Top 3 Watches for Ocean Swimming

Top 3 Watches for Ocean Swimming

When it comes to ocean swimming, having a reliable and durable watch is essential. Whether you’re a seasoned open water swimmer or just enjoy the occasional dip in the waves, a watch that can withstand the rigors of saltwater and offer valuable features can enhance your aquatic experience. In this article, we’ll dive into the top three watches that are tailor-made for ocean swimming, combining functionality, style, and durability.

When it comes to water resistance in watches, there’s more than meets the eye. The term “waterproof” has been replaced by “water-resistant” in the watch industry, as no watch can be completely impervious to water under all conditions. The level of water resistance a watch possesses is determined by a combination of design, engineering, and testing, ensuring the watch can withstand specific water-related activities. Let’s dive into the key elements that contribute to a watch’s water resistance:

Sealing Mechanisms and Gaskets: The primary defense against water infiltration is the watch’s case. High-quality water-resistant watches feature precision engineering to ensure tight seals. These seals are achieved using gaskets, which are rubber or silicone rings placed at critical points such as the case back, crown, and pushers. These gaskets create a barrier that prevents water from entering the watch’s inner workings.

Screw-Down Crowns: The crown, which is used to set the time and date, is a potential weak point for water entry. In water-resistant watches, the crown is often designed to screw down tightly against the case, forming an additional layer of protection. This mechanism ensures that water cannot penetrate through the crown opening.

Crystal Materials: The crystal, or the transparent cover that protects the watch face, plays a role in water resistance. Most water-resistant watches use synthetic sapphire crystal or hardened mineral crystal, both of which are highly scratch-resistant and less prone to shattering upon impact. These materials contribute to the watch’s ability to withstand water pressure.

Case Construction: The overall construction of the watch case is a critical factor in water resistance. Watches with multiple layers and well-designed case backs enhance the watch’s ability to withstand water pressure. Some watches even feature monocoque (single-piece) cases that minimize potential entry points for water.

Pressure Testing: Before a watch can be labeled as water-resistant, it undergoes rigorous pressure testing. This involves subjecting the watch to various levels of water pressure in controlled environments. The watch is tested both for static pressure (immersion without movement) and dynamic pressure (immersion with movement) to simulate real-world scenarios. The results of these tests determine the watch’s water resistance rating.

Water Resistance Ratings: Water resistance is often indicated in meters or atmospheres (ATM). However, these ratings can be misleading if not understood correctly. For example, a watch labeled as “100 meters water-resistant” doesn’t mean it can be taken to a depth of 100 meters. Instead, it signifies the watch’s ability to withstand the pressure equivalent to a static depth of 100 meters. It’s important to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for appropriate usage.

Regular Maintenance: Even with the best engineering, a watch’s water resistance can degrade over time due to wear and tear on gaskets and seals. Manufacturers recommend regular maintenance to ensure the watch remains water-resistant. This typically involves changing gaskets and testing the watch’s water resistance periodically.

A watch’s water resistance is a result of meticulous design, quality materials, and stringent testing. Different watches are engineered to withstand different water-related activities, so it’s essential to match a watch’s water resistance level with the activities you plan to undertake. By understanding the key components that contribute to water resistance, you can confidently choose a timepiece that suits your aquatic adventures while keeping your investment protected. With that said, take a look at these TOP 3 watches for swimming in the ocean.

Garmin Forerunner 945

The Garmin Forerunner 945 stands as a true all-rounder, boasting a comprehensive set of features that make it an ideal companion for ocean enthusiasts. Its water-resistant rating of up to 50 meters ensures it can handle the pressures of ocean swimming. The watch’s GPS capabilities are particularly useful for tracking your route and analyzing your swim performance.

What sets the Forerunner 945 apart is its ability to provide advanced metrics like stroke rate, distance per stroke, and even open water maps. These features are invaluable for serious swimmers looking to fine-tune their technique. With its sleek design, the Forerunner 945 seamlessly transitions from the ocean to everyday wear, making it a versatile choice. Take a look at the Garmin Forerunner 945.

Suunto 9 Baro

Built for adventure and tested in the harshest conditions, the Suunto 9 Baro is a reliable option for ocean swimmers seeking durability and precision. With a water resistance of up to 100 meters, it’s well-equipped to handle extended swimming sessions and even diving. The watch’s barometer not only aids in tracking altitude changes but also provides insights into changing weather conditions – a crucial feature for ocean swimmers who need to be aware of the elements. Take a look at the Suunto 9 Baro.

The Suunto 9 Baro’s long battery life, which can extend up to 120 hours in GPS mode, ensures that you won’t have to worry about recharging during your ocean adventures. Its intuitive interface, coupled with accurate heart rate monitoring, makes it a top choice for those who value performance and reliability.

Casio G-Shock Gulfmaster GWN-Q1000

For those who demand the ultimate in ruggedness, the Casio G-Shock Gulfmaster GWN-Q1000 delivers. Known for its shock resistance and water resistance up to an impressive 200 meters, this watch is designed to endure the most extreme conditions. Ocean swimmers will appreciate its tide and moon data, which help optimize swim timings and keep track of tidal patterns. Take a look at the Casio G-Shock Gulfmaster.

The Gulfmaster’s carbon-fiber insert band adds an extra layer of durability, while its analog-digital display offers a classic touch. The watch’s sensor technologies, including a compass, altimeter, and thermometer, provide a comprehensive toolkit for ocean exploration.

Watches of Surfers

Surfers who wear watches while riding the waves add a unique blend of style, functionality, and personal expression to their surfing experience. While some might question the practicality of wearing a watch in such an adrenaline-pumping and water-intensive sport, there are solid reasons why surfers choose to keep time on their wrists while conquering the waves.

A Fusion of Style and Utility: Surfing is not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle, and aesthetics play a significant role. For many surfers, a watch is more than a timekeeping tool—it’s a fashion statement that reflects their personality and passion. With a plethora of water-resistant watches available, surfers can find timepieces that not only complement their wetsuits but also serve as functional accessories that can handle the rigors of saltwater and rough waves.

Tracking Surf Sessions: Modern watches, especially those equipped with GPS and advanced tracking features, have revolutionized how surfers analyze and improve their performance. Surfers can track the duration of their sessions, distance covered, wave count, and even their top speeds. These metrics offer insights into their skills, helping them refine techniques, make adjustments, and set new goals.

Optimal Wave Timing: Timing is critical in surfing. Paddling out too soon or too late can mean missing out on the best waves. A watch with tide data provides valuable information about the tidal patterns, helping surfers time their sessions for the optimal wave conditions. Additionally, some watches offer moon phase data, aiding surfers in predicting wave patterns based on lunar cycles.

Adapting to Changing Conditions: The ocean is unpredictable, and conditions can change rapidly. Watches equipped with barometers can alert surfers to changing weather patterns, indicating when a storm might be approaching or when the wind direction is about to shift. This information allows surfers to make informed decisions about when to head out or return to shore.

Personal Safety and Time Management: Wearing a watch isn’t just about enhancing the surfing experience—it can also contribute to personal safety. Keeping track of time is crucial for ensuring that surfers don’t stay out too long, avoiding fatigue and potential dangers. In the event of an emergency, having a timepiece can help surfers manage their situation more effectively.

Preserving Memories: Surfing is about creating memories and forging connections with the natural world. A watch can serve as a tangible reminder of the incredible moments spent riding waves and embracing the ocean’s power. The scratches, marks, and salt stains that accumulate on a watch over time tell a story of adventurous days and the challenges overcome.

Surfers who wear watches while riding the waves blend style, functionality, and personal sentiment. Beyond simply telling time, these watches offer tracking capabilities, aid in wave timing, provide weather insights, enhance safety, and act as mementos of unforgettable experiences. With a diverse range of water-resistant watches available, surfers can find the perfect timepiece that suits their individual preferences and helps them stay connected to the rhythm of the ocean while chasing the perfect wave.

Lots of surfers LOVE the Apple watch series because they are water resistant and offer so many great features like health monitoring. Take a look at the Apple Watch Series 8.


When it comes to ocean swimming, a reliable and feature-rich watch can elevate your experience to new heights. The Garmin Forerunner 945, Suunto 9 Baro, and Casio G-Shock Gulfmaster GWN-Q1000 and Apple Watch Series each bring their unique strengths to the table, catering to different preferences and needs. Whether you’re looking for advanced swim metrics, rugged durability, or comprehensive sensor capabilities, these watches ensure that you can dive into the depths with confidence and style. So, strap on your chosen timepiece and embark on aquatic adventures that will be enhanced by these innovative companions on your wrist. Click here to learn the best watches for travel.

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Todd Omohundro

My initial goal was to have a watch that looks super cool and also take advantages of the amazing smartwatches available on the market but that evolved into this web site to help others learn about watches and clocks of all kinds! The right watch is pretty magical my goal is to help you find it!

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