There are a lot of digital watches out there designed for doing sports, but oddly few that many would consider well thought out and executed, which provide most PRACTICAL things to most users. I was wondering that if I had the opportunity to design a watch for used in sports what would I do?
Here are my thoughts.
Case: Wide, all steel or a Ti Option. It would be one single piece with not bezels or attachments, preferably somewhat cushion shaped, with little to no text or other marks on its surface (not entirely unlike the design approach taken on the Highgear altis). the case would be large without being over sized, wide but not necessarily tall/thick. I would make the case slanted (kind of like a nike triax) and asymmetrical with the 1200 area thicker than the 0600 area, so as to aid visibility. I would also ad sizeable , but discretely shaped buttons in a set up like those used in a Timex OVA (four on the sides and the fifth - the feature activation button) discretely integrated above the screen, where it can be activated with your index finger while on the go. I would make the lugs hidden (underneath the case), but a standard straight set up, so as to allow the user to change straps or bracelets. the crystal would by hardened mineral and slightly recessed.
Caseback: the caseback would be a traditional screw type design with a battery changing hatch, like those on Nike oregons.
Display: the diaplay would be large, high contrasting, highly legible, and concetrated solely on usable information - no surface excitement ala g-shock here. I would use the 100 Lap Timex ironman triathlon watches as my standard. I want an ultra clear positive display with full dot matrix representation. If possible, I'd like the pixels to be extra small so as to allow for cleaner information displays. I also want the display to be slightly tilted (like the case) so as to aid in legibility, and in a font that is easily readable but something other than the basic block print everyone seems to use (in other words, something a little more elegant). The backlight would be an electroluminescent set up, probably in a bright amber/orange color. there would only be a negative option if one can be found that was extremely sharp and legible, even in low light. I would also offer an amber hued display like those used in Nike's Lance 3 oregons, in positive and maybe negative set-ups.
Features: I would include a fully customizable main screen that would allow you to see any combination of the other features you nee to see at the same time (like an Altis). The individual displays will have large clear digits without any non necessary infomation (In other words, no cutsey icons). bar graphs would be available under alternate viewing modes should you want to track performance over time. Besides time, I would add at least a detailed 100 hour chronograph with 1/100 second resolution with lap/split, two timers, multiple very loud alarms (like a Nike Oregon) - including a vibrating alarm option and the ability to program specific alrams to ring on specific dates or at specified regular intervals; a full compliment of programable training programs, and maybe a pedometer feature on more advanced models. calendar and multiple timezones qould also be included. Like Timex, I would make it so that once you stop using a function, the next press of the mode button returns you to the mainscreen, rather than force you to cycle through everything.
Battery: a large deep reserve battery. If the wtach can be made solar without compromising display space or minimalistic styling, then it would be rechargeable. otherwise a multi year battery will do (5-10 year camera-type battery - nothing specialy made of the watch)
Starps/bracelet: the bracelet would be a simple traditional design, without much ornamentation that would echo the slight cushion shape of the case (withe an oyster or a y-link might do), with a spring loaded fliplock calsp. Straps would be a thick, padded, vented nylon strap with a velcro clasp. For those going in water, I would also offer a polyurethane strap (like a wetsuit) and anoptional silocone strap.
Misc. the watch would be 200m rated (not as a diver thought) and made to meet shock resistance standards. the main display would include a battery power meter display (like on a cell phone) either way.
Personally I don't think that a watch used for serious sport really needs a heart monitor or a compliment of ABC features, but those could be added later in higher end models.
So do any of you have any ideas as to what would make a great all around real world watch for doing sports? Please chime in, I would love to hear you design ideas.