Looking back: some of the best sport watches of 2023

Just like any watch category, the sports watch runs the gamut from extremely affordable but extremely capable watches (like the Casio G-Shock) to full-on haute horlogerie entries.  Indeed, everyone from every walk of life was properly considered in 2023.  Unfortunately, the term ‘sport’ can encompass a very wide variety of watch categories including dive watches and GMTs.  Even quartz or solar powered digital adventure watches from Suunto and Garmin are considered ‘sport’ watches in many influential circles.  

So to give ourselves a break, we narrowed things down to watches just with mechanical movements then limited our final selection to the luxury sports watch category.  More importantly we decided NOT to include dive watches or GMTs (we have a separate article for this), but DID include watches that are reissues, and homage editions, a couple of which feature integrated or metal bracelets, special leather straps, and every other thing that the category implies.  Here is our (very limited) list of the best sport watches of 2023


Initially divisive, the ODYSSEUS has been steadily gaining popularity ever since its debut in 2019.  Last year, the German watchmaker released the model’s most compelling version yet when it took its all-steel sports watch with integrated bracelet and shoe-horned a very high-end chronograph movement in it, a trifecta of elements that is known in the industry as: rare.  

Best of all, the ODYSSEUS Chronograph is driven by the watchmaker’s first automatic chronograph movement in the self-winding L156.1 calibre, which does its job without the use of chronograph sub-registers.  Instead, we got a CENTRALIZED chronograph with a bright red anodized aluminum chronograph hand, and a 60-minute hand with a lozenge-shaped tip, both of which operate from the center of the dial ensuring that the brand signature large date and date windows at 3 and 9 o’clock, as well as the running seconds at 6 o’clock remained in place.  


Back in the early 1960s Breitling launched the Breitling Top Time, an affordable chronograph with simple yet elegant lines and exceptional quality precision targeted towards a younger and “up and coming” demographic designed as an alternative to the utilitarian, aviation-inspired tool watch-chronograph that the brand was known for.

Early in 2023, Breitling re-launched the vintage-inspired Breitling Top Time Classic Cars Capsule Collection, which brought back many of the defining elements of the original Top Time.  But it was later in the year that Breitling pushed deeper into the range’s sporting and automotive roots when it partnered with Triumph motorcycles; as well as the Australian motorcycle, apparel, and accessory and lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina.  The result was 2023’s Breitling Top Time B01 Deus and Top Time B01 Triumph, a drop-dead-gorgeous duo of finely tuned “engines” that had the added cherry on top in the form of the sophisticated and capable B01 in-house movement.


What can we say, but the Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS ticks all the boxes of what a great sports watch should be.  The most “desirable” model in a collection that is already an effortless update of Chopard’s St. Moritz from the 1980s, the 41 XPS is refined even for luxury sport watches.  

It features a 41mm case made of Chopard’s proprietary alloy Lucent Steel A223, an ultra-resistant, hard-to-machine alloy made from 85% recycled materials that is also only 8mm thin making it very comfortable to wear. This is thanks to the self-winding 4Hz caliber L.U.C 96.40-L, the 176-part movement with a very slim profile of just 3.3mm due to its micro rotor.  It is COSC certified and also bears the prestigious Poinçon de Genève.  

Best of all, the Alpine Eagle isn’t in any way a copycat of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, or the other Gérald Genta superstar, the Patek Philippe Nautilus.  Yes, it does live in the same “universe” as those two icons, and yes, it does feature its own integrated bracelet but the Alpine Eagle 41 XPS is its very own thing… especially with the iris-like finish of its salmon-colored Monte Rosa Pink dial.  A very real threat to the Holy Trinity’s individual collections of luxury sport watches.


The Schaffhausen-based watchmaker has made a name for itself for creating captivating and drop-dead-gorgeous watches that are so unique, they’ve completely eliminated the need to put their own logo on the dial.  The Streamliner collection is one of those watches with its sleek automotive and locomotive designs of the 1920s and its roster of models that include an incredibly unique perpetual calendar; a couple of chronographs including a collaboration with UNDEFEATED, and two flyback chronographs; and a stunning tourbillon nestled in Vantablack, indeed the blackest dial you have ever encountered.

Last year, the watchmaker updated the designed-from-the-integrated-bracelet-up Streamliner with a model with smaller proportions.  It is housed in a more comfortable 39mm steel case, and is equipped with a new automatic micro-rotor manufacture movement making the whole ensemble slimmer as well.  Best of all, the H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Small Seconds Blue Enamel watch is graced with a stunning Aqua Blue fumé Grand Feu enamel dial that is so beautiful it wipes the floor with all the other luxury sport watches with integrated bracelets out there.


The original Ingenieur has been around since the 1950s but it’s the reissue of the Gérald Genta updated Ingenieur SL from the 1970s that preoccupies us here.  The IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 takes off from the Genta original with contemporary and sophisticated updates on Genta’s design.  Not only is it finished better it also wears better with finely tuned proportions that translate to a snug and light fit.  The new model also features pattern dials in white, black and green blue, that are real lookers, as well as a highly refined all-titanium model with a cool grey dial… our personal favorite.


The original Tambour made its bows in 2002 traveler’s watch with a GMT function, and immediately made a statement with its instantly recognizable drum-shaped case (tambour in French) and unusually flared profile, which was wider at the base than at the top that, for better or for worse, became the fashion powerhouse’s calling card into horological distinction.

Over two decades later, the Tambour has reinvented itself into (believe it or not) a slimmer, svelte, and modern version of itself characterized by exceptional finish, casual elegance, and fluid but sculptural lines to compete in one of the most contentious categories in all of horology: the luxury integrated bracelet sports watch segment.  

And its more than a mere update, the new Tambour is in fact a whole new watch with a slimmer, “fully unisex” 40mm case; the aforementioned integrate steel bracelet; and a new automatic mechanical movement, all of which have conspired to make the new Tambour a sleek, modern, elegant, and casual proposition all at once.

ROLEX “Le Mans” DAYTONA Ref.126529LN

Created specifically for the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, the ROLEX “Le Mans” DAYTONA Ref.126529LN takes everything that Rolex introduced at Watches & Wonders 2023 including a new symmetrical case, a metal-edged bezel, a re-configured dial, and a new movement, and just gives us… more!  

Not exactly an homage piece by any definition, the new “Le Mans” DAYTONA does, however, have enough Easter eggs to make it seem so and takes a little bit from past popular models, including the iconic Paul Newman Daytona to make its mark.  These include the use of red accents, the black ceramic bezel (which is reminiscent of the black plexiglass bezels of older models), and the black “panda” dial.

Oh, and did we mention this anniversary watch was released outside of the regular trade show rotation?  A very unusual move for Rolex indeed, but one that only made the watch public go mad with surprise and anticipation.  Job well done, then.


Not just another “vintage-inspired” release, the TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox has gobs of actual historical cred and was, in fact, released in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Heuer Carrera.  Premier of the release is the so-called “Glassbox” construction of the 60th anniversary models, which are a riff on the domed hesalite crystals of the early Carrera models of the 1960s.  

The new watches utilize a domed crystal that extends over the entire case and dial leaving the watch without a despite being a chronograph.  Instead, the tachymeter scale is incorporated into the raised flange of the dial.  This, in conjunction with the domed crystal and its vintage-inspired 39mm diameter gives tons of classic character, but combined with the best-in-class caliber TH20-00, which is pretty much unmatched at this price point, makes the TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox one of the best sport watches of 2023.


OK, we’re cheating a little here.  These next two watches may fall short a couple of notches of the “luxury sports watch” category but they are top-notch sports watches none-the-less, and we just had to include them because we feel that pound for pound they can go toe to toe with any of the bigger boys (read: more expensive) on this list.

Starting with the evergreen Tissot PRX, the model is a bonafide home run for Tissot but even with nearly 50 variants under its belt, there was still something missing from the PRX lineup.  Enter the vintage-inspired 35mm model of 2023!  And not only does it retain everything that was good about the PRX in the first place (including the Swatch Group’s vaunted Powermatic 80 movement), it also makes the PRX so much more accessible (as if it wasn’t already) and so much easier to wear.  Truly a compelling sports watch wrapped up in a best-in-class value-for-money proposition.  What else can you possibly ask for?


We did say we were omitting dive watches and GMTs.  We said nothing about field watches, which is why the Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition made this list.  Indeed, one of the most important pieces of equipment for any field expedition is a reliable compass, to which Hamilton dutifully complies with in their latest field watch.  Beautifully utilitarian, the new Khaki Field Expedition makes this list by being the brand’s most robust field watch yet and is offered in 37mm or 41mm both with the addition of a compass bezel.  

We said it before, and we’ll say it again: the new Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition is at once simpler, yet more distinctive than the other field watches in the Hamilton stable.  It features a clean but easy-to-read dial with bold and highly contrasting Arabic numerals and an outer seconds track, which when combined with rugged good looks results in an excellent sports watch wrapped in a timeless execution.