The 5 Best Sports Watches to Buy in 2018 That Enhance Athletic Ability

Built for Punishment, Performance, and Personality

You may think that smartphones have taken over the functions of a good, old-fashioned sports watch. And, for some athletes, this may be true.

Smartphones can pretty much do it all these days: track workout stats, monitor your heart rate, provide motivational music, map your runs, and monitor everything from the distance you've cycled to the elevation you've climbed. On top of that, you can keep on top of your social media. What more could you ask for?

But don't count out the sports watch just yet. Sports watches can offer things that smartphones would be hard-pressed to match, namely:

  1. You wear them rather than carry them. Your hands are free to engage in sports where smartphones would be in the way.
  2. Sports watches are built for punishment. They able to tolerate sweat, water, and extreme conditions where smartphones fail.
  3. The stopwatch function is easier to use. No swiping screens; simply click on and click off.
  4. They make great fashion statements. Argue as you may, this is still important.

To prove our point, here are five of the best-selling sports watches and the reasons why we love them:

1

Timex Ironman Triathlon 30

The tried-and-true Timex Ironman Triathlon 30 is packed with features including their Indiglo night-light activation system which requires only a quick flick of the wrist for hands-free lighting.

Every version of the Ironman 30 Series comes equipped with a 24-hour countdown timer complete with stop and repeat functions. For added durability, the 30 Series watches are also water-resistant up to 330 feet.

Better yet, you can fully customize your watch with boldly colored resin and nylon straps. There is even a popular model equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor for fitness training.

2

Women's Timex Ironman Sleek 50

The Women's Timex Ironman Sleek 50 Series offers the top-of-the-line features that every woman athlete needs including a stopwatch, preset timers, Indiglo night-light, and water-resistance up to 330 feet.

Our personal favorite is the Women's 50-Lap Sleek 50 which is able to count up to 99 laps and store up to 50 splits. It also boasts a countdown timer, interval timer, and several alarm settings.

3

Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch

This is an extreme watch for the extreme sports enthusiast. The Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer watch comes fully equipped with an altimeter, barometer, compass, and depth meter. It is able to measure and track up to 29,500 feet and even has a built-in weather trend indicator.

The sturdy, backlit watch features a dual-time chronograph and countdown timer. It is the perfect option for athletes who enjoy mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and extreme wilderness travel.

4

Luminox 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch

Developed for the Navy SEAL's, the Luminox 3001 meets the performance standards of all three branches of the armed forces. It is constructed of a lightweight fiberglass frame with a carbon molded case. The exterior stainless steel body is stylishly secured with stainless steel screws and polished to a bright sheen.

The double-gasket construction confers to a water-resistance of 20 ATM and 660 feet, making it perfect for recreational scuba diving. The Luminox 3001 is sturdy enought to withstand the abuse of extreme sports while still being stylish enough for daily use.

5

Garmin Fenix 5X

Based on price tag alone, this one might be considered the Rolls Royce of sports watches. It certainly has a lot of features that live up to that claim, including a full-color GPS, routable cycling maps, and other outdoor navigation features. It also includes a three-axis compass, built-in gyroscope, and barometric altimeter.

Like many Fitbit-style fitness monitors, the Garmin FX has a performance widget that tracks your training status, training load, and key stats. However, unlike those monitors, the FX looks incredibly stylish and not like something you forgot to take off at the gym.

It's a great watch for runners or cyclists who take their ​endurance sports seriously.

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