Sports Watches: A Matter Of Timing
Luxury sport 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, to the comparatively discreet Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition introduced earlier this year, each is an example of creativity and utility.
At its most basic, a sports watch is designed to withstand the stresses of a sporting activity. But the term is more generally used for watches that are durable, with functional attributes that make it a go-to timepiece for everyday use or for more rugged activities.
Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition
This year’s limited edition Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition, introduced in honor of the 2022 rally held in Italy, comprises two 44mm chronographs: one in stainless steel and the other is steel and ethical rose gold—the former includes 1,000 watches, the latter just 250.
The chronograph counters at 6 and 12 o’clock feature a snailed pattern and red-tipped hands; the small seconds subdial, also with a snailed design, is at 9 o’clock. The large central sweep-seconds hand is also tipped in red, the official color of the race. The baton-style hands and hour markers are treated with Super-Luminova.
Inside, the COSC-certified self-winding chronograph movement has a frequency of 28,800 vph and offers power reserve of 48 hours. It measures in at 30.40mm in diameter, with a thickness of 7.90mm.
The 250-piece steel and ethical rose gold version uses 18-karat rose gold for the screw-lock ratcheted crown, which is engraved—like its steel-cased counterpart—with a steering wheel motif. So, too, the large-ish mushroom-shaped engraved pushers are in rose gold, as is the bezel.
Sports watch functions
The most popular material used for crafting a sports watchcase is undoubtedly stainless steel, but other materials like titanium or ceramic are also frequently used, favored for their light weight, sturdiness and scratch resistance.
Available functions are numerous within the realm of sports watches, many 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 important. A dive watch most often includes a screw-in caseback and screw-in crown or crown protector 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 materials impervious to moisture like rubber, textile, or even rubber-lined leather as in the Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 shown here.
A note about size
Personal preference, wrist circumference and comfort determine the size of your sports watch, but suffice it to say that the larger-than-life watchcases seen several years ago have played out their popularity.
Luxury sports watches
While you may not immediately envision yourself surfside in your Patek Philippe Nautilus or Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas, both collections are great examples of what’s available in the upper echelons of sports watch-dom. While pricey, these timepieces are handsome, reliable, and perhaps most importantly, come from well-respected brands that make them a pleasure to own—wherever they are destined to take you.