Can I Wear My Watch While Playing Tennis?

The Truth About Playing Tennis With Your Watch

Summer and the sport of tennis go together like backyards and barbeques – they’re the perfect match (pun intended). Whether you enjoy a friendly neighborhood game or watching the grand slam tournaments, summer is the season for tennis. As Wimbledon ends and we gear up for the U.S. Open, we can’t help but notice the watches worn by the top players. Roger Federer always sports a classic Rolex. You can spot Serena Williams boasting a bold Audemars Piguet. And, of course, there’s Rafael Nadal flaunting his famous Richard Mille. Often, we see these star athletes wearing their models both on and off the court. But for the average Joe, is it safe to wear a watch while playing tennis? Or, is it best to leave to it the pros?

Watches while playing tennis - Serena Williams

Serena Williams wearing Audemars Piguet watch Wimbledon 2015

Factors to Consider

The biggest factor to consider when deciding if you should wear your watch on the court is the force of your swing. In a high-impact sport like tennis, there’s always a risk of shock to the watch’s movement or delicate parts. However, some watches have optimization to endure shock better than others. In tennis, there’s also the risk of a stray ball making contact with your watch. In this case, the force or impact of the ball could damage the watch crystal or other parts. Last but not least, there’s the potential impact on your game. The weight of a watch, particularly a bulkier one, could affect your swing if you don’t usually wear it. Plus, if you prefer your band to be a bit looser, the watch may move around. At the very least, you might find it’s a pesky distraction.

What Not to Wear

As we touched on previously, some watches are designed to withstand shock more than others. For instance, Richard Mille specifically develops Nadal’s legendary models to tolerate the 10000’s of G’s of force behind the king of clay’s swing. So, if you decide to take your watch in tow to the court and you have that kind of budget, consider the model. Stay away from dress watches. Their movements are more sensitive to impact. You should also avoid wearing a gold watch, as it’s a softer metal than stainless steel or titanium. Finally, leave the leather strap at home. When you break a sweat on the court, it can damage the supple leather.

Watches while playing tennis - Rafael Nadal

Richard Mille and Rafael Nadal at Paris Conference wearing the RM 27-02

Recommended Tennis Watches

As the name suggests, sports watches are a safer bet if you want to wear a watch while playing a sport like tennis but there are still the aforementioned risks. However, if you feel like you really want and/or need to wear a watch there are a couple we would lean towards. For instance, a dive watch is a great option because it’s made to stand up to intense underwater pressure. Quartz watches are actually another smart choice for the court. They’re both durable and lightweight. In general, choose a model in stainless steel or titanium with either a bracelet or a rubber strap.

Wearing a Watch While Playing Tennis

Bottom line: you can in fact wear a watch while playing tennis. However, be sure to choose wisely when it comes to the model you sport on the court. You should also know that even with the best sport model, there’s still some risk involved.

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