On your marks: the best looking sports watches
Choose the right sports watch for you, for its capabilites or its tools for outdoor adventure, bringing the greatest physical and mental benefits
Exercise, whatever form it takes, comes as a welcome boost at a time when other options may be limited. Get ready with a smart watch which not only maximises performance but can also look after your physical and mental health, with our pick of the best below.
Sports watches don’t come more highly rated than the Zenith Chronomaster Sport, which has now been awarded the prestigous Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Genéve 2021 for its slick technical capabilities. With an intricately precise movement wrapped up in a sporty steel case, this is the sports watch for those who like their timepieces professional, reliable and slick.
Tag Heuer’s Connected watch sets the bar for fitness companions that look good too. The multi-feature display on the Synopsis watch face lets you view six features at once, meaning you can check your stats, the time of your next meeting and the weather in one quick glance. Along with a built-in GPS and heart-rate monitor, when linked with the Tag Heuer Sports app it will fully break down your run, cycle, walk or stroll on the golf course, meaning there’s no excuse not to get out there for your next PB.
Danish brand Skagen eschews superfluous details which could slow down performance, making it a practical choice for a sports watch which also looks good. The Skagen Falster 3 runs efficiently, with smarter battery modes then its predecessor and double the storage. Wear OS by Google software and new speaker functionality means both Android and iPhone users can take calls from their Bluetooth-enabled watch, as well as play music and ‘chat’ to the Google Assistant. The efficiency stretches to the layout, which will offer handy fitness information – progress towards goals, a heart rate check or the quick start of a workout which can be viewed with a swipe left. Good for all activity, the watch is now waterproof to 30 metres and also auto-installs Cardiogram, which converts your heart rate data into interactive charts which can help identify weak spots to target.
Withings’ ScanWatch takes your health very seriously, conscientiously tracking activity and automatically recognising which form of exercise is being taken. Comprehensive fitness assessments also come as standard thanks to its VO2 Max indicator (measuring how easily your body converts oxygen into energy), which makes it easy to optimise training. It is as a health tool where this watch really shines, however, and an in-depth cardiovascular health monitoring programme means it can spot the signs of both sleep apnea and arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) early. If the watch notices an abnormal health rate, or the user suspects symptoms, a quick touch on both sides of the bezel will activate three built-in electrodes which will perform a thirty-second ECG, the results of which you can save and take to your doctor.
The Galaxy Watch Active2 takes a more well-rounded approach to health and fitness with an emphasis on wellness that goes beyond comprehensive workout stats (although those are here too). As well as tracking stress levels, it offers guided meditation programmes through an integration with the Calm app, as well as putting an emphasis on sleep patterns with more efficient sleep analysis tools. A competent all-rounder, it also lets you do most of the things you would expect from a smartphone, with the ability to film videos, use Samsung Pay and wirelessly charge.
Fossil’s Gen 5 smartwatch in stainless steel, like Skagen’s Falster 3, comes with a host of useful functions thanks to a link-up with Google’s Wear OS software. Swim-proof and with an activity and heart rate tracker and long battery life, this does the essentials well, making it the ideal fitness companion. §