Favorite Things: Freestyle Watches


Today we’re going back. Way back. To a time when things were “rad” and I was young, carefree and so much more naive. I can vividly remember the first time I saw a Shark Leash watch. It was worn by someone so much more sublimely cool than me in my matching Benetton pants/sweater combo. Oh I may have pegged my pants and I did own a G&S skateboard but I just wasn’t hip enough for a Shark. Only if the internet had been up and running I might have been bold enough to buy one online. The counter at our local skate shop seemed so daunting and unattainable.

I’m older and bolder and you better bet I’m now rocking a Shark in neon colors as a throwback to my youth. I feel way cool. I love all the watches made by Freestyle (founded in the 80s) and totally dig that they are made to stand up to hard weather and brave living. And can you even imagine how much fun I am going to have using the timer on my watch with Emma and Sophie. Let’s see how long it takes you to get your shoes on? Or eat your breakfast? Or brush your teeth? Ready, set, go!

Q&A with Freestyle

When and why was the brand created?

Freestyle was created in the early 1980’s out of necessity for a cool looking watch that was extremely durable and water resistant.

What has stayed the same about the company and what has changed over the years?

The main thing that has stayed the same is our ability to maintain our quality, durability and water resistance. As far as change, in 2005 we upgraded our commitment to quality by backing our products with a limited lifetime warranty.

Freestyle Watches on The Sentimentalist

I distinctly remember the type of person who wore a Shark watch when I was growing up. Simply put – they epitomized a cool laid back attitude. Is that still the case?

Yes, this is still the case but we also have developed a customer base with a real “go for it” attitude. Our watches really resonate with people who like to push their limits in the sports and activities they love.

Who has inspired the brand over the years and who are your muses?

We’ve been inspired over the years by all the great athletes who have worked with the brand. They are not always household names, but they live with passion and drive that inspire us to keep doing what we do. Currently Sage Erickson has been really pushing her limits, both as a surfer (currently ranked #4 on the World Qualifying Series) and model (#87 in the Maxim Hot 100). It’s great to see somebody who’s worked really hard begin to reap the benefits.


Who is your ideal customer?

Anybody that looks at a challenge and has that little voice in their head that says “Go For It”.

Why are your watches worth the investment?

For 30 years we’ve been making watches that can be trusted in intense and often waterlogged situations. Freestyle Watches simply continue to exceed expectations.

Freestyle Watches on The Sentimentalist

Many of my readers are extreme athletes (triathletes, swimmers, and skiers). How do your watches stand up to cold weather, deep waters, and exposure to sunscreen and sun?

This is what it’s all about. The watches were born out of need to withstand the elements, and that’s what they’ve been doing for 30 years.

Are your bands replaceable?


Shark Leach by Freestyle on The Sentimentalist

What is next for Freestyle?

We have some really exciting projects in the works. Our first Artist Collaboration is launching October 2014, and we have a new Tide Trainer launching in 2015 for the surfer/waterman who is also serious about fitness and cross training.


Thanks Freestyle for stopping by! And just to get your blood flowing. Here’s some footage of Freestyle athletes working out. I am so going to get in shape again after this baby arrives…

Vintage Freestyle


Shark Watch on The Sentimentalist

Shark Leash 1988 Shark Leash 1994

1988 Archive Collage

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