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If we think about the three tools every referee needs to arbitrate a soccer match, the watch is the only irreplaceable one.
He can let a player know when it was yellow or red-carded; he can call the fouls verbally, screaming or talking, but he can’t count the time in its head.
We can conclude, therefore, that watches are an essential tool for a referee. If you’re thinking about starting a refereeing career, you should know the best soccer referee watches.
1. Casio W800H-1AV
This light, durable, and practical Cassio watch is undoubtedly among the best options for soccer referees. Its resin case offers long years of use. The ten years lasting lithium battery set an excellent cost-quality relationship.
Perhaps the most recognized watches brand on the planet, every Casio design offers simple yet effective devices to their users. This watch is typical of Cassio’s sober design, practical and straightforward to use.
The Casio W800-1AV has the brand’s classical esthetics, proven efficiency, and durability. The ten-year life of its lithium battery is challenging to pair for any sports watch in the market.
2. ZEWIK MEN TF7301
This watch is so complete that it can be used not only for soccer but also for any game or sport. Its chronograph of 1/100 seconds can measure up to 9 hours, 59 minutes, and 59.59 seconds.
It has a splittable memory, and it can recall up to ten laps. Its display shows the date, including day, month, and year. The watch has an alarm, and the user can choose between the twelve or twenty-four-hour format.
The Zewik Men TF7301 has a PVC case, very robust and durable. Many soccer referees choose this watch because it looks rough and fashionable.
This watch shows the date on the display when needed, and it also counts with an auto-calendar. It has a 12/24 format adjustable. It has 10 memory channels. It also shows hours, minutes, seconds, year, month, and day.
It is perfectly sealed, and it can handle swimming and soccer games played in the rain. However, it’s not recommendable to press any buttons when the watch is underwater.
This watch has an adjustable rubber strap that gives the user a tight grip and no discomfort.
One of its best features is the soccer time and stoppage time that grants the referee more precise control over game time.
This watch stands out as one of the most complete, accurate, and durable watches. It has a large display that makes the referee easier when reading the time is needed.
Having a large display offers the advantage for referees of looking at it without wasting too much time. A few seconds of looking at its watch could lead a referee to miss an important event in a game.
A 45 minutes countdown can be programmed. (the time frame can be changed manually) And in case there’s a need to referee in another sport, the Zewik watch can bet into more than two halves; it can be set into four quarters.
3. Champion Sports and Referee Watch
This watch is another example of a rugged sports watch. It has a stopwatch that goes to 24 hours. It is possible to separate and store workouts separately.
It also lets the user choose between a 12/24 hour format. It is possible to set alarms and program countdowns. It has a dual timer, and it’s water and shock-resistant.
This watch is very comfortable and pretty straightforward to use. It is not difficult to learn how to set it up and start using it.
Champions Sports is known for producing high-quality watches, and this time is not different. This watch is one of the favorites of many referees. It’s light, strong, easy to read and to use.
This watch has a four out of five-star rating in Amazon’s global client’s opinion.
It has a 24-hour stopwatch and a bright EL night light display. It is also waterproof, so it can be used on rainy days or even to swim.
The big difference between this watch and the rest of them is that the Champions Sports shows one thing at a time. It has a single display, so referees don’t get confused with too much information on the screen.
Perhaps the most important feature is its vibration mechanism. The watch can vibrate at the end of a countdown or set when the stopwatch reaches a specific time.
Many referees have trouble hearing alarms during games where the crowd is too noisy. In those cases, having a vibrating watch can be extremely helpful.
It is an excellent option for those beginning the refereeing career because of the display’s easy-to-set structure.
4. Ultrak Soccer and Referee’s Watch
This watch is perhaps a little bit more expensive than the previously mentioned in this article; still, it’s quality is worth every penny.
It has a soccer timer with the stoppage, a secondary count-up timer, and a programmable countdown timer. The Ultrak watch has a lithium battery and a convenient electro-luminescent backlight display.
The secondary timer is handy to track stoppage time, such as substitutions, injured players, controversial plays, or even VAR analysis.
It is possible to set up an alarm 45 or 60 seconds before the stopwatch reaches Full Time.
The most impressive feature of the Ultrak watch is the countdown timer. This feature also offers the possibility of a thirty second warning before the time reaches zero.
After the thirty seconds warning, and when the counter gets to zero, it starts counting up. This feature is excellent if there’s a need to add extra time to what was initially planned.
The Ultrak watch is a little bit smaller than the rest of the watches of its generation. It is light and barely felt on the wrist when wearing it.
It is the ideal watch for those who look for an all-terrain watch.
It is very accurate and efficient for refereeing and extremely comfortable for training and daily activities.
5. CakCity 1068 Men’s Digital Sports Watch
This watch is protected by a resin case; it has a Japanese machine and a digital display. This easy-to-read watch has a powerful electro-luminescent backlight and a large dial and numbers.
It can be used to practice any sport, it is shock-resistant and very comfortable to wear. It has a stopwatch, and it can be set into the military 24 hours mode.
It is waterproof, it has an auto-calendar and a LED display. Besides, it is meant to work correctly underwater; it’s not recommendable to press any buttons while submerged. That could harm the watch’s normal functioning.
This watch is so resistant that it is considered for many a military watch more than a sports watch.
Its adjustable band is made of high-quality Polyurethane (PU). This flexible yet robust material makes the perfect combination of softness and duration.
Many watch brands focus only on their devices’ duration, which is good, but sometimes it leads to stiff, uncomfortable wrist straps.
The user can tell that the strap is firm and steady, yet it either hurts a little when wearing it or is not very pleasant to use.
Here’s where the CakCity 1068 excels; it has the perfect combination of comfortability and useful life.
This watch can be used underwater; it can go up to 164 feet (50 meters) deep. It can be used under heavy rain while washing the dishes or even swimming.
Although, like with other watches, it’s not recommendable pressing any buttons when submerged. You can find it on Amazon.
6. Timex Ironman Classic 30
Timex’s Ironman models are considered by a lot of specialists the undisputed sports watch favorites. Their main attributes are lightness and stiffness.
The Ironman Classic is sealed; timers are accessible by pressing only one button, and it has an Indiglo backlight.
It has a durable and resistant resin strap that can adjust to an 8-inch circumference wrist. It can handle a 100-hour chronograph with 30-lap memory and has a 24-hour countdown.
This watch has an on-screen prompt that makes forward and backward setting easier. It is possible to set up three different alarms during the day. It also has weekday or weekend alarms and a military 24-hour mode.
It can handle three different timezones, and in its display, it is possible to see the day, date, and month calendar. Its battery can last longer than six years.
The case is a 38 millimeters robust resin case with an acrylic lens. It has a gray digital display with an Indiglo light-up watch dial.
It can handle up to 330 feet deep (100 meters), it is not recommended for diving, but it can take swimming and snorkeling perfectly.
The Ironman Classic is so light that after a few minutes of wearing it, the user forgets is wearing a watch. The Indiglo light-up makes it easy to read; it is like numbers jump in front of your eyes with none to little effort.
As the case is made of resin and not metal, the user won’t experience that black ring over the skin, nor feel the case burning over its wrist when using the watch in hot temperatures.
The Ironman’s backlight illuminates only the numbers and not the entire display; this feature makes it softer to the eye looking at the watch in the darkness.
The size of this watch makes it a great workout partner. It’s not too big nor too small. It is perfect for weight-lifting workout routines, and it won’t rub into the weight-lifting gloves.
This watch is much more than a soccer referee watch; it is a training watch; it is a hiking, running, swimming watch. Its multiple alarms are handy for counting reps and sets when training.
7. Leap Professional Digital Referee Watch
Leap is well known for making excellent quality chess clocks. That detail speaks for itself about this watch’s precision and accuracy.
The Professional Digital Referee Watch is suitable not only for soccer but also in several sports. It is possible to program and set a 45 minutes countdown. It also has an injured time setting.
This watch is considered one of the best for recording time of goals, misconducts, or even 4th official stats. The combination of the countdown tracker and the injured time feature makes Leap’s watch one of the best for refereeing.
It has a simple display, really easy to set, program, and understand. It is considered the ideal watch for beginners because it has every essential feature to arbitrate a soccer game, and it is easy to learn how to set it up correctly.
Leap’s watch makes following the game’s actions easier, it has an alarm that beeps 30 seconds before the time is up, and it keeps beeping from ten to ten seconds.
Another advantage of Leap’s professional referee watch is that it is way more affordable than other professional watches.
It has a 1/100 chronograph, and it can measure up to 9 hours, 59 minutes, and 59.59 seconds. It also has a recallable 10 laps feature.
The watch’s display shows the day, month, and year. It has an auto-calendar feature, and it can be set into a 12/24 hour mode. It has several adjustable alarms and a Lithium battery.
8. Robic SC-591 Referee’s Watch
This robust black plastic watch was specially built for soccer referees. It has exclusive dual independent game timers, one runs on a countdown from full minutes, and the other one goes up in 1/100 seconds.
It has a 1/100 second resolution applied to an impressive 50 memory recall stopwatch. Night users will find no issues using Robic’s watch; it has a powerful electro-luminescent backlight that makes consulting the time really easy in the darkness.
Setting up this watch is as easy as possible; its features can be learned in no time. It has a replaceable battery and a rugged full-size wrist strap.
Robic’s watch is considered one of the best soccer referee watches in the world. It was designed and engineered to be an easy-to-use watch for referees. It is a reliable and rugged watch.
It is water-resistant; it can handle any weather without losing its accuracy. It displays the time of the day, it has alarms and a calendar.
The watch also has an alarm feature that beeps 30 seconds before full time; the beeping sound is high, easily heard in noisy environments.
Holding the right top button it is possible to silence the alarms and turn the watch into vibrate mode.
This feature is convenient, especially in games where the crowd is too noisy or even when the match is so intense that the ref needs to continually look at the game.
This watch is designed especially for soccer games; the bottom row indicates 45 minutes and 00 seconds, a half time’s duration. When the game starts, the countdown will begin.
30 seconds before the time is up, an alarm will start beeping.
The upper row is a stoppage timer; it will count up until the stoppage ends. This time will be then automatically added to the time in the bottom row.
To start and stop the upper row, the stoppage time count, the user needs to press the upper left button.
This feature that automatically adds the stoppage time to the official clock makes the referees’ lives easier and their refereeing more accurate.
Stoppage time is always a matter of discussion in soccer games. The time added at the end of every game never seems to be accurate.
The countdown clock can be set in any time range, not only 45 minutes. The watch can be used in practically every match of any discipline.
It has a full one-year warranty from the factory.
9. Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smartwatch
Of course, smartwatches can be an excellent alternative for referees. This smartwatch is compatible with both Android and Apple phones.
Its battery lasts 24 hours, and it can be upgraded with a multi-day extended mode. The battery’s life will depend on the kind of use. It can be charged in less than an hour.
The screen spins 360 degrees to facilitate its reading.
It is possible to track heartbeats; it can monitor sleeping goals and restfulness. It’s equipped with a GPS, so it offers distance and activity tracking. It is also swimming proof.
As it’s imaginable, it is possible to install apps on it. From fitness to music apps, social, stopwatches, and more. It is compatible with Google fit and its incredible features to monitor workouts, training, and any activity during the matches.
The Fossil smartwatch is compatible with the REFSIX app, perhaps one of the best apps for refereeing.
Once installed in the smartwatch, REFSIX grants an effortlessly recording of every match’s key incidents. It is possible to register goals, the time of the goal, and the goal’s author.
It is also possible to keep injury time and stoppages on track. It allows setting any kind of alarms during the game. REFSIX also offers the possibility of collecting and storing every game’s data. So it is possible to keep the referee’s career stats.
The Fossil Gen 5’s operation is smooth, uncomplicated, and easy to use. Its screen is easy to read, with a good auto brightness when the environment is too dark.
Its touchscreen responsiveness is excellent; it is a light watch with an attractive slim design.
This smartwatch is almost a miny cellphone on the wrist. It can access social media and virtually any other app. The watch has 8GB memory for storage and 1GB RAM.
As mentioned above, it can monitor heartbeats, sleeping habits, and more. The only issue with these features is that they need a lot of power, and if they remain activated during the day, the watch’s battery won’t last more than six or eight hours.
That’s why it can offer dozens of useful features when used to arbitrate a soccer game, but if it is also used as an everyday watch, the battery’s charge must be observed.
It is one of Amazon’s best-sellers.
How to choose the right soccer referee watch?
Every good sports watch has essential features like a stopwatch or an alarm. Every specific need will depend on the competition level or the career stage of each referee.
Beginners will need simple devices relatively easy to handle and set up. For advanced or experienced referees, watches with extra features that allow them to pay more attention to the game are ideal.
If we want a sports watch for refereeing specifically, then smartwatches, or perhaps watches with features specifically designed for it, should be the best option.
If what we are looking for is a watch we can use in training sessions and during the day, perhaps a robust, durable watch might be the one we need.
Therefore, we need to follow this guideline before deciding which kind of sports watch to get:
- Warranty. For starters, you need to think that you’ll use the watch while running, sweating, and making significant physical efforts; you might also end up on the floor after a stumble. The watch should preferably have at least a one-year warranty from the factory.
- Customer Rating. Reading customer ratings and reviews, it’s a must before purchasing any article. Other users’ experiences might be what you need to decide whether to get the watch or not. The people who leave a review are not paid by the company; therefore, they would describe their real impression of the product.
- Storage. Where you’ll store your watch is not a minor issue. If you have little space, it should be a tiny sports watch; if it would be stored in hot environments for a prolonged time, it should be more robust.
- Durability. Of course, it is not possible to foresee how long a watch will last. Although you can use customer rating as a guide, it is essential to pay attention to the materials used to produce it. A cheap watch with little features that lasts only a couple of months is not cheap; it’s expensive.
- Color. Perhaps the less decisive unless you care a lot about esthetics. Still, referee watches come in lots of different colors. You should pick the one you feel more comfortable with.
- Size. Size matters not only for storage purposes but for the use of the watch itself. Oversized watches offer a better vision of the time in display and the rest of the features. Still, they tend to be heavier and less comfortable for training or using them outside of the pitch.
- Material. There’s no significant difference between the resin, PU, or any other plastic cases in durability. Resin tends to last longer and assimilate hits better than PU. However, if the case has metallic components, it might burn the skin when used in hot places or even leave a mark after profusely sweating when wearing them.
- Demand. Similar to people’s opinions, the demand for a watch is generally a good indicator. Sports watches are used in extreme conditions in most cases; if people keep buying them, they can deal with a high exigence level.
- Price. The device’s price will have the last word in the decision; that’s why I’ve put it last. It is necessary to consider the previous eight points and evaluate what’s the best option. Expensive watches are not always synonyms for high-quality devices, and perhaps they have features we are planning to use.