A good sailing watch has a lot in common with a good crew – dependable, trustworthy, and necessary for the success of any race or regatta. But, a great sailing watch is one that is functional and handsome, so much so that professionals and landlubbers can both appreciate the cut of its jib. At first look, the “sailing watch” shares the sporty, water-resistant traits of a diving watch but is further stacked with complications made for the speeding around the bay. Whether you’re setting sail or just checking the time until dinner, no man’s collection is complete without one.
We’ve rounded up our top three picks worthy of both a position in your crew and your everyday collection so you will look sharp no matter where you plan to explore.
Pick #1 – IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph
The Yacht Club Chronograph is the sportiest version of IWC’s most popular and prestigious Portugieser collection. Unlike the classic design that has a 30-minute chronograph, the Yacht Club has a 12-hour chronograph. It’s also powered by the company’s in-house 89361 calibre self-winding movement which is viewable through the caseback window. This nautically inspired timepiece is water resistant up to 60 meters, features a flyback function and an additional flange with a quarter-second scale for measuring short stop times as well as an analogue display on the subdial for longer stop times.
The Yacht Club features a stainless steel case that measures 43.5 millimeters in diameter and is accented by a screw in crown for added water protection. The dial is protected by scratch resistant, antireflective sapphire glass. Thanks to discreet modifications, the Yacht Club looks more luxurious and balanced than other Portugieser models and even showcases luminescent hands and indices for night cruising too.
Pleasant to wear and built to withstand the rough seas, the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph is the perfect choice for the yacht master and the novice sailor alike.
Pick #2 – Breitling Superocean Chronograph Steelfish
Better known as a maker of pilot’s watches, the Superocean Chronograph may be the only sailing watch in Breitling’s arsenal but that does not mean it should be overlooked. Known for their attention to detail and exceptionally rugged designs, Breitling is actually a great choice for the sailor who is less than careful on the open seas.
The Superocean Chronograph combines a youthful, dynamic and modern appearance with a high-performance self-winding Breitling 13 movement that is chronometer-certified by the COSC (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute). Like the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club, this timepiece features a 12-hour chronograph and has scratch resistant, antireflective sapphire glass atop the dial. It’s stainless steel case measures slightly larger at 44 millimeters and it is water-resistant up to an impressive 500 meters. The ultra-sturdy case is fitted with a screw-locked crown and safety push pieces that can only be activated once they are unlocked.
Depending on your preference, the Breitling Superocean Chronograph is available with three difference straps – rubber, rubber with a folding clasp and stainless steel making it a viable option both in and out of the water.
Pick #3 – Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph
The sleek, sporty Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph was designed for those who love to travel but need a timepiece with complications that are useful in everyday life. With a sport watch history that can be traced back to the ’30s, Vacheron Constantin has the know how to produce a tough but classy watch, and the previous generations of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronographs stand in testament to that ability.
This timepiece features the manufacturer’s calibre 5200 mechanical chronograph movement that can be seen through the transparent caseback. The stainless steel case measures 42.5 millimeters in diameter, is water resistant up to 150 meters and is accented by screw-down chronograph push-pieces. Traditionally seen on diving watches, screw-down push-pieces are a utilitarian feature that prevent unintentional activation of the start, stop and reset buttons, aiding in water resistance and durability. The Overseas also features anti-magnetic protection to 25,000 A/m (a true accomplishment for any luxury timepiece) and comes with your choice of three different straps (including alligator, stainless steel and rubber).
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph, with its refined movement, sporty design, rugged capabilities and the brand’s 260-year-old pedigree mean it is a strong contender to be that one watch that can be worn in the office and stay on your wrist throughout all your weekend voyages.
So, which one would you take on your next exploration?