Gym Class Heroes

As with dressing well, there shouldn’t be any hard and fast rules to watch wearing. That said, if you can find a watch that not only looks great but is fit for purpose too, you’re obviously onto a winner. Translate that into fitness though and the field narrows somewhat. Traditional wisdom suggests that you can tell a great deal about a person by looking at their watch: ten years ago, that phrase meant making assumptions about social status and income, but rarely how fit you were. With the emergence of fitness trackers though, your watch can now wax lyrical about how fast you walked to work and whether you had a good night’s sleep.  At the same time, this advancement in technology, coupled with a much more relaxed way of dressing has lead to a new breed of watch that will hold its own in (and out) of the gym.

Perhaps the most famous example is the TAG Heuer Connected. Designed to look like a classic timepiece just with added functionality, the Connected does exactly as its name suggests and keeps you plugged into the net at all times. Email and text notifications as well as maps, directions and meetings, all accessed using the touch screen, add a new layer of practicality. In addition, standard apps including Google Fit, let you track your fitness progress. This might sound like lip service but actually, tracking your progress is a vital and often overlooked part of achieving a fitness goal. Where the Connected really comes into its own though is its design. The rubber strap and brushed, matte finish gives it a sportier feel without sacrificing what it means to own a fine watch. The result looks at home on your wrist whether you’re holding a medicine ball or a martini. A word of caution: checking your emails is not conducive to getting the best out of an hour in the gym, so turn off your notifications.

In a clever side step of the watch face/fit compromise, the Montblanc E Strap combines a fitness band strap and a classic chronograph face to give you the best of both worlds. Compatible with ios and Android, the E Strap allows you to set daily goals and track your progress on a weekly and monthly basis as well as alerting you to incoming calls and imminent appointments. Design wise, the slim case means it won’t get in the way while you’re running and, water resistant to 30 meters, you can swim with it on too.

If the idea of smart tracking doesn’t appeal but a gym suitable watch does, Hublot, a brand intrinsically linked with sport, may be the answer. Always aiming to push the boundaries of what fine watchmaking should be about, their Classic Fusion range blends beautiful automatic movements with less traditional strap materials (rubber again) that won’t jar with your gym kit.

Finally, if a sporty design doesn’t get your pulse racing, consider the Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch, which looks in every aspect to be a classic Swiss timepiece. Underneath its crown though, lies enough tech to track your sleep patterns to within 95% accuracy, log not just walks but your runs, too and thanks to a clever bit of engineering, has a battery life of over two years.

With technology advancing on an almost constant basis, you can expect big things of the gym friendly watch over the next five years. All you have to do now is put one on and make sure you work as hard as it does.