The 16 Best Waterproof Watches in 2021 [Multi-Purpose, Surfing, Kids]

Waterproof Watch

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Whether you are showering, swimming, or deep-sea diving, there are plenty of waterproof watches to suit your needs.

Designed to keep on telling the time, even when they get wet, these watches also feature a wide range of other functions that make them an excellent choice for outdoor adventurers and water lovers alike.

Things To Consider With Waterproof Watches

Your new watch needs to offer reliable protection in wet conditions. Because not all waterproof watches are the same, consider the following before you buy:

Waterproofing

Many watches claim to be waterproof when they are, in fact, not. Don’t fall victim to the downfalls of an inferior watch — instead, find out just how waterproof it is before you buy.

Most waterproof watches are rated in the following ways:

  • 3 ATM/bar/30m — These watches are usually only resistant against rain and light splashes.
  • 5 ATM/bar/50m — This level of waterproofing should enable your watch to be used while swimming, but it does not offer a high enough level of protection for use while diving.
  • 10 ATM/bar/100m — These types of watches are a great choice for most water sports, including swimming, snorkeling, and sailing, but may still not be strong enough to withstand jumping and diving.
  • 20 ATM/bar/200m — If you want to go diving and enjoy a wide range of water sports or year-round wear in all weather, this type of watch is what you need.

Bottom Line: To ensure that your new watch is fit for purpose, consider the kind of activities you think you might wear it for, and choose the level of waterproofing accordingly.

Functions

At the very least, your waterproof watch should be able to show you the time, set an alarm, and light up in the dark. Many modern watches are smart by design and feature many additional functions that will help you track your progress both in and out of the water.

Some more expensive models come with built-in GPS, heart rate monitors, fitness trackers, sleep trackers, and even axis compasses and barometric altimeters. Smartwatches can also sync with your cell phone, giving you easy access to your apps, messages, and calls on the go.

Battery

If you opt for a smartwatch, it will need to be charged up before you hit the road. The battery life will depend on how you intend to use the watch, with GPS modes draining the battery much faster than just regular time-telling modes.

Analog watches, on the other hand, usually come with a built-in watch battery that can last for years at a time. These may be more suitable if you are planning on going off-grid.

Display

Digital LCDs make it easy to see the time and other statistics in an instant. With backlight functions, you can get a clear reading, even in the dark, and most watches will allow you to customize the display to view the most important measurements.

Analog watches usually come with fluorescent hands that can be seen easily even in low light conditions, and many also feature a circular backlight that will illuminate the watch face at the touch of a button.

Hot Tip: Waterproof watches should also come with fog-proof glass to prevent condensation from obscuring your view.

Strap

Your watch will be useless to you if it keeps falling off your wrist — not to mention how frustrating it will be if it gets lost along the way.

Choose from silicone or fabric straps for waterproof watches, and look for models that offer a good quality buckle or fastening to ensure that it stays put while you are wearing it.

The 10 Best Multi-Purpose Waterproof Watches

1. All-around Fitness Tracker With a Built-in Payment Function

Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3

This awesome smartwatch lets you monitor your performance, make payments, and track in real-time, all in one easy to wear, smart-looking package.

Compatible with the Connect IQ store, this watch lets you download watch faces, widgets, and apps to ensure that you can enjoy a completely personalized feel on your wrist. It also offers a battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode or 13 hours in GPS mode.

Perfect for those who like to stay in shape, this watch can also monitor your fitness using the VO2 max fitness tracker, and with more than 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga and running, you can watch it happen in real-time.

You can create custom running, cycling, cardio, or strength workouts, and with a contactless pay solution, you can tap and pay, provided that your bank card supports this option.

Built to last, the Garmin Chroma Display is easy to read, even in direct sunlight, and the tough exterior can withstand water from the rain or even in the shower.

Available in a choice of stainless steel, slate, and rose gold, this incredible-looking smartwatch has a super easy-to-use side swipe interface that makes for speedy scrolling and swift navigations through customized menus and widgets.

What We Like

  • This watch works brilliantly as a fitness tracker.

What We Don’t Like

  • It does vibrate a lot.

2. Blends Urban Looks With Outdoor Living

Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct Watch

Rugged and ready for anything, this smartwatch has been constructed to U.S. military standards to 810G and offers incredible thermal, shock, and water resistance up to 100 meters.

With a backtrack feature, it will always be on hand to help you to find your way home, and with easy access to the Garmin Explore website and app, you can plan your wildest adventures way in advance.

With a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, as well as multiple global navigation satellite systems such as GPS, Glonass, and Galileo, you can track your way through some of the most challenging environments just by looking at your wrist.

To keep track of your performance, it can also monitor your heart rate, activity, and stress levels, and this watch is suitable for use in all weathers and terrain.

Offering an impressive 14 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and 16 hours in GPS mode, this is a brilliant choice for anyone who likes to trail, trek, hike, cycle, and navigate their way far from the beaten path.

What We Like

  • This is the perfect smartwatch for outdoor adventurers.

What We Don’t Like

  • The menu is a little clumsy to navigate.

3. The Best Smartwatch for Social Adventurers

Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch

Connect to your Amazon Alexa with this Fitbit smartwatch that lets you get news updates, check the weather, and control your Spotify app. You can also enjoy a better night’s sleep with REM and sleep stage tracking and monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day.

Offering a larger display than some other smartwatches, your information is only ever a glance away, and with a 6+ day battery life in regular mode, you can even make calls, send texts and view your calendar while you are away from home.

This clever little watch is also able to track your steps, distance and calories burned, as well as notating your hourly activity, active minutes, and how many floors you have climbed.

Available in a selection of stunning colors, this watch operates in temperatures between 50 to 140 degrees and a maximum altitude of 8,535 meters.

Water-resistant to a depth of 50 meters, it can be worn when swimming, and with the ability to link to a full range of apps, this watch feels like having all the convenience of your phone right there on your wrist.

What We Like

  • This watch is a great choice for the pool.

What We Don’t Like

  • It feels a bit complicated to work your way around.

4. Waterproof Watch for Those Who Like To Work Out

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker

With a built-in GPS, you can track both your pace and distance on the easy-to-read screen. Perfect for use when running, hiking, working out, and so much more, this smartwatch lets you view your intensity map so you can track your heart rate along the way.

The Active Zone alerts you to targets met while you exercise, and the 24/7 heart rate tracker lets your more efficiently track the calories you burn.

With the ability to sync to Mac OS X 12.2 and up, iPhone 5S and later, iPad 5 and later, and Android 7.0 and later, this is an extremely versatile smartwatch that lets you track your workout in real-time.

Swim-proof and water-resistant, you can wear this watch in and out of the pool, as well as the shower, and the multi-day battery can last up to 7 days, or 5 hours when using the built-in GPS.

With a dedicated sleep app, you can even monitor your vitals while you are in bed to ensure a better night’s sleep every time.

What We Like

  • The charger is really easy to use.

What We Don’t Like

  • The GPS can be a bit hit and miss.

5. Stand-alone Smartwatch for Off-grid Runners

Garmin Forerunner 35

With a built-in GPS, you can use satellite information to track how far, how fast, and where you are running. Designed specifically with the needs of active individuals in mind, this phone can track your vitals even when you are under tree cover or out in bad weather.

With no phone required, this smartwatch offers 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and the vibration alerts notify you of running prompts, activity tracking milestones, smart notifications, and your virtual pacing progress.

With an easy-to-read display that can even be seen in bright sunlight and dark conditions, the almost 1-inch square design makes it easy to read, even while you are running.

Featuring smart connectivity for automatic uploads, smart notifications, live track, music controls, and automatic updates, this watch takes care of the important stuff so you can concentrate on running.

What We Like

  • This is a great smartwatch for running.

What We Don’t Like

  • The straps aren’t the most comfortable.

6. Chunky Sports Watch With Retro Styling

Casio Men’s G-Shock Quartz Watch

With a retro look and an almost indestructible design, this awesome sports watch features everything you need for outdoor adventures without all the bells and whistles that you would expect to find on a smartwatch.

Shock resistant and featuring a comfortable resin strap, this watch can be worn while hiking, walking, running, and so much more, and the quartz digital movement with the accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month ensures that you are always right on time.

With functions including a multi-function alarm, 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, hourly time signal, auto calendar, and 12- and 24-hour formats, this is a traditional watch that offers plenty of modern conveniences.

Water-resistant to 660 feet (200 meters), it is a durable sports watch that is suitable for swimming, surfing, and even scuba diving.

What We Like

  • The watch has retro, rugged looks and a functional design.

What We Don’t Like

  • The adjust button is tricky to use.

7. Timex Watch for Outdoor Adventurers

Timex Men’s Expedition Acadia Full Size Watch

With its clean and simple military design, the Timex brand is renowned for its accurate movements and affordable price, and this particular model gives you a lot of watch for your money.

Available in a choice of colors ways, this simple but incredibly reliable wristwatch comes with a 20mm nylon strap that fits up to an 8-inch wrist circumference.

The classic black dial has an easy-to-read date window at 3 o’clock, and with full Arabic numbers with contrasting Roman numerals, this is an excellent choice for adventurers who want to stay stylish.

The indigo light-up watch dial with luminous hands makes it easy to read in all weathers. Being water-resistant up to 50 meters (65 feet), this watch is suitable for short periods of recreational swimming and dips in the pool, and even light showers.

What We Like

  • Timex offers a whole lot of watch for not a lot of money.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The sizing may not be suitable for smaller wrists.

8. Full-size Sports Watch for Rugged Adventures

Timex Full-Size Ironman Rugged 30 Watch

This Timex Ironman watch features a large display that makes it easier to see while you are out walking, running, hiking, and so much more. Fast 5-button access to the stopwatch memory features a host of functions that make it more than suitable for numerous outdoor activities.

With a 100-hour chronograph with 30-lap memory and a 24-hour countdown timer, this watch will keep you on track at all times.

With 3 daily, weekday, or weekend alarms, as well as a 24-hour military time mode, 2 time zones, and day, date, and monthly calendar, this watch will quickly become one of your best-loved pieces of gear.

With a black 44mm resin case that has an acrylic lens and black digital display, the Indiglo light-watch dial makes it easy to read in all light conditions. Being water-resistant up to 100 meters, it can even be worn when you are in the pool, shower, or ocean.

What We Like

  • This watch is the perfect combination of function and form.

What We Don’t Like

  • The all-black design can be a little bit difficult to read.

9. Exceptional Women’s Waterproof Watch

Armitron Sport Women’s Digital Chronograph

This stunning watch comes in a selection of muted grays, blue, and green colorways, and the classic good looks make this watch as beautiful to look at as it is practical to wear.

A 37.5mm resin case features stunning contrasting colored accents, and the LCD makes it easy to check the time during the day and night.

Offering a wide range of functions that make it suitable for those who like to enjoy life in the great outdoors, this watch features a chronograph with alarm, lap time, dual time, military time, and an easy-to-use backlight.

With a reliable Quartz movement and digital display, you can ensure that this watch always keeps time perfectly. Water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet), this watch can even be worn when you are swimming, surfing, scuba diving, and so much more.

What We Like

  • This watch is rugged and offers all the basic functions.

What We Don’t Like

  • The strap isn’t of great quality.

10. Solar-powered Waterproof Sports Watch

Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch

Chunky but fun, this brilliant sports watch offers many features, including a digital compass, an altimeter, barometer, and thermometer, and an innovative solar power design.

With a 51mm stainless steel case and mineral dial window, it is durable and easy to read, and the quartz movement with digital display ensures that it never misses a second.

With enough battery life to last approximately 6 months on a single charge, this awesome watch comes with 5 daily alarms, a 1/100-second stopwatch, a fully automatic calendar that has been preprogrammed until 2099, a countdown timer, and a choice of 12- or 24-hour formats.

With a resin wristband that has a comfortable buckle closure and water resistance to 100 meters, this solar watch can be used both in and out of the water.

What We Like

  • Casio has built this watch to last for a long time.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite bulky.

The 3 Best Surfing Waterproof Watches

1. Waterproof Surfing Watch With Vintage Styling

Rip Curl Watch

The Atom watch is made by the surfing giants at Rip Curl and features a vintage digital look combined with a ton of modern features.

Designed to be just the right size to fit perfectly underneath your wetsuit, this watch has a quartz movement with a digital display to ensure accurate timekeeping, and the plastic strap is comfortable to wear, even while you are working out.

In addition, the protective mineral crystal dial window with a backlight can be seen in all lighting conditions, and the rectangular shape will sit neatly on your wrist, even while you are surfing.

Water-resistant to 100 meters, this watch is suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and use in the shower, but not quite tough enough to handle diving in deeper waters.

What We Like

  • The strap sits flat against your wrist.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is difficult to access some of the functions.

2. Waterproof Watch for Serious Surfers

Rip Curl Men’s SearchGPS Quartz Sport Watch

Designed to work well in all surfing conditions, this watch can track the tide and measure your surf sessions with the patented Rip Curl GPS surf watch function.

You can count your waves, record your top speeds, measure the distance you have traveled and even notate the amount of time you have spent in the water.

With a rechargeable battery that is designed to last for many hours at a time, this watch has a built-in GPS and activity tracker. Designed to let you review your stats live, it also lets you calculate your speed, duration, and distance.

With an alarm, stopwatch, and time, you will never be late, and the easy-to-read display lets you see the time and date and track the tides while you are riding the waves.

Waterproof up to 100 meters, this watch is durable enough to withstand regular use in the waves and water, and being suitable for use while enjoying a wide range of sporting activities, this watch is an excellent choice for surfers who like to stay just as active back on land.

What We Like

  • This sport watch is brilliant both on land and out in the water.

What We Don’t Like

  • The GPS firmware isn’t the most reliable.

3. Eco-friendly Waterproof Watch Made Using Recycled Plastics

NIXON Base Tide Pro A1307-100M Water Resistant Men’s Digital Surf Watch

With a fiber-reinforced polycarbonate case, this brilliant watch is water-resistant to 100 meters. Preprogrammed with tide information for 550 beaches worldwide, this watch will quickly become a surfers’ best friend.

With high and low tide data, sunrise and sunset, and a wealth of other useful information, you can toggle between tide graph and date to suit your individual preference. Also featuring a chronograph timer, 3 alarms, and a backlight, this watch has everything you need all in one attractive little package.

Designed with the needs of the water sports enthusiast in mind, this watch features the patented Locking Looper, and the custom digital module with all of that preprogrammed data makes it easy to find the very best waves.

What We Like

  • This brilliant watch has an eco-friendly design.

What We Don’t Like

  • The preprogrammed tides can be a little off.

The 3 Best Kids’ Waterproof Watches

1. Everyday Waterproof Watch for Active Children

Kids Digital Sports Watch

This awesome kid’s watch is waterproof to 50 meters, making it an excellent choice for younger water lovers. Tough and durable, it can withstand the knocks and falls of everyday wear, and the soft PU material is skin-friendly and built to last.

Available in a choice of cute colors and camo designs, this watch is suitable for both boys and girls who like to keep track of time.

The adjustable strap will ensure that the watch stays firmly on your child’s wrist, and the intelligent functions will keep your little one on time and always ready to go.

With a stopwatch, date, hours, minutes, calendar, and alarm clock, your child will quickly learn how to make the most of the functions, and with the EL night light, it’s easy to read, even in the dark.

Built with an original Japanese digital movement, this watch offers precise and accurate timekeeping, and the long-lasting battery means that it will keep your kids on time for many years to come.

What We Like

  • This durable watch is great for active kids.

What We Don’t Like

  • The quality is pretty much what you would expect for a cheap kids’ watch.

2. The Cutest Little Kids’ Waterproof Timepiece

Venhoo Kids Watches 3D Cartoon Waterproof Toddler Wrist Digital

This watch makes telling the time more fun than ever before, with its choice of 7 LED colors and supercute unicorn design.

The chunky 3D design feels soft and comfortable on the skin, and the cartoon images come in a choice of 14 different colorways. Easy to read, it features a large dial and numbers, and with the press of a button, it can be illuminated for 3 seconds for use in the dark.

Offering a variety of functions, this watch has an alarm clock, week, date, calendar, and a choice of 12- or 24-hour clock settings. It also has an hourly chime to help your little one keep track of time, and being both shockproof and 3ATM waterproof, it has been built to last.

Made from safe and non-toxic materials, the silicone strap is easily adjustable, and with a Japanese movement and clear resin material glass, this watch is safe, reliable, and a supercute choice for girls from 4 years old.

What We Like

  • This watch feels high quality despite its low price.

What We Don’t Like

  • The functions might be complicated for younger children.

3. Waterproof Training Watch for Kids

Kids’ Teaching Watch for Girls and Boys

With a Japanese quartz movement, this cute and easy-to-read wristwatch is designed to keep time perfectly. Designed to help your little one to learn to tell the time, it comes with a supersoft silicone strap that can be adjusted to fit children between 4 and 10 years of age.

Offering impressive battery life, your child can wear this watch every day without worrying about it losing time, and the stainless steel casing is shock- and water-resistant, ensuring that it can withstand the daily rigors of school and play.

Made from safe and flexible materials, it is lightweight and durable, and the brightly colored Arabic display makes it easy for you to teach your child how to tell the time.

What We Like

  • The watch is easy to read and simple to use.

What We Don’t Like

  • The wristband does feel a little flimsy.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are looking for a state-of-the-art smartwatch that can track your fitness while navigating your way or a more traditional watch that can be used in all weathers, make sure the watch you buy is capable enough to withstand water.

Easy to use, rugged, and built to last, the right waterproof watch will make light work of your outdoor and underwater activities.


Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between water-resistant and waterproof watches?

Depending on the make and model, a water-resistant watch can only stand water for very short periods. On the other hand, a waterproof watch is impenetrable to water entirely.

How long can a water resistant watch be underwater?

A waterproof-resistant watch is not fully waterproof and should not be in the water for long periods. A watch may only function in humid conditions or survive a quick splash depending on its water resistance. Others may last a few minutes underwater. If you plan on using a watch in water, it is best to invest in a waterproof watch.

What watch can I wear while swimming?

There are plenty of waterproof watches out there that are ideal for swimming. Brands such as Garmin and Fitbit make various models of watches that are perfect for tracking your swimming activities.

Can you wear a dive watch in the shower?

Waterproof watches shouldn’t be worn in the shower. When you go from cold water or even room temperature to hot water, the rapid change causes air to get sucked in. Over time this will cause damage to your watch, even if it is waterproof.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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