How to choose the perfect watch for a fitness fanatic

First published: 15-07-2016

Sports watch technology has come a long way from a simple chronograph function. But, with so many hi-tech timepiece options on the market these days, how do you pick out the best one to buy for the sports fanatic in your life?

Well, fear not. To make things easier for you, we've handpicked our favourite fitness watches, which are all brilliant for different reasons. From the best for sporting activities to the most impressive for heart-rate monitoring, we've got it covered.

Best for sports activities

If your loved one is keen on running, swimming, or a high-impact sport such as football or rugby, then you might want to pick out a timepiece that's sturdy and loaded with features.

This men's Casio G-Shock Alarm and Chronograph watch in sleek black is a handsome piece that is as strong as it is feature-packed. Made from stealth black resin, stainless steel, and rubber, it can withstand the hardest of knocks and blows.

Casio G-Shock Alarm Chronograph Watch

As well as a chronograph and five different alarms, it comes with a digital tachymeter, countdown timer, world time, and 20 bar water resistance.

Baby-G are notorious for producing shockproof timepieces that lend themselves to a range of different sports, and this ladies' Baby-G in crystal blue is no exception.

Casio Baby-G Alarm Chronograph Watch

Featuring a stainless steel and clear resin case, it comes with the added security of a face-protecting cage. Water resistant for up to 200m, it's ideal for exploring the deep sea, whilst its digital chronograph and memory make it ideal for keen marathon runners.

Best for sleep activity and heart-rate monitoring

The latest smartwatches are simply brimming with special features that we wouldn't have dreamt of just a few years ago, and the ability to monitor sleep quality and heart-rate are just two of many characteristics.

Polar Unisex Loop 2 Powder White Bluetooth Activity Tracker Watch

This futuristic Polar Loop 2 Bluetooth Activity Tracker watch wouldn't look out of place in a Stanley Kubrick movie, and it comes with more gadgets and gizmos than your average spaceship.

Not only can you track your sleep quality via the Polar Flow web service and smartphone app, but it will track how many steps you've taken and will even tell you how many calories you've burned (so you might want to take it off at the weekend!). It will also monitor heart-rate at the touch of a button.

Fitbit Unisex Surge Bluetooth Fitness Superwatch Alarm Chronograph Watch

Just when you thought your smartphone was addictive, along comes Fitbit with a fitness superwatch that's set to become your new best friend.

The Surge model not only looks the business, but comes with a long-life battery (lasting up to seven days), GPS tracking and SmartTrack + Multi Sport, so you can record every single run on your smartphone app.

Using PurePulse, it cleverly monitors heartrate continuously, and did we forget that it tracks your sleep quality too?!

Best for style

For anyone that thinks choosing a decent sports watch means compromising on style, think again. There's a wealth of watches on the market that balance good looks with functionality.

Swiss Military Hanowa Men's Arrow Chronograph Watch

This Swiss Military Hanowa Men's Arrow Chronograph watch is the perfect blend of classic and contemporary, with its stunning silver face and stylish brown strap.

Like the best Swiss watches, it's built to last, with a sturdy stainless steel casing that enables it to withstand depths of up to 100m.

Suunto Ladies' Essential Altimeter Barometer Compass Alarm Chronograph Watch

Style and beauty are perfectly matched with this stunning piece from Suunto. Its subtle light gold casing and cream leather strap means it is equally at home in the boardroom and on the running track.

Its impressive range of features includes a barometer, chronograph, and digital compass, ensuring the wearer won't lose their bearings when out hiking.

Best for budget

The ability to keep fit whilst tracking performance doesn't have to cost the earth, as the many budget sports watches prove.

This nifty little number from Adidas may be low on price, but it certainly doesn't scrimp where style and functionality are concerned. Its ice-white casing and strap are complemented with a striking green face and comes emblazoned with the iconic Adidas logo.

Adidas Performance Men's QUESTRA Alarm Chronograph Watch

Feature wise, not only does it come with a digital chronograph, but also with an alarm function and water resistance up to 50m.

This striking Timex Unisex Marathon Alarm Chronograph watch is ideal for anyone who wants to get noticed whilst out running, with its high-vis neon yellow strap and silver casing.

Timex Unisex Marathon Alarm Chronograph Watch

Powered by a digital chronograph quartz movement, its accuracy and precision make it perfect for recording laps on the running track or in the pool, whilst its backlit screen makes it ideal for those dark winter nights.


Behind every good sportsperson should be a good watch to back them up, and as our list proves, there's something to suit everyone, regardless of their budget, requirements or preferred sport.


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