Sports Watches: A Matter of Timing

Luxury sports watches are an important category in watchmaking, with a variety of high-end brands introducing interesting models that challenge conventional design. From Louis Moinet’s Time to Race to Singer’s Track1 SKLT Carbon Edition and the comparatively discreet Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition launched earlier this year, each is an example of creativity and utility.

Basically, a sports watch is designed to withstand the rigors of a sporting activity. But the term is used more broadly for watches that are durable, with functional attributes that make them essential timepieces for everyday use or for more rugged activities.

Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition

Launched in honor of the 2022 Rally in Italy, this year’s Limited Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition includes two 44mm chronographs: one in stainless steel and the other in steel and ethical rose gold – the former totaling 1,000 watches, the latter just 250.

Chronograph counters at 6 and 12 o’clock feature a snail pattern and red-tipped hands; the sub-dial for the small seconds, also in the form of a snail, is located at 9 o’clock. The large central seconds hand is also red, the official color of the race. The baton hands and hour markers are treated with Super-LumiNova.

Inside, the COSC-certified self-winding chronograph movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers a power reserve of 48 hours. It is 30.40mm in diameter and 7.90mm thick.

The 250-piece steel and ethical rose gold version uses 18k rose gold for the screw-down ratcheting crown, which – like its steel-cased counterpart – is engraved with a steering wheel motif. The large, mushroom-shaped, engraved pushers are also rose gold, as is the bezel.

Sports watch features

The most popular material for making a sports watch case is undoubtedly stainless steel, but other materials such as titanium or ceramics are also commonly used as they are popular for their light weight, sturdiness and scratch resistance.

The available functions are numerous in the field of sports watches, many of them specific to the intended sport. A chronograph, for example, is a popular and useful feature for timing events. And leaning into the dive watch models, rotating bezels, easy-to-read illuminated indexes, and serious water resistance are all important. A dive watch most often includes a screw-down case back and screw-down crown or crown guard for added protection.

As for the bracelet or strap, comfort and security are key. A double safety clasp on a metal bracelet is a good choice, as are moisture-proof materials such as rubber, textile, or even rubberized leather, as on the Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 shown here.

A note on size

Personal preference, wrist size and comfort will dictate the size of your sports watch, but suffice it to say that the larger than life watch cases seen a few years ago have played out their popularity.

Luxury Sports Watches

While you might not immediately picture yourself as a surfer in your Patek Philippe Nautilus or Vacheron Constantins Overseas, both collections are great examples of what’s available at the higher echelons of the sports watch world. These timepieces may be expensive, but they are handsome, reliable and, perhaps most importantly, from reputable brands that make them a pleasure to own – wherever they will take you.

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