The 7 Best Sport Watches for Men in 2022

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LIKE SUNGLASSES and a smartly chosen pair of shoes, wristwatches have long been a menswear essential. A good watch says a lot about a man, after all. A tech-forward smartwatch from Garmin or Polar hints at a man who likes his gadgets as much as his workouts. A premium timepiece from the likes of Breitling or TAG Heuer reveals someone with great taste and plenty of disposable income. While a classic wristwatch from Timex could denote a sensible, no-frills man who appreciates function over flash.

Somewhere between straightforward fashion watches (with little to no wireless connectivity) and bleeding-edge smartwatches lies the sport watch. They’re typically more rugged, durable, and functional than a traditional time-only timepiece, but perhaps not as feature-rich as a full-blown smartwatch. They’re designed for the active man who relies on health metrics—heart rate, sleep tracking, and training progress—as much as environmental info (think altimeters, barometers, and GPS sensors), but perhaps doesn’t need all the bells and whistles.

There are hundreds of great sport watches on the market, and dozens of new models released every year. The most basic models, like Timex’s classic Ironman sport watch, are dead-simple to use and feature only the essentials, like lap tracking, chronographs, multiple alarms, and some degree of water-resistance. More advanced models, like Garmin’s vívoactive 4 Sport Watch add smartwatch-worthy features, like crisp, AMOLED displays, stress level monitoring, GPS sensors, and app connectivity for taking calls and streaming music from your smartphone.

Ready to upgrade your wrist this year? There are thousands of watch models to choose from, and there is no one best sport watch. It’s all about what you’re into and how much you’re willing to spend. We’ve narrowed down our list of favorites to the best of the best sport watches for men worth a look in 2022.

Read more: Best Watch Brands for Men

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Best for Everyday Use

Garmin

Vívoactive 4 Sport Watch

Battery life Up to eight days in Smartwatch Mode
GPS? Yes
Water-resistant? Yes, to 50 meters

Best for the Outdoors

NIXON

Regulus Expedition A1324 Sport Watch

Battery life 2+ years
GPS? No
Water-resistant? Yes, to 100 meters

Best Budget Option

Timex

IRONMAN Original 30 Shock Sport Watch

Battery life 2+ years
GPS? No
Water-resistant? Yes, to 200 meters

Great for Runners

Garmin

Forerunner 255 GPS Running Sport Watch / Smartwatch

Battery life Up to 14 days (in Smartwatch Mode)
GPS? Yes, with dual-frequency GNSS support
Water-resistant? Yes, to 50 meters

Best Apple Sport Watch

Apple

Apple Watch Ultra Sport Watch

Battery life Up to 36 hours
GPS? Yes, dual frequency
Water-resistant? Yes, to 100 meters

Best Premium Sport Watch

Victorinox

I.N.O.X. Mechanical Watch

Battery life Indefinite (no battery required)
GPS? No
Water-resistant? Yes, to 200 meters

Best Luxury Sport Watch

TAG Heuer

Connected Calibre E4

Battery life More than 48 hours
GPS? Yes
Water-resistant? Yes, to 50 meters

Which Is the Best sports Watch to Buy?

No matter your budget, even a moderately priced sport watch is a decent investment. Shopping for one means comparing a ton of tech features and jargon, so it pays (literally) to know what you’re looking at and how to find the best sport watch for you. That starts with knowing your budget. Decent budget sport watches start at less than $100, while the world’s best sport watches run $10,000 or more. For most active users who workout a few times a week, you probably don’t need to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a sport watch that meets your needs.

Once you know the price range you’re shopping in, you’ll want to consider what you’ll be using the watch for. Different sports require different features. Divers, surfers, and beachgoers will need a sport watch that’s water-resistant or completely waterproof (ideally down to 50 meters or more) Hikers, climbers, and campers will want a sport watch that’s extremely rugged, GPS-enabled with built-in maps and navigation, and possibly even solar-powered (to last indefinitely when they’re away from civilization). Runners and cyclists will want to keep close tabs on key body metrics like heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and the distance and speed of their workouts (that usually requires GPS connectivity).

If you love a variety of sports or are just getting into the world of sport watches, we highly recommend the Garmin vivoactive 4 Sport Watch. It balances a great list of features with a rugged, modern design and a decent price to boot.

What Exactly Is a Sport Watch?

The term “sport watch” isn’t well defined, but it usually refers to any watch that most wouldn’t consider a dress watch. They’re typically designed for active pursuits, including running, cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, scuba diving—you get the picture. Most multisport and fitness smartwatches are technically considered sport watches, although not all sport watches are smartwatches. To confuse things even more, many premium and ultra-luxury brands—think Breitling and Rolex—are technically sport watches too. But, almost anyone dropping thousands—or tens of thousands—of dollars on such a watch probably isn’t taking it snorkeling.

What Sport Watch do Athletes Use?

The best sport watch for athletes depends largely on their preferred sport. For casual athletes (working out almost daily), the Garmin vívoactive 4 Sport Watch is our hands-down pick. It’s a well-balanced sport watch for men with plenty of great, connected smartwatch features. Most runners will love Garmin’s Forerunner 255—our top-pick for its amazing feature set, great looks, solid connectivity options, and, best of all, price. For athletes who’ve already bought into Apple’s ecosystem, there’s simply no better sport watch than the flagship Apple Watch Ultra.

We researched dozens of the top-selling men’s sport watches available right now. That meant comparing models from tech-forward brands like Garmin and Suunto, classic mainstays like Timex, and premium watchmakers like TAG Heuer. We took note of everything, including tech features, durability, construction quality, water resistance, overall aesthetics, and, of course, price. The list above represents our honest picks of the best sport watches for men in 2022.

Read more: Best Sleep trackers

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