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These Soccer Watches Are As Beautiful As the Game Itself

These Soccer Watches Are As Beautiful As the Game Itself

In honor of the Women’s World Cup, here are a half-dozen epic timepieces designed specifically for football.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off last week, and as I do with most things in my life, I found a way to make the event about watches.

I have a perverse appreciation for watches made for ultra-specific tasks. These pieces are typically called “purpose-built” watches or chronographs and come in many flavors. (The first watch in this genre was designed for doctors in the 1700s, with a pulsometer that measured a patient’s heart rate.) Take the new Skipper Carrera that Tag Heuer released last week. The model, a revival of a cult watch from 1968, features a 15-minute counter designed for one thing and one thing only: yachting regattas. And I love riding on papa’s yacht unspooling a spinnaker while my gennaker…totally…gennakes. Okay, I’ve never been on a yacht, but I would totally buy that Skipper anyway.

Soccer timers are designed with the same strain of purpose. Many come with markings or chronographs that help delineate the two 45-minute halves of a match, and some even come prepared for stoppage time. Below are some of my favorites.

Richard Mille RM11-04

The Richard Mille RM11-04 was made for Italian national team manager Roberto Mancini. It even records stoppage time! Naturally, it comes in the color of the Azzurri. This is everything a modern-day sport watch should be: futuristic-looking but full of purpose.

Timex x Nigel Cabourn Referee Watch

A watch VERY high up on my gotta-have-it list. Watches like this and the Skipper are proof that highly specific design briefs often yield the best results. This “referee” watch came out of a collaboration between Timex and the designer Nigel Cabourn. It’s not as technical as the Richard Mille but gets a lot done, with less showiness. The 45 minutes of a half are color blocked in a peachy red-orange.

Breitling Ref. 34-31 “Referee”

The biggest contributors to the soccer watch space are probably Breitling and Omega. Both have many beautiful vintage models in their back catalog that use the same basic color-blocking scheme as the Timex above.

Omega Seamaster Soccer Timer

Omega especially used soccer timers as an excuse to jazz watches up with bold colors in the name of functionality.

Seiko 7017-6000 “Soccer Basketball” Speed-Timer

A Seiko 5 Speed-Timer blessed with the referee timer layout? I need it.

Hublot Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

For the real football freaks. Hublot made a smart watch for the most recent World Cup that entered “MATCH MODE”—also the name for the state of being I enter when it’s time to enjoy my Husband Meal—whenever a game kicked off. The edge of the watch would track the time left in a live match as well as major happenings such as goals and red or yellow cards.