Fitness vs Traditional Watches (in Office)

Incredibly dumb topic but it’s a slow morning so thought I’d pass this along… what are your opinions on fitness watches (Garmin/Fitbit/Suunto) in the office as opposed to the traditional IB watch brands? Mainly do you think it comes off as a subtle flex of keeping an active lifestyle or does it hit as unprofessional in the workplace?
I’ve seen a growing number of juniors wearing the above brands and I am a longtime wearer of a more bulky Garmin model but I switched the band from the nylon strap to a faux-leather strap for appearances and it seems to do fine. The obvious compromise at surface-level would be the Apple Watch Ultra but the battery life blows compared to the 10-15+ days per full charge you get with the fitness trackers so IMO that’s a non-starter.
Furthermore wearing two watches (one during office hours and one while working out) really negates the usefulness of the fitness tracker by skewing the data you receive as it only tracks during workouts and not during daily activities so that’s not an option. Is this where the whoop’s market space is??
Again, incredibly dumb topic but want to gauge the forum’s sentiments before I pull the trigger on another fitness tracker and further delay my entrance into the submariner rabbit hole.


I'm a big watch guy but am also into fitness so I wear an Oura ring. I take it off for weightlifting, so I don't scratch it but wear it for other workouts and for sleep. I do like the Garmin though and would definitely get one, I just enjoy my other watches more. 

My MD wears a bright red G Shock that his kid got him. I've seen summer interns wearing Rolexes. It doesn't really matter. 


Just be good at your job, and the jokes will just be jokes. If you're messing things up constantly, your fancy watch will be the least of your worries.


Been rocking the silver ōura ring and its been nice. A bit chunky but far better than wearing a second watch.

I try to power through workouts with it but tend to take it off out of annoyance, I could care less if it gets scratched.


My take is that juniors who prefer to wear watches would rather wear a “safe” Apple Watch than take a gamble on a traditional watch. If you wear too nice of a watch others in the office may take it the wrong way. If you wear a cheap watch, you look tacky. Plus an Apple Watch has fitness components and you can see messages throughout the day without being caught looking at your phone.


TBH it's unlikely that anyone in the office cares as much as you think. I rotate between an AWU2, Santos and Sub depending on what I'm wearing and what I have on (nice dinner after work? I'll put on a nicer watch). No one bats an eye unless they are curious about watches. If colleagues give you shit for the watch you wear, then you're in the wrong team/firm.


TBH it's unlikely that anyone in the office cares as much as you think. I rotate between an AWU2, Santos and Sub depending on what I'm wearing and what I have on (nice dinner after work? I'll put on a nicer watch). No one bats an eye unless they are curious about watches. If colleagues give you shit for the watch you wear, then you're in the wrong team/firm.

Agree and I think that, generally, people who wear watches can appreciate watches across the spectrum. I just...wouldn't care or clown an analyst if they were wearing either a Rolex or $20 Casio.

Most Helpful

In terms of prestige, here's the definitive ranking: 

Tier 1:
Whoop and Oura:
Pretty much the Oxford and Cambridge of wearables. Donning a Whoop band broadcasts that you're playing in the big leagues. Orlando Bravo wears it and so should you. It's sleek, elite, and subtly screams high-stakes deal-making. The Oura ring, while not as visually streamlined as the Whoop, and undoubtedly less subtle, still garners the similar recognition. It's not just a wearable; it's a conversation starter, the gateway to your next big deal.

Tier 1.5:
Garmin: Think of this as the LSE of wearables. Not quite the old guard but with enough prestige and performance to demand respect. Preferred by the athletically inclined execs who balance spreadsheets by day and triathlon training by night. Wear a Garmin, and you'll get respect from the PortCo CEO who prides himself on his Ironman finishes as much as his sweet (read: sweat) equity payout. 

Tier 2:
Polar and Suunto:
These are okay. Reliable, sturdy, but without the cachet to turn heads in the airport lounge. They're not really wearables, but sports watches: great for the serious athlete but not going to impress your Whoop/Patek-combo CEO at a gala dinner. Could make it up the ranks with a high-profile endorser like Bryan Johnsen, but these brands currently lack the clout to bridge the gap from performance to prestige.

Fitbit and any Wish-product:
Complete non-target energy. Fitbits are for people on Ozempic, not for the people investing in it. Will likely lose you mandates if you wear it to a pitch. Makes you a loser. In the world of high-finance, these are more than just fashion faux pas, they're career-limiting electronics that scream back-office. 

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

i wear my fitbit on my right, and regular watch on my left. I chose one of the smaller fitbits so its more subtle since i only use it for heart rate tracking. The other ones are cool, but i refuse to pay a subscription for a fitness watch..

Go all the way

As you already somewhat alluded to in your OP, there’s a difference between the chunky “rugged outdoor” version of those brands and the sleeker ones.  

For Garmin something like the Forerunner is reasonable but if you’re coming in with a Fenix or Fenix X, you’re pushing it.

It doesn’t look good with work clothes and the flex of “hey look I’m into fitness” doesn’t look good either. Everyone else is either in shape or would be in shape if they weren’t so slammed with work, so they’re not going to appreciate it.


I just said pushing it. It’s only a watch, nobody will care too much.

But since you asked why . . the styling is a bit loud for work. Reminds me of an analyst who kept a giant tub of protein on his desk for everyone to see every day. The messaging just feels a bit lacking in self awareness is all . . like hey look at me I’m the fitness guy.   

Protein tub dude did fine and so will you with your Fenix. 


I don't think it would count against you to wear 2 watches or wear a fitness watch. Wear whichever one you like/feel comfortable using. Personally, Garmin, Samsung and Apple are the best I used. If you get a FitBit do not get the smartwatch kind that has apps because Google bought them over and the newer FitBits are worse than the old ones. Not worth the hassle. Garmin has the best build quality for sure. 


Personal preference and no one cares as long as you’re not rocking a Hublot/AP/etc. as a junior. Keep it classy but not fuck you money bracelets.


My 2c, I've been on fundraising trips and DD trips to meet with very senior decision makers at LPs, banks, corporates, and (based on my completely personal anecdote) in the last decade or so I've found that my Garmin has generated way more traction and personal connections than fancy watches (PP, AP, Rolex). Inevitably someone will ask if I'm a runner, and we'll add each other on Strava (way more powerful than LinkedIn as a connectivity tool), and the relationship gets built.

Ask yourself really what you're really going for with the fancy watch - and if it's going to generate way more downside (jealousy, badmouthing) than upside (can't think of any), then don't do it. 


As a former collegiate rower, the chest band is the authoritative sensor location for heart rate monitoring. I used a Polar H10.


For zone 2 or any other workout where you aren’t concerned but about the exact timing of large fluctuations, the wrist is going to be fine.  It’s only inferior when you’re shifting a lot (like a HIIT workout) and you care about exactly how quickly or how long you shifted for.  

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It's 2023. I don't think anyone cares. I show up with a $20 casio watch. Don't even wear it. But, keep it in my pocket for pragmatic reasons. However, I don't know what I would do if I saw one of my interns wearing a silly spongebob watch.


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