Sporting a nice-looking sailing watch that also brings massive value can be one of those personal items that you end up keeping for years and years.
Over time, it’s not uncommon to become accustomed to a particular watch of ours that serves one function or another and ends up growing on us. Like that old-school t-shirt, hat, or wallet we’ve kept for years, a watch can stay with us for quite some time.
For a sailor, wearing a sailing watch that has multiple sensors and other functionalities we use by the minute can be extremely useful.
This is especially true if you’re in a situation that demands your attention immediately. Whether your watch has an altimeter, barometer, tide chart, temperature meter, or GPS, it’s good to know we can be in the know with a quick flip of the wrist.
The Best Sailing Watches That Are Actually Affordable
There are some sailing watches out there that can cost an arm and a leg, but I’m less interested in prestige and more interested in the functionality.
Obviously, we want our sailing watches to look good too, so I put together a list of the best sailing watches that not only look great but give a sailor just the right information they need when they need it.
1. Garmin Quatix 6 Multisport Marine Smartwatch
Easily one of the best sailing watches out there is the Garmin Quatix 6 Multisport Marine Smartwatch.
If you’re looking for a digital sailing watch that’s stylish and smart, you’ve certainly found your next one. There are so many useful features built into this watch it’s difficult to summarize!
Apart from the Garmin Quatix 6 having a nice design, it comes with a number of useful features for sailing (and watersports in general).
For one, it has a built-in GPS, altimeter, barometer, and compass that allows you to more easily navigate the waters.
You can also connect it to any of your other Garmin devices via Bluetooth so you can stream any sailboat data instantly across your wrist. It also monitors your heart rate and has a number of sailing apps that can be installed on it!
2. Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Watch
If you’re looking for an affordable sailing watch that’ll last you a very long time, definitely check out the Casio PRG270 Multi-Sensor Sports Watch.
I’ve owned this watch for many years and have not regretted that purchase for a second. It’s a tough watch that can take some hits and provides all the necessary functionality you’ll need on the water.
One of the best features about this men’s nautical watch is that it’s 100% solar-powered, so I’ve never had to worry about replacing the battery.
Apparently, the battery life can last up to 6 months without a charge! It also has an easy-to-use digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, backlight, world time, daily alarms, stopwatch, full calendar, and much more. I actually wear my watch literally all the time and it serves many functions in my daily routine.
3. Casio Pro Trek Men’s Stainless Steel Watch
Similar to Casio’s Pathfinder Watch, the Casio Pro Trek Men’s Stainless Steel Watch is an amazing affordable sailing watch that’s both highly functional and well-designed.
I’d say Casio is one of the better affordable watch brands for sailing out there based on all of the watches I’ve researched.
This stainless steel Casio watch is almost exactly like the Pathfinder, but instead of having a resin strap it has a strap that’s made of titanium.
The price of this nautical men’s watch is a tab bit higher than the Pathfinder, but it probably has a heavier feel to it and it’s potentially more durable. Also, it looks more stylish than the Pathfinder, so you can probably wear it in many different settings.
4. Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Multi-Sensor Watch
The Suunto sailing watch brand is quite extensive and they make some really high-quality digital sailing watches for a reasonable price.
One of the coolest smart sailing watches is the Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Multi-Sensor Watch. This watch looks very nice and comes in a multitude of colors and strap designs.
This Suunto sailing watch is a bargain for what you get out of it. Not only does it have an altimeter, barometer, and digital compass, but it has a very intuitive and well-designed display that just makes sense.
It’s also water resistant, which is a big plus. The display is so well built that you can even display weather charts along with the other sensor inputs! Truly amazing.
5. Casio G-Shock Men’s Black Resin Sports Watch
As you’ve already probably figured out, I’m a sucker for Casio watches because they’re just so affordable and functional to the core. With that in mind, another fantastic digital sailing watch to check out is the G-Shock Men’s Black Resin Sports Watch by Casio.
As one of the most affordable sailing watches on this list, you’ll get just what you need to stay on top of the basic metrics while sailing.
From measuring the current tide and the moon phases via an intuitive graph to having a world clock at the flick of the wrist, you’ll be in the know.
It’s even water resistant down to 200 meters (600 feet), so a great watch for scuba diving as well.
6. Timex Intelligent Quartz Yacht Racer Watch
There are a lot of really nice sailing watches out on the market, but one of the best sailing watches has got to be the Intelligent Quartz Yacht Racer Watch by Timex.
The look and feel of this nautical watch are very unique and serve as a benchmark for how a sailing watch should be presented.
Apart from the amazing design, this Timex watch is the first one on this list that’s 100% analog. Keeping it simple by never having to worry about battery life can be very handy.
It also has a Perfect Date feature that has the world date and time preprogrammed so you’ll never have to set the date and time again. Very cool!
7. Tissot Sailing-Touch Men’s Multi-Function Watch
Some of the oldest, most trusted watch brands today are Swiss-made, and the Tissot Sailing-Touch Men’s Multi-Function Watch is a tribute to that reputation.
As an affordable, well-crafted Swiss sailing watch, it’s hard to pass up this great sailing watch for any other.
We’re all aware of the quality that comes with owning a Swiss watch. This Tissot sailing watch comes with a hybrid analog-digital display that delivers information regarding tide, speed, direction, pressure, countdown timer, and more.
Through a clear digital display, you’re able to recall this past data via a chart as well. If you’re looking for quality and functionality, you’ve found the right watch.
8. Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Watch
Yet again, the Casio watches enter the arena of best sailing watches. This one is great if you can find it in stock: the Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Watch.
While it’s a tad bit more expensive compared to the previous digital sailing watches we looked at, the reasons will become evident very soon.
Apart from being solar-powered and having all the necessary metrics you want to follow when having a sailing watch, like direction, elevation, pressure, and temperature, you also have an awesome looking display on the watch’s face.
A tide and moon graph can quickly be displayed on the screen and even has an atomic timekeeping feature. This will probably be my next sailing watch.
9. Timex Intelligent Quartz Watch
This is another that’s hard to find in stock at most retailers. Before I purchased my Casio Pathfinder sailing watch, I almost purchased the Intelligent Quartz Watch by Timex.
The look and functionality of this sailing watch are hard to beat and surely provide a lot of value when having it on while out sailing. It’s especially durable as well thanks to its stainless steel body.
This watch by Timex looks amazing and has the basic features that you expect with a good quality sailing watch. While having the standard digital watch features, it also comes with its patented INDIGLO night light for those low light conditions, has a racing chronograph, and is of course water resistant.
10. Nautica Men’s Quartz Resin Silicone Watch
The Nautica watch brand has a lot of really nice-looking watches and one of the more popular ones I’ve seen among those sailing is the Nautica Men’s Quartz Resin Silicone Watch.
This watch has a classic design that’s sturdy and reliable exactly as you’d expect.
While this Nautica watch doesn’t have the same fancy features that the other sailing watches do, I have to bring it up because it’s one of the more popular sailing watches out there.
It does come with a variety of designs and even comes with either a resin, leather, or metal strap.
11. Nautica Men’s Triple-Sensor Watch
This is another one that’s often out of stock. The last Nautica watch we looked at was more of a classic watch, but the Nautica Men’s Triple-Sensor Watch is in a league of its own.
This watch is specifically tailored to sailors and comes with a sleek design that rivals many other sailing watches.
This Nautica watch comes with multiple sensors, including a compass, a tide tracker, and a thermometer. This combined with its rubber strap makes it a functionally beautiful sailing watch that can handle even the toughest of beatings.
12. Casio Men’s G-Shock Gulfmaster Watch
I promise you this will be the very last Casio watch I show you in this list of the best sailing watches.
One of the coolest Casio digital sailing watches has to got to be the Casio Men’s G-Shock Gulfmaster Watch due to its cool design and extremely useful functionality.
This Casio sets itself apart from the rest of the sailing watches on here because it’s the only one that has the ability to predict weather changes.
With its advanced sensor technology, they’re not only able to measure the standard metrics most sailing watches can measure, but it attempts to predict the future and alert you when necessary. This is a super smartwatch that can absolutely last a lifetime!
4 Luxury Sailing Watches for Superyachters
Now, I’m not in any place to afford any of the following luxury sailing watches, but there’s no doubt that they’re functional pieces of art that would look good on anyone and each can easily fit the category of the best sailing watch. For those superyachters out there, this next list’s for you.
1. Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Promaster Aqualand Analog Watch
There are few watch brands out there that command immediate respect and awe.
Citizen is one of such brands and it demonstrates that quite effectively with the Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Promaster Aqualand Analog Watch.
While certainly not the cheapest watch, it’s the most affordable in our superyachters edition.
This Citizen watch is a sight to see. Along with its elegant design, it has the Eco-Drive technology that allows it to quickly charge via the sun and can last a very long time.
It’s also water resistant for up to 200 meters (600 feet) and has the ability to keep track of and record the depth when out diving.
2. Tag Heuer Aquaracer Men’s Watch
We enter the sailing watch space of yet another well-known Swiss watch brand; Tag Heuer. Among the many fancy and expensive yachting watches offered by Tag Heuer, their Aquaracer Men’s Watch is one of the most beautiful watches on the market today.
The Aquaracer Men’s Watch by Tag Heuer comes with an amazing blue Bezel display illuminated by the luminescent hands and markers on the watch’s face.
This watch requires no charging, solar power, winding, or battery replacement since it’s designed to mechanically self-wind based on your movement.
On top of that, it’s capable of going all the way down 500 meters (1650 feet) so deep scuba sessions are more than welcome.
3. Omega Men’s Seamaster Aqua Terra Stainless Steel Watch
A fantastic watch brand that has a long reputation for quality has to go to Omega, which has come out with the attractive Omega Men’s Seamaster Aqua Terra Stainless Steel Watch for water dwellers all over the world.
If you’re looking to splurge on a superyachters watch, surely this one won’t disappoint.
This Omega Seamaster yachting watch has an elegant design that’s fitting for any occasion, whether you’re out sailing or dining out.
Its classic stainless steel, silver design gives off a familiar look and is accompanied by a Swiss-certified chronometer to boot. It’s also powered automatically via self-winding, so there’s no need to worry about battery life ever again.
4. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Seadweller Deepsea
This list of luxury sailing watches would not be complete without mentioning the most famous yachting watch brand in the world; Rolex.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Seadweller Deepsea Watch is the epitome of a high-quality sailing watch with a price tag to match.
The amazing thing about Rolexes is that they don’t really need to be explained in terms of how good they are.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Seadweller Deepsea is one of the most famous luxury sailing watches on the market and comes with a Swiss-certified chronometer that’s self-winding.
On top of that, it’s capable of going down 3900 meters (12,800 feet) underwater! Now that’s deep.
Which Sailing Watch Is Right for You
Sailing watches (or yachting watches) have proven to be a tremendous help out on the water in navigating and planning.
When it comes to a good sailing watch, it’s up to what is best for the individual and how they plan on using it.
Each sailing watch can have its own unique features and intricate designs that set it apart from other watches. So which sailing watch is considered the best based on usefulness and quality?
Most Important Features of a Sailing Watch
Not just any watch is going to cut it when you’re out on the water. You need a timepiece that is going to stand up to the rough conditions that you’ll face, as well as provide important information when you need it.
These include durability, resistance to water, GPS capabilities, and tracking the tide, which most sailing watches have.
All are important for how you plan to sail, so you need a high-quality sailing watch that can handle any situation.
Sailing has its moments where it can be tough in the heaviest conditions. A watch that can withstand wear and tear is going to be crucial if you’re spending thousands of dollars on one.
You should consider getting a watch that’s made out of stainless steel and titanium, in particular with a stainless steel case.
The glass also needs to be somewhat shatterproof, as you will need something to handle scrapes and dings.
Superior Water Resistance
You want your watch to be protected from the elements, especially if you’re constantly getting wet while sailing. Each watch will have a different rating on its water-resistant capabilities, which can be confusing since it is measured in meters, atmospheres, or feet.
At a minimum, you need five atmospheres (ATM) or 50 meters of protection. This is equivalent to 160 feet, which is somewhat waterproof and meant for coastal cruising or brief moments in the water.
These are generally less expensive sailing watches, so it is understandable if you’re on a budget and want something to compliment your sailing experience.
If you can afford a step up in quality, you can check out sailing watches that have at least 10 ATMs, which is the same as 100 meters or 300 feet deep of water.
These are the best bang for your buck, as they cover decent depths of water and spray from the ocean.
The best water-resistant watches are 20 ATMs, which are 200 meters or 660 feet.
These are dive-worthy and are the beginning stages of the best sailing watches with high water resistance. Some go even higher to 30 ATMs or 1,000 feet, making them a part of the dive watches family.
Not only do you want a fashionable and functional sailing watch, but one that has GPS capabilities. You don’t want to rely on old maps that have not been updated for years.
These watches include up-to-date marine information to travel safely along designated routes.
These sail tools alone are worth their weight in gold, especially if you have an older method of navigating the ocean. Some are well advanced to help provide tack assistance to ensure you’re sailing at optimal speeds.
Accurate Tide Tracking
Tide tracking is another useful feature to have in a good sailing watch. A tide tracker can be relatively precise to match the true state of a tide.
While some are very accurate, it is important to know that they are not always 100% correct. Some tide-tracking watches are better than others.
You want one that will give you proper information based on your location to provide the closest possible scenarios.
Types of Sailing Watches
There are a few variations of sailing watches that prove to be useful, with some that sailors absolutely cannot live without.
Each one has its own benefits, so find out what works best for you and how to utilize them in your own sailing goals.
Mechanical Sailing Watches
Mechanical sailing watches are just as they sound, as they don’t have a battery and have a classic look to them.
Some have solar-powered capabilities so you don’t have to worry about changing batteries. They have wind-up or self-winding features to operate and often time are accompanied by a countdown timer.
The best mechanical sailing watches come from Sweden and are manufactured by the top names in the business.
In addition, they have some of the best waterproof capabilities for divers that want to go around 1,000 feet down.
Digital Sailing Watches
Digital sailing watches operate on battery life, while typically having a display to read. They vary considerably depending on how much they cost and the features they provide.
A digital sailing watch is generally affordable for any budget, but only if they are simple in its functionality.
They usually have an LCD screen in the form of a digital display showing the date, time, and temperature. They can even have a countdown timer, multiple time zones, a dual time display, a date window, and much more
One of the best sailing watches is the Garmin Quatix 6 which has an altimeter, barometer, and compass.
It also has Bluetooth, which you could argue makes it a sailing smartwatch too. Definitely one of the more popular sailing watches out there.
Sailing smartwatches are very similar to digital sailing watches. They typically have an LCD screen displaying basic information, but their waterproof capabilities are slightly higher.
They have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options to connect to charts, GPS, and other crucial data.
They are even used in competitive sailing races to offer sail racing assistance to track important data for the team or the individual racer.
The Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch is one of the best sailing smartwatches out on the water.
It allows you to save navigation data, track boat speed and heading through GPS, and offers multiple pages of information through Wi-Fi. This is a sailing smartwatch powerhouse.
Sailing watches are an innovative tool that offers sailors the ability to process information in real-time.
Each sailor can find their own unique function in a sailing watch, whether it be mechanical, smartwatch, or digital.
Since they offer GPS, tide tracking, or a stylish stainless-steel watch that will last for years, a great sailing watch is worth the investment.
There are plenty of affordable sailing watches to fit any budget, so finding one should be simple if you narrow down your criteria.