Smartwatches are now worn on the wrists of more than four million people in the UK alone, but the relationship between timepieces and sport stems from more than just health and fitness.
Watches from the likes of Garmin and TAG Heuer have become integral to the sports world. With the plethora of onboard technology, these sporting tools give athletes everything they need to improve their game.
Precision is at the core of sport and not just in performance. Accurate scorekeeping is a primary reason why watches have been closely associated with the sporting world. Timekeeping is vital for many sports, especially when victory can come down to a fraction of a second.
Renowned events such as Formula One Racing, and the Premier League rely on the expertise of luxury watch technology to ensure races and matches go smoothly. Even, in the Olympics. OMEGA has occupied the Olympic title of Official Timekeeper since 1932 and is critical for detecting tiny discrepancies, false starts, and determining the correct results.
Rado is another big name that is aligned with the sporting world. Rado watches have an unparalleled reputation for time precision and were named England Cricket’s Official Timing Partner as of April 2023.
During the 1930s, the concept of a sturdy sports watch had yet to gain traction. This was mainly due to the fact that timepieces were predominantly crafted from glass and unlikely to survive rigorous sports activity.
To combat this, Rado released the world’s first scratchproof timepiece in 1962, the Rado DiaStar, The brand opted for an entirely new material that was previously unheard of in watchmaking – ultra-resistant hard metal. This eventually led to a trend in designing function-first watches that could withstand strenuous activity whilst maintaining a stylish aesthetic.
Rado then followed up with their first diving watch, the Captain Cook, which boasted a resilience of up to 300m. This made it the perfect companion for aquatic sports as not only is it water and corrosion-resistant, but it could accurately record elapsed time under water.
Modern sports watches are still hitting the mark and are championing the abilities of sports professionals to achieve excellence. From tennis and cricket to surfing and equestrian pursuits, luxury watch brands continue to provide timepieces that literally change the game.
Just take Garmin. Renowned in the watchmaking world for its groundbreaking fitness technology, this brand integrates everything professionals need to stay on top of their performance. From barometric altimeters, power meter support and a variety of training modes, runners can keep track of all metrics that affect their ability.
One of the most famous watches of all time, the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet has made a name for itself with its golfing watches. It has spent the last few years developing relationships with some of the most well-known golfers in the world and offers advanced GPS technology, designed to give golfers precise distances on courses.
The longstanding partnership between horology and sport endures to this day. We can only expect greater models in the future that change the face of the sport and improve performance time and time again.