Buckle up the best fitness watches for men

We’ve tried-and-tested the 8 finest smartwatches on the market for sportsmen and fitness fanatics…

What do you want from a watch? If it’s solely time-telling, click away now and content yourself with a nice sophisticated-but-simple Swiss timepiece. But, if you’re after something more — a watch with features and tech beyond the traditional — you’ve come to the right place.

From a trio of wearables from smartphone manufacturers to a pair of devices from time-honoured heritage watchmakers, we’ve buckled up the best fitness gadgets on the market. So have a scroll, choose your favourite — and learn how these watches can slip under your cuff and into your daily routine…

Apple Watch Series 7

Who should buy one? People with iPhones. Such is the synchronicity and connectivity of Apple’s devices that this watch is the perfect choice for existing brand users. And the benefits reach way beyond conventional fitness tracking.

What can it measure? Among other things, the Series 7 can take an ECG to check your heart rhythm, measure your blood oxygen level with a powerful sensor and track your sleep to ensure you meet your rest and recuperation goals.

What other features? The case is crack, dust and water resistant, and features an always-on retina display. We particularly like the choice of five all-new aluminium colours. Options range from ‘Starlight’ to ‘Midnight’.

Buckle up the best fitness watches for men

Apple Watch Series 7

£449.00

Buy Now

Samsung Galaxy Watch4

Who should buy one? People with Samsung phones. It’s a simple yet solid rule — similar to our Apple advice above. And, like the Apple Watch, this device is also highly customisable; with the choice of analogue or digital faces, and a variety of fonts, colours and straps.

What can it measure? The Samsung ‘BioActive Sensor’ is a seriously clever bit of kit. As well as keeping track of your heart rate, it can also take a BIA measurement using just two fingers in 15 seconds, checking fat percentage, skeletal muscle and body water levels. Nifty.

What other features? It can recognise almost 100 different workouts, and can set live challenges with your friends — on everything from run times to step counts. That ‘Armor Aluminum’ metal case is pretty strong, too, so perhaps a good best for extreme sportsmen.

Buckle up the best fitness watches for men

Samsung Galaxy Watch4

£269.00

Buy Now

Fitbit Sense

Who should buy one? Those of you looking to calm down. Most smartwatches and fitness trackers help you become more aware of your heart rate and stress levels, but this ‘Sense’ model also comes with a 6-month subscription to the Calm app.

What can it measure? Heart rate, breathing rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature and blood oxygen levels — as well as using a first-of-its-kind, on-wrist EDA Scan app that generates a daily ‘Stress Management Score’ for you. 

What other features? You can access Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa through this Fitbit, take Bluetooth calls and customise your clock face. It’s also got a battery that lasts almost a full week, and can fuel up to 24 hours charge in just 12 minutes.

Montblanc Summit 2+

Who should buy one? Those of you struggling to part with your proper wristwatches. This, the first of two timepieces we’ve selected from heritage Swiss watchmakers, introduces modern tech to traditional horology in understated style.

What can it measure? The ‘Summit 2+’ packs plenty of sensors into its DLC-coated stainless steel case; including heart rate sensor, GPS, microphone, altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope and an ambient light sensor.

What other features? That black rubber strap is something special. Perfect for fitness fanatics, it balances ‘sports’ and ‘smarts’ beautifully, and is embossed with a handsome black diamond pattern. Ideal to take you from the office to the gym — and back again.

Buckle up the best fitness watches for men

Montblanc Summit 2+

£1,060.00

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TAG Heuer Connected ‘Golf Edition’

Who should buy one? Golfers. The second of our selection to be crafted by a consummate Swiss watchmaker, this particular TAG Heuer model has been designed specifically for discerning linksmen.

What can it measure? Using the exclusive TAG Heuer Golf app, you’ll be able to track your shots and view three-dimensional course maps to chart your game; as well as the usual heart rate, speed and pace measuring.

What other features? Perhaps our favourite feature is the ‘Club Recommendation’. That’s right; thanks to its precise 3D mapping technology and in-depth statistical analysis, it’ll know whether you need a wood or wedge for your next shot.

Buckle up the best fitness watches for men

TAG Heuer Connected ‘Golf Edition’

£2,100.00

Buy Now

Garmin Venu 2

Who should buy one? The statisticians amongst you. Garmin’s enviable ‘Venu 2’ is one of the best trackers we’ve ever buckled up; with the ability to track and trace every factor and figure a budding sportsman could want.

What can it measure? You name it. The ‘Health Snapshot’ feature will ask you to log a 2-minute session, from which it will determine heart rate and variability, blood oxygen saturation, respiration levels, stress levels and more.

What other features? The ‘Body Battery’ monitoring is particularly good — allowing you to chart your energy levels throughout the day. Also handy: ‘Hydration Tracking’ with notifications to remind you of your daily fluid intake.

Polar Vantage V2

Who should buy one? Athletes. Real, proper athletes. Polar are renowned for creating tip-top tools for serious sportsmen — and this stripped-down, pared-back, no-nonsense watch is no different. Crafted from simple, lightweight aluminium, it’s perfect for those who value precision above all else.

What can it measure? There’s assisted GPS to track your location, a calorie counter, a sleep tracker and a heart rate monitor that makes use of Polar’s ‘Precision Prime’ OHR technology.

What other features? The best is probably ‘Recovery Pro’, a feature that will inform you when your body has fully recovered from your previous workout and give you the all-clear for another training session.

Huawei Watch 3 Pro

Who should buy one? In the same way that Samsung and Apple owners should buy Samsung and Apple watches, this Huawei will integrate most neatly into the life of existing Huawei handset users, syncing as it does with the Huawei Health app.

What can it measure? Continuous health monitoring includes heart rate sensing, blood oxygen saturation levels, skin temperature and — cleverly in this post-pandemic world — hand-washing detection.

What other features? Up to 21 days of battery life (among the sector’s best), over 100 different sports modes (also among the sector’s best) and a genuine leather strap to appease watch traditionalists and gadget-mad sartorialists alike.

Want more watches? Kristian Haagen shares his most stylish timepieces of 2021…

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