Yachting Instruments History

Yachting Instruments Ltd came into being in 1970 when the present directors, then keen dinghy sailors, became increasingly frustrated with the lack of count-down race start watches. The choice was either a very costly Swiss made mechanical Chronograph needing an expensive annual service or a sports stopwatch, which only counted up, with no water protection; if wetted a quick rinse in fresh water, then a flush in paraffin (kerosene) and maybe it worked again!

Our first sailing Chronograph was launched at the London Boat show in January 1971 at £6 19s 6d (later £7.95). Launched in the summer of 1972 the Yachting Chronograph, designed from scratch by the company, with a price of £9.95, sold in it’s thousands around the world and became the badge of the small boat sailor.

Five years later at the London Boat Show, January 1975, the first Tidemaster watch was launched to become an essential tool for all sea sailors, sea angler, wildflowers, lifeboat crewmen, ships’ masters, Harbour Masters and Pilots. Another ten years later at the end of January 1985 the balance wheel and hairspring was replaced as the regulator by a pulsing quartz to give a standard of time keeping previously undreamed of, at around a second a week, to produce the first Tidemaster Chronometer. Over the subsequent decades this standard has become an accepted commonplace; such is the pace of progress.

This incredible standard of accuracy has been steadily improved and the electronic revolution has enabled the incorporation of 24 hour alarm, countdown alarm, log reading reminder alarm; 100th second pilotage stopwatch and deck-watch, with the ability to freeze sight times (a boon to the singlehanded offshore sailor), multi time zones and most recently electro luminescent night read out, with all these features in one watch, the Tacticel, plus of course the all important Tidal monitoring bezel.

Over the past 40 odd years the company have designed and produced a wealth of products of benefit to all those who use the sea or go afloat but have always remained true to the original aim of providing essential and useful time pieces for mariners. None of this would be possible without providing the very best servicing backup and helpful advice to all our customers at all times.

Our experts are always happy to help either by telephone or email.


Yachting Instruments Ltd


Sturminster Newton


DT10 2EH


Tel: +44(0) 1258 817662


Email: office@tidemaster.co.uk


Website & products updated September 2022


We are happy to provide expert advice and to answer all your questions about our products.