men’s Sports Digital Wrist Watch
This is another option for men who want a decent sports watch that won’t break while they go about their business but also won’t break their bank accounts. It’s water resistant up to 50 meters (164 ft), has an LED Backlight, a big digital display, a stopwatch, an hourly alarm, an alarm clock, and is shock resistant.
- looks like a Suunto watch for a fraction of the price
- water resistant up to 50m
- compass is for display only
- dim backlight
- the band is not replaceable
6. Casio Rescue Big Case Watch
Casio’s Rescue Big Case Watch is from its G-Shock line and it’s the perfect choice for those who love going on adventures or, as the name implies, rescue missions. It has large buttons, a large display, an auto and manual EL Backlight, world time, moon and tide graph, 5 alarms, two stopwatches, and a 24-hour countdown timer. It has low-temperature resistance so you can use the watch under very cold conditions as well as go scuba diving and snorkeling with it.
- loaded with features
- very durable
- instruction manual is hard to read due to a tiny font
- setup takes a bit longer than some users prefer
- UTC is not an option in world time mode
7. G-Shock GA100A-7A X-Large Resin Sport Watch
If you haven’t noticed yet, we tend to love Casio’s G-Shock line because it’s affordable, stylishly rugged, and provides you with more than just the basic features. The GA100A-7A is another one of our favorites because one, it has embossed, luminous indexes which creates this 3D effect and two, it looks incredibly cool like a Stormtrooper’s watch. Of course, it does have other stuff going for it. It is water resistant to 200m (660ft), has an anti-magnetic case structure, 2 stop watches, world time, an automatic and manual LED Backlight, and an alarm.
- perfect for large men
- unique design
- Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft)
- yellow backlight
- the white watch and white background can make it difficult to read the display
- can get dirty pretty quick due to its color
8. Suunto Ambit3 Vertical HR Monitor Running GPS Unit
Compared to most of our favorite sports watches for men, the Suunto Ambit3 Vertical is quite expensive. But the watch makes the cost totally worth it. It tracks speed, distance, pace, and vertical gains. It has route navigation and track back, a compass, GPS altitude, an interval workout planner, FusedAlti combined GPS and barometric altimeter, and GPS track recording. And it even has the ability to record your heart rate even while you’re in the water with the Suunto Smart Sensor.
In addition, you can download maps from the Suunto Movescount app, monitor your route altitude profile and hill incline percentage in real time, and receive mobile notifications from your phone. And just in case you’re wondering, the watch can track 10 different activities for you such as running, cycling, hiking, windsurfing, and swimming.
- route navigation and track back
- tracks 10 different activities
- heart rate strap that can be used while swimming
- complex menu
- monochrome display
- the mobile notifications could be better (hard to retrieve the notification if you don’t catch it right away)
9. ETEVON ‘Captain’ Stylish Outdoor Sport Watch
ETEVON’s Captain Outdoor Sport Watch is a stylishly designed timepiece that has dual time display, EL luminous, date and week display, an alarm, and a stopwatch and split time feature. Designed for rough handling, the watch was constructed with a scratch-resistant acrylic crystals glass.
- aesthetically pleasing design
- scratch-resistant glass
- low price
- some users found the watch too big
- the instructions in the manual are vague
- the digital display is a bit too small for some users
10. Timex Ironman Essential 10 Full-Size Watch
This is not Ironman’s watch so don’t get too excited… yet. This sports watch from Timex is for those who wish to start participating in the Ironman Triathlon. The watch features a stopwatch with 10 lap memory, a 24-hour countdown timer and alarm, INDIGLO® Night-Light, 100-hour chronograph with lap or split in large digits, and 2 time zone settings. It is also water resistant up to 100m (330ft). All the features you need to get the Ironman in you going.
- intuitive design
- large display
- buttons are easy to press accidentally
- features may be too basic for more experienced athletes
- some users who bought the orange/silver design have reported that the color of the band fades over time
We also found several sports watches that we found interesting but just didn’t have the time to check out. If you’re interested, here they are: Fanmis Men’s Military Multifunction Digital LED Watch, US Polo Assn. Sports Men’s US9061 Watch with Black Rubber Strap Watch, TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, and Garmin Fenix 5.
How to Choose a Men’s Sports Watch for You or a Loved One
So you’re in the market for a sports watch. There are loads of choices to be found online. And the prices of these watches can range from a measly $12 to over $600. Before you even break your piggy bank to check how much money you have, it’s best if you first arm yourself with how you should go about picking the sports watch you need.
What do you plan to use your watch for?
Obviously, you’re buying a watch to tell time. But you don’t specifically need a sports watch for that. So what else do you need the watch for? Some sports watches are pretty basic with only the usual – alarm, stopwatch, LED backlight, date and week display, and a split time feature. These are typically way more affordable and most, if not all, are very durable and water resistant.
So if you just want a watch that’ll withstand rough handling, a bit of sweat, and possibly some swim time, then the Aposon Men’s Digital Electronic Waterproof LED Sport Watch, PALADA Men’s Sports Digital Wrist Watch, or ETEVON Men’s ‘Captain’ Stylish Outdoor Sport Watch are more your style.
But some of the more expensive ones have specific features that will allow you to improve your performance in certain activities. For example, the Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch is perfect for those who want to start running because it can track speed, time, distance, and even calories. It also has a Run/Walk feature to guide you when you should start running or slow down to a walk.
The Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit is perfect for those who want to measure vertical gains. It features a barometric altimeter, GPS altitude, GPS tracking, a compass, and route navigation. The watch also allows you to track a variety of other activities like hiking, windsurfing, etc. so it makes this perfect for multi-sport athletes. Once you’ve listed down what activities you plan on using the watch for, you are able to quickly see which features would be beneficial to you and those that would not.
What is the battery life?
Since you’ll be using the watch, you’ll want to know how long it will run while you’re using it. Do you need to recharge it before every session? Or does the battery run for several days before it requires recharging? Another good question for you would be, is the battery replaceable?
How water resistant is it?
Most sports watches are water resistant to a point. Some watches are water resistant for up to 50m which means you can use it in the shower or while swimming. Other sports watches have a higher rating. The G-Shock GA100A-7A X-Large Men’s White Resin Sport Watch, for example, is water resistant up to 200m.
Do you need it to sync with your phone or computer?
Some sports watches are actually smart watches like the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier which is almost like having another phone in your hand (or in this case, your wrist). It can sync with your phone so you can receive notifications on your watch, make calls, and even read email. Some sports watches aren’t so smart but they can still be synced to your computer using a cable such as the Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch.
How large do you need it to be? Is the strap replaceable?
Most sports watches for men tend to be on the large size. However, not all men have the same wrist size. Not all have the same preferences when it comes to watch size either. Which is where this question comes in. Some watches like the G-Shock GA100A-7A X-Large Men’s White Resin Sport Watch is larger than most so it might be a bit too bulky for guys with smaller frames. Some watches, though large, have short straps so it won’t fit the wrist of larger men.
And this leads us to another consideration, are you able to change the straps? This is crucial not only when you can’t make the watch fit comfortable around your wrist. It is an important consideration if your strap should end up breaking. Replacing the band may be cheaper than replacing the entire watch.
How’s your eyesight?
Ok, this is more of a question on whether or not you’ll be able to quickly see the display. Do you require a large display? Does the backlight provide enough light to allow you to read the time under dim conditions? At the end of the day, the features of your watch and how water resistant and shockproof it is will not matter if you can’t read the display when it matters.