Best Soccer Referee Watch (Great Value Options)

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Soccer referees have a ton of responsibilities, one of which is keeping accurate time to make sure that the match stays on track. That’s why the best referees invest in the best soccer referee watch options.

Finding the best soccer referee watch, though, is a little more of a challenge than most might expect. Not because there are so few options, mind you. But because there are so many!

Luckily, though, with the help of this detailed guide, you should find the process of tracking down a quality referee watch a whole lot easier than it would have been before.

Here’s some of the stuff I’m going to share with you about finding the best soccer referee watch:

  • The core features all the best referee watches have in common with one another
  • Why it’s so important to find a watch with a large, easy to read face
  • The timing features that referee watches must include

… And more!

After that, we’ll dig a little deeper into some of my favorite options and the watches I’d recommend new soccer referees buy as soon as they get a chance to.

BARCELONA OCTOBER 29 Referee giving yellow card to Raul de Tomas at the Copa del Rey match between Cornella and Real Madrid final score 1 4 on October 29 2014 in Cornella Barcelona Spain.
BARCELONA OCTOBER 29 Referee giving yellow card to Raul de Tomas at the Copa del Rey match between Cornella and Real Madrid final score 1 4 on October 29 2014 in Cornella Barcelona Spain.

Important Factors: Soccer Referee Watch Options

With so many different soccer referee watch options to pick and choose from, sifting through the options and finding one you can trust on your wrist isn’t ever as easy as we expect.

Still, it’s nice to have too many options than too few, right?

Here are a couple of things you’ll want to think about to zero in on the best soccer referee watch choices money can buy right now.

The most important features top referee watches always include

There are a few things that all of the best soccer referee watch choices have in common with one another, but the most important feature is that they keep accurate time!

There’s nothing worse than relying on a watch that isn’t capable of consistently, accurately, and reliably keeping time.

If the watch that you are relying on is faulty someone – another timekeeper, another referee, one of the coaches, or a passionate fan – is going to let you know about it

Secondly, the best soccer referee watches need to be almost indestructible.

It’s not that these watches are going to have to be designed to go into a war zone. But you are going to be incredibly active with these timepieces on and they need to be able to take a licking and keep on ticking (as they say).

You don’t want your watch to fall apart just because you’re racing up and down the soccer pitch.

Finally, you need to choose a soccer referee watch that is easy to use – even while on the move.

Watches with larger buttons simplified user interfaces, and big, bold, beautiful displays are always a whole lot easier to use in the heat of a soccer match than watches that are more delicate, more challenging to navigate, and have smaller displays.

The value of a large, easy-to-read watch face

Speaking of display size, there’s a lot of value in very large, easy-to-read watch faces on your wrist when you are refereeing a soccer match.

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As we highlighted right away in this quick guide, referees have a ton of different responsibilities every time they step on the pitch.

Referees have to keep an eye out for penalties, make sure that all rules are being enforced fairly, quickly roll out punishments for infractions, and maintain order from start to finish.

On top of all of that, referees also have to keep accurate time for the game – including stoppage time that might need to be added to the game later down the line.

A large watch face that is easy to read (a digital watch face for sure) is always a lot more useful than small, difficult to read on the run watch faces are.

Important timing capabilities soccer referee watch

Finally, you’ll want to be sure that the best soccer referee watch you choose includes a handful of important timekeeping capabilities like:

  • Timers that run independent of any other timekeeping systems
  • Stopwatch systems with “lap” capabilities
  • Alarm systems to let you know when specific blocks of time have passed

… And any other timekeeping solutions that you use while you are refereeing.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into some of the best soccer referee watch options available on the market today.

The Best Soccer Referee Watch Options

Casio Men’s W800H-1AV Classic Sport

Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Sport Watch with Black Band

The Brand

The Casio brand name is known all over the world as one of the most reputable and reliable watchmakers ever.

The G Shock line of watches that they make is probably their most famous timepieces, known for their indestructible nature and rugged design.

Casio makes other timepieces, though, including a whole run of options for those that lead active lifestyles – like soccer referees, for example.

These watches share the same DNA as every other Casio watch, too. They are tough, accurate, and very easy to use.

What is the Casio Men’s W800H-1AV Classic Sport For?

This Casio wasn’t specifically designed with soccer referees in mind, but you wouldn’t be the first person to think that.

Super durable, you can reliably use this watch to keep accurate time on the soccer pitch for 10 years (or longer) before you even need to think about swapping out the battery.

The user interface on this has been designed to be used by people on the move, athletes that might be running up and down the pitch while refereeing a match. The buttons are easy to use, the layout is intuitive, and the whole system “just works”.

What’s unique about the Casio Men’s W800H-1AV Classic Sport?

The most unique thing about this watch is how much information it shares on the almost oversized display without feeling cluttered or difficult to understand at a glance.

Casio has a way of making displays that are just so easy to break down and understand, a talent that few other watchmakers have been able to come close to matching.

The case itself is hard resin, the bezel is rock solid, and the durable mineral window guarantees that even a couple of tumbles on the pitch won’t negatively impact viewability.

Casio Men’s W800H-1AV Classic Sport Performance

On the performance side of things, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything else out there that performs better as a soccer referee watch than this thing!

Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Sport Watch with...
  • 10-year battery life
  • 100-meter water resistance
  • LED backlight
  • Dual time
  • Approx. battery life: 10 years on CR2025

You get the time and date information, can quickly access multiple timers and stopwatches, and configure alarms to keep you (and your matches) on track.

Pros and Cons

  • Very simple to use
  • Purposely designed for those with athletic lifestyles
  • Nearly indestructible, like every other Casio out there
  • Four buttons simplify the user interface and control scheme
  • Timers aren’t available immediately on the display
  • Does take a little bit of time to get used to running multiple timers, stopwatches, and alarms at once
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Champion Sports Sport and Referee Watch

Champion Sports Sport and Referee Watch

The Brand

Champion Sports is a top-tier watchmaker for those that live active lifestyles, even if that outside of the athletic community may not have necessarily heard of this brand before.

Everything about this watch is premium across the board. The build quality is exceptional, the timekeeping is accurate and reliable, and the control scheme is really elegant.

Combine that with rugged durability, minimalist sensibilities, and a really cool vibration mechanism to let you better keep track of time without staring at your watch, and you have a real winner on your hands (or your wrist, as the case may be).

What is the Champion Sports Sport and Referee For?

This is a watch designed for keeping time!

Specifically engineered with referees in mind, there are a lot of cool features on this Champion Sports watch that you aren’t going to find anywhere else.

For one thing, there’s a 24-hour stopwatch that allows you to separate and store individual timing sessions apart from one another. This is great for keeping time during a match and keeping track of stoppage time concurrently, too.

The super-bright display is also obviously optimized with referees in mind. You’ll be able to see all the important data at a glance even in bright daylight.

What’s unique about the Champion Sports Sport and Referee?

As far as unique mechanisms are concerned, it doesn’t get much more unique than the vibration system built into the Champion Sports watch.

When vibration has been turned on, this watch starts to gently vibrate (and then gets more aggressive as time goes on) as soon as your timers, countdowns, or stopwatch settings get close to the time that you have designated.

A lot of referees have a difficult time hearing audible alarms, especially impact stadiums with raucous crowds. This vibration mechanism keeps them from having to stare down at their watch while still keeping a very accurate time.

Champion Sports Sport and Referee Performance

As far as overall performance goes, this watch ranks right up there amongst the best of the best soccer referee watch options today.

Timekeeping is accurate and precise. The stopwatch and countdown systems are very intuitively designed. And the vibration mechanism we just mentioned is exceptional and innovative.

Champion Sports Sport and Referee Watch
  • Rugged sports watchband
  • 10 Memory Bright EL night light display 24 Hour stopwatch
  • Every workout is stored as a separate recallable run
  • Split release feature unlocks after 5 second to display...
  • Water (up to 300') & shock resistant

Combine all of that with the world-class build quality, waterproofing, and durability and it’s not hard to see why this is such a popular choice.

Pros and Cons

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Displays one core piece of information at a time on the oversized display
  • Vibrates and/or audibly rings to alert you about upcoming time settings
  • Can split out different time record details, including concurrent timekeeping configurations
  • Not as slick looking as other options
  • Limited to a dual timer configuration

Timex Ironman Classic 30

The Brand

When you think about tough watches, like the kinds of watches referees have to wear on their wrists during games and tournaments, you think about the brand Timex.

Timex Men's T5H591 Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size Black/Blue Resin Strap Watch

This is, after all, the brand that pioneered the slogan “it takes a licking and keeps on ticking”.

This is a watch designed to keep accurate time in almost any condition imaginable, which makes it perfectly suited to outdoor and indoor soccer pitch action.

The Ironman model (this one) is even tougher than most of the Timex watches made in the past, if you can believe it. This is the equivalent of a bomb shelter watch compared to some of the other best soccer referee watch choices today.

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What is the Timex Ironman Classic 30For?

If there’s a single watch on this breakdown that is overengineered for soccer referee purposes it would have to be this one.

This is kind of like cruising a tank to a drive-in theater. It’s a little overkill, but it’s still really cool!

Built with Ironman competitions in mind, this watch can track time with a high level of precision, can handle multiple time zones all at once, can run multiple timers all at once, and has the ability to hold three programs alarms in its alarms schedule at a time.

Timekeeping is effortless once you learn the ins and outs of the user interface.

What’s unique about the Timex Ironman Classic 30?

The most unique thing about this watch is how comfortable it is, even if it is a little bit on the larger and chunkier side of things compared to some other watch choices on this breakdown.

The Ironman Classic is 100% sealed, giving you access to timers through a single button as well.

That means you’re going to have to do a little bit more pressing than you would have with other watches to get to the settings you’re looking to configure. Still, it helps with the overall usability when you get the hang of it.

The forward and backward settings allow you to move through time more efficiently than you might have with other watches, too. You won’t have to run through a whole 24-hour schedule any longer.

Add in a battery that can last for six years (or longer) with daily usage and this becomes a bit of a no-brainer.

Timex Men's T5H591 Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size...
  • Adjustable black 16mm resin strap fits up to 8-inch wrist...
  • 100-hour chronograph with 30-lap memory; 24-hour countdown...
  • 3 daily, weekday or weekend alarms; 24-hour military time...
  • Blue & black 38mm resin case with acrylic lens; gray digital...
  • Water resistant to 100m (330ft): in general, suitable for...

Timex Ironman Classic 30 Performance

Performance with this timekeeper is dialed in.

Timex Men's T5H591 Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size Black/Blue Resin Strap Watch

Pros and Cons

  • Nearly indestructible build quality
  • Featherlight with a large and easy to read display
  • Capable of multiple concurrent timing options
  • Overbuilt for referee purposes only
  • Does take a little bit of time to get used to the user interface

Remember, of course, that this watch was engineered specifically for those competing in the grueling Ironman competition. Inaccurate timekeeping would never be acceptable, including in some really nasty conditions and situations.

Timex Men's T5H591 Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size...
  • Adjustable black 16mm resin strap fits up to 8-inch wrist...
  • 100-hour chronograph with 30-lap memory; 24-hour countdown...
  • 3 daily, weekday or weekend alarms; 24-hour military time...
  • Blue & black 38mm resin case with acrylic lens; gray digital...
  • Water resistant to 100m (330ft): in general, suitable for...

If this watch can perform well in the middle of the ocean (down to depths 330 feet below the surface) or on top of mountains, or buried in the mud, the chances are good it’s going to work well on a soccer pitch, too.

Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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