3 Optimum time sailing watches

The Best Optimum Time Sailing Watches for Each Budget

There is a reason that Optimum Time is the industry-leading sailing watchmaker. Optimum Time have been pulling it out of the bag with each model they release. Their ‘Big Yellow Watch’ has now become accepted as ‘the badge’ to wear out on the water. The Optimum Sailing range has an array of styles, sizes and functions that cater for all needs with every aspect of race timing covered plus everyday watch modes, without the clutter of confusing and unnecessary functions. The question every sailor should ask is not ‘which make of sailing watch?’, but instead ‘which Optimum Time model?’

Every Optimum Time sailing watch is water-resistant to 5 ATM, has a shock resistant construction, features the time of day, a calendar, a time of day alarm, a count up (from zero) timer and an electro-luminescence backlight feature. They all also feature a programmed countdown timer with an alarm including a pre-programmed 5,4,1,0 ISAF, 3 min or 1 min start sequence with audible warning signals (which can be silenced, if preferred). There's an option to have this start sequence repeated after it’s finished or for the time to count up. Optimum Time are famous for inventing the incredibly useful ‘Sync Button’ feature which instantly synchronises the time if you miss the gun. We’re going to be looking into what differentiates each model to make it easier for you to pick the one that suits your needs…


OS Series 11 (wristwatch)


Optimum Time Series 11 Race Timer is a superb race timer aimed at the novice sailor with all the basic functionality required and coming in a fantastic choice of colours. This watch has the smallest display size out of the Optimum Time sailing range and therefore has great wearability on both land and water.

Other features:

  • Plastic case with integrated soft-touch PU Strap
  • Heavy-Duty stainless steel buckle
  • 26mm round display size
  • Large 10mm digit height
  • Information displayed on a single row


Series 3 OS3 (jumbo)


Like most other dinghy racers out there, we love this watch which is why it’s our best selling sailing watch ever. In fact, we love it so much that we’ve got an exclusive to Wetsuit Outlet, the series 3 watch that comes in black. That’s right, you can’t buy a black version of this watch anywhere else!

This watch is called a jumbo watch because its watch face is much larger than the average watch to make it easier for you to see the time during your start sequence. The jumbo watches have an elastic wrist strap that is easy to fit over your sailing kit and also have an option to place your watch on your boat instead of your wrist as it comes with a mast/boom mount bracket.

Other features:

  • Large 65mm overall plastic case
  • 38mm x 20mm display size
  • Massive 16mm digit height
  • Single row display
  • Adjustable Viewing Angle
  • Boom/Mast Mount Bracket Supplied
  • Elasticated Strap for Wrist or over sleeve wearing

NEW Series 15 (wristwatch)


The latest in the Optimum Time line-up is the Series 15 wristwatch which combines many of the most loved features into a neat, modern and durable package. It is designed to be worn from deck to dock and has a similar display and function to the OS3/OS11 but a good mid-size bezel striking the perfect balance between 'wearability' and visibility in the heat of the start. It also features a grippy and super soft, comfortable silicone strap to ensure the perfect all-day fit on the wrist and keeps the display at the perfect angle when it counts most.

Other features:

  • Reinforced durable plastic case
  • The heavy-duty black plated stainless-steel buckle
  • Large 39mm viewing area
  • Round 29mm diameter display size
  • Very Large 12.5mm digits


Series 14 (jumbo)


The series 14 is also a jumbo watch and has a slightly larger case than the OS3 watch. Coming in 3 bright colours, this watch has the same great features as the OS3 watch but with a few upgrades. Firstly the screen has a higher spec with a dot matrix 3 row display which changes to 1 row with massive numbers for the last 59 seconds to make the time more visible. Both Series 12 & Series 14 show real-time and race time in the same mode so are ideal for race officers. 

There is also a vibration alarm to coincide with the beep sound for when it's either too noisy to hear the beeps, or you don't want them heard by others.

Another upgrade is that this watch is rechargeable giving extra power to include cooler features (such as vibration) and very long life. The watch comes with a bespoke USB charger clamp for convenient charging.

Other features include:

  • Large 68mm overall plastic case
  • Round 36mm diameter display size
  • Large 13mm digits in normal mode
  • Massive 23mm digits for final 59 seconds
  • 3 Row display to show time and timer together
  • Adjustable viewing angle
  • Boom/Mast mounting bracket supplied
  • Will also attach to mast/boom via elastic
  • Elasticated Strap for wearing on wrist or over sleeve
  • Buttons widely spaced for easy operation when wearing gloves
  • The vibration and the sound are both individually switchable

Series 12 (wristwatch)


The OS12 has the same features as the series 14 watch but as a wristwatch with a smaller bezel so you can choose which suits you best out of the two. This means the bezel is smaller than the series 14 and it comes with a soft silicone strap instead of an elasticated one. This watch comes in black making it a sleek stealthy design suitable to wear from deck to dock.

Other features:

  • Black plastic case with removable silicon strap
  • Heavy-duty polished stainless steel buckle
  • Large 39mm viewing area
  • Round 28mm diameter display size
  • Large 9mm digits in normal mode
  • Massive 19mm digits for final 59 seconds
  • 3 Row display to show time and timer together
  • Soft Silicone Strap for maximum comfort
  • USB Rechargeable Battery (USB cable supplied)


Updated on 19th January 2022

Originally published on 26th August 2021 in Sailing

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