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Sailing watches
Team McLube


The Publisher

Jul 4, 2012, 7:15 AM

Post #1 of 10 (18735 views)
Sailing watches Log-In to Post/Reply

When the Scuttlebutt editor realized his aging eyes could no longer read the digits on his trusted Timex Ironman, it was time to search for a new option. To narrow the hunt for a new racing watch, the requirements were bigger numbers but a watch that could be worn all the time.

A shout out on Scuttlebutt's Facebook page provided plenty of suggestions, which then led to the Optimum Time OS 223 V from Ocean Racing. Despite an instruction book that required close reading, the 10mm digit height seem sufficient, and the Velcro band will provide some flexibility.

But clearly there are plenty of choices. Here is what was gathered:

Nicolas Felix ;)
You have a wide range of choice from less than 100$ to xxxxxxx$. Depending your budget and the style casual, sport, dressed, 'im sure you'll find the watch that fits your needs.

Marcos Weinstein
Suunto makes quite a variety of wearable and reasonably priced yachting watches. See link:

Maria Ryan
Ex pro husband loving his Gill Regatta Master II - bought for the large numbers!

Mario Sampaio
Suunto with total satisfaction in 12 years, great graphics too

Riaz Latifullah
Nike Triax Speed running watch (model WR0127-004 or similar). BIG numbers with the face rotated about 30 degrees clockwise (works well on your left wrist). Buttons don't get pressed accidentally. Inexpensive ~ $50, but may be hard to find. Mine is about 4 years old and works like a charm.

Kieran Murphy
A Casio SPS-300C-1VER is a good option. on countdown mode it has big minute and second numbers when counting down, its pretty cheap as well as the ISAF beeps like the 5,4,1 and go. if you want even bigger numbers the optimum OS315 is arguably the best start watch you can get but a bit more expensive.

Alex Jomarron
Casio Sea Pathfinder!

Jaime Torres
I second the Gill Regatta MasterII, i love mine and the numbers are huge! plus the sync feature is awesome

Andy Willett
I now have a Gill Regatta Master II - excellent watch, really pleased with it. Had the Casio Pathfinder for just over 1 year before the screws corroded on the back and let in water :(

Marc Jacobi
My current fav is an Armitron I bought at WalMart for $29(!) Mulitple alarms, countdown, count-up, two time zones, huge numbers, intuitive interface--can't ask for more!

David Reich
I lilt my Optimum sailing watch. I have had 2. Best "affordable" yacht timer since Sieiko quit making theirs years ago. Has 5min countdown, sync, etc. also can change out the band which it important to me as I like a continuous Velcro band in case a pin pops. I also don't care for plastic bands. Also has big numbers for my aging eyes :)

Scott Boye
Timex Data Link USB. There's one on eBay right now for $145. It's got a bunch of different countdown options. I keep one set at 3 minutes for high school and college matches, another with a rolling 5 minutes for PHRF starts and yet another on 5 minutes that goes to a stopwatch to keep track of actual race time. There's more functions than an average geek can figure out and it has a stainles bracelet that looks more professional than the rubber strap of a lot of sports watches.

Rick Day
Anyone know of a good one with audible coundown beeps like for jr sailing practices? 5,4,3,2,1,30,20,10,54321....

Amber Marie Cameron
Suunto are really good.

Sarah Foscarini
Ronstan race watch. Big numbers has beeps and counts u, also has variety of count down options.

Ed Kriese has the entire line of Optimum Time sailing watches in stock for immediate delivery in N. America. Optimum Time has created the best, purpose designed sailing watches. They have large, easy-to-read digits, pre-programmed 5,4,1,0 ISAF start sequences, loud audible alerts, a sync feature for spot on starts and bright electro-luminescence backlight displays for nighttime viewing. Shock and water resistant, all watches come with a one year warranty plus an easy to understand manual. Home Page:

Danielle Richards
Ronstan watch with stainless Steele band. Good size numbers, count down and up timer

Ken Mitchell
Commission your own iphone Ap. Audio countdown to water proof ear buds.

Dave Vieregg
Suunto Elementum Ventus Watch

Mary A. Wells
Check Walmart. They have a watch that only costs 8 or 9 dollars and does everything you need and has pretty big numbers.

Rick Tears

Geoff Waller

Randy Smith
Timex IRONMAN Traditional 30-Lap Oversize - The iconic Ironman* 30-Lap provides ...indispensable functions for athletes at any level. The classic styling is rooted deep in Ironman tradition, but updated with new functionality, design features and materials. Color updates keep the essential 30-Lap a fav....

Jesse Fradkin
Casio Men's DW9052-1V G-Shock Classic Digital Watch. Relatively inexpensive, well nigh indestructible, with count down timers for racing. While the numbers are not overly large, they appear fairly readable to me still. It's a dependable timepiece for a night watch in the North Atlantic, or at a dinner date at a decent restaurant.

Dave Wilhite
I like the Casio G-Shock GWM5610TH-1 or GWM5610B-1

Caragirl Sails
I swear by Rip Curl. I've trashed 3 Ironman and countless others. It does more then I ever imagined I'd need but has never failed on the stuff I can't be without. They're specialty is in surf industry. I swear the thing is shark proof... it has NAUTI style too. One drawback is the instruction booklet it comes with is impossibly small... I couldn't read it and I can still see.
Download the PDF from their website... Save your eyes!

Kim Tuthill
I use a Roots Athletics Orbit ( from Canada) watch to help start the short track slalom races at the World ice and Snow Sailing Championships! 6 hours per day for 7 days out in the wind and cold (15-35 mph and minus 20 F.)-way worse conditions than any wimpy "soft water " sailing races! ;-)

Andy Green
This is all you need. - Casio Collection - Timepieces - Products - CASIO
Casio UK Products.

Barney Harris
Just went thru the same process - - i say save yourself the time and effort. Timex still makes the old style triathlon watch - but you gotta dig for it on their web site. I bought two last time just so I'd have a spare. Since I stopped sailing 5o5s a triathlon watch now lasts well over a year.

David Irvine
Casio Seapathfinder with Titanium band. Sensational. Good in the boardroom, and great on the start line, plus tides etc etc

Craig Smith
Agree with David. SeaPathFinder is awesome (for those who need big numbers) and it's cheap. Also, House from the TV show wears it so it must be "cool"!

Bryan Peugh
Gill has a couple watches with nice sized numbers and there good every day watches as well.

Piet Van Os
Suunto yachtsman. I've had mine for 3 yrs and love it. Lots of info and big numbers for you too.

Mike Poltorak
Citizen Sailhawk stylish and functional

Chuck Allen

John Arndt
Sailmaster sundial

Tom Duggan
I have a drawer full of fancy but dead watches built by sailing product companies- either the works crap out or the wrist bands break (again and again). Timex Triathlon $35 with a cloth/velcro wrist band can't be killed.

David Barrow
Doesn't Musto do one?

Christian Jensen
Casio pro trek
And pretty much indestructible

John A. Glynn
Casio SeaPathfinder. All functions of the Pro Trek, plus moon phase (so you know when to howl at the moon). Big numbers.

Christian Jensen
John - the pro trek has moon phase too - keep howling

Stephanie Keefe Martin
Ronstan - big numbers!

The Publisher

Jul 12, 2012, 9:36 AM

Post #2 of 10 (17709 views)
Re: [The Publisher] Sailing watches [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

From: Virginia Jones
Subject: watches

Dear Craig Leweck:
Your comments about watches struck a very resonant note. Not only do I have aging eyes but my aging brain doesn't absorb the complex instructions for anything more than the most simple watch. I know that most sailors and particularly the racing fraternity, wish to have watches with various functions. I want to have a watch which is extremely simple and very easy to set. Larg[ish] digits, a light up feature, and the date...I don't want anything else. Alas, they are difficult to find. And they aren't cheap.

Also, they have batteries and batteries eventually need to be changed. The local pharmacy owner (keeping in mind that this is an island and we've not got much choice) used to change batteries but he's gotten in years and he says that his eyes aren't good enough, or his dexterity sufficient to do that. So, battery dies and unless you can find a jeweler (not on this island) who will change the battery, you get a new watch so the search starts all over again.

I found, and I regret to say it was on, a Timex Expedition which does what I need it to do. The digits are large and clear, a press of the button lights it up (for night watches) and it is easy to set. It was also inexpensive enough (through Amazon) so that when the battery dies, I can either attempt the change over myself, or replace the watch. It also isn't too awful to look at and is small enough not to be the kind of thing that snags on my clothes, the rigging, or something in the supermarket. There are other similar choices. They aren't, perhaps, as fancy as the watch you chose (if it is fancy) but they are sufficient unto my purposes and reasonably inexpensive.

Ginny Jones.


Aug 28, 2012, 5:14 PM

Post #3 of 10 (15152 views)
Re: [The Publisher] Sailing watches [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

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Post #4 of 10 (2030 views)
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Post #5 of 10 (1920 views)
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