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View Full Version : Wrist Watch Lap Timer For Swimming Pools: Does One Exist?



TomBrooklyn
July 12th, 2013, 03:42 PM
Is there a wrist watch with a lap timer that works for swimming laps?


Is anybody using one successfully?

Which brand and model is it?

Do you hold the watch face down while pushing the lap button, or take any other steps to prevent water entry?


Casio and Timex both make wrist watch lap timers. Timex even sells theirs under the brand name IRONMAN Triathlon. What their advertising and marketing literature typically doesn't tell you, but a call to either companies customer service will reveal, is that they both strongly advise against pushing the lap timer button under water.

What is less clear is pushing the button immediately after a lap, with the watch held in air, but still wet. I could not get either company's customer service to say it was OK to push the lap button then; but they seemed less adamant that that wouldn't work.

JWAJack
July 12th, 2013, 04:02 PM
Speedo did have a watch that had waterproof buttons and the ability to just push the face of the watch which would record a lap. Mine seemed to work well until the strap broke, and it was not replaceable.

After that, I switched to the Finis Swimsense, which gave much better info and is made for underwater button pushing; better than that, it can sense each lap and give you information about each length, interval, set, etc. However, it too has a non-replaceable band, and the band started to break down after a year/1.5 years.

I now use the Garmin 910XT, which works for both pool workouts and open water workouts/events, as well as other outdoor exercise like running, biking, skiing, etc. It gives lots of good info and is relatively easy to use. It has a replaceable band. But it's pricey as it includes GPS. If you just want pool workouts, the Garmin Swim seems likes a good bet.

I got all three watches from SwimOutlet, the Speedo and the Finis were in the "watch" section while the Garmin was in the "GPS" area. The Finis is also available from Finis and the Garmin is pretty widely available on the market (with and without a heart rate monitor, which I didn't get).

Kevin in MD
July 12th, 2013, 05:09 PM
I now use the Garmin 910XT, which works for both pool workouts and open water workouts/events, as well as other outdoor exercise like running, biking, skiing, etc. It gives lots of good info and is relatively easy to use. It has a replaceable band. But it's pricey as it includes GPS. If you just want pool workouts, the Garmin Swim seems likes a good bet.


The garmin swim is basically just the lap swim functions of the 910.

I also use a 910 and have been happy with it.

ALM
July 12th, 2013, 09:00 PM
Is there a wrist watch with a lap timer that works for swimming laps?

Is anybody using one successfully?

Which brand and model is it?

Do you hold the watch face down while pushing the lap button, or take any other steps to prevent water entry?

Casio and Timex both make wrist watch lap timers. Timex even sells theirs under the brand name IRONMAN Triathlon. What their advertising and marketing literature typically doesn't tell you, but a call to either companies customer service will reveal, is that they both strongly advise against pushing the lap timer button under water.

What is less clear is pushing the button immediately after a lap, with the watch held in air, but still wet. I could not get either company's customer service to say it was OK to push the lap button then; but they seemed less adamant that that wouldn't work.

Yes, I have used the Timex Ironman watches for many, many years. Two of my current Ironmans (Ironmen?) are each about four years old - I got them on clearance for $12.00 each. Even though we have a great clock at the pool (they turned our scoreboard into a giant digital pace clock - see attached photo), I use them at every practice because I have a terrible time remembering when I left. I use the chrono function and when I get to the wall I look at the watch and then push the lap button when my interval is up and it's time to start again. I try not to push it when the watch is under water; our pool is too deep for me to stand, so I hang onto the wall with the watch out of the water with my left hand, then push the button with my right hand just before I push off again.

In my experience what fails on the Ironman is not the watch, but the straps. My current models have custom-molded straps so it more or less forces you to have to buy Timex straps when they need to be replaced. I have to replace them every 6-12 months.

Anna Lea Matysek

Swimosaur
July 12th, 2013, 10:03 PM
Is there a wrist watch with a lap timer that works for swimming laps?

Why does it have to be a watch? I don't particularly like watches -- the numbers are too small -- and I definitely don't like pushing buttons. I bought a Pace Pal (http://mypacepal.com/) personal pace clock, and use it every day. It's quite portable. I take it everywhere. I like it. You can set it on the deck, or underwater.

Here's a pic:

7725

TomBrooklyn
July 14th, 2013, 05:23 PM
Why does it have to be a watch? A dedicated lap timer would be nice; but it so happens I want to get a general purpose watch anyway, so I was hoping to get one device to do double duty.

The Garmin watches look impressive; but I was hoping something was available in the price range of the Casio and Timex lap timers (Under $50.)

I was wondering if the Casio or Timex Ironman watches would work if one lifts them out of the water before pressing the button? It seems Jayhawk has been successful using it that way.

Old BrsStrk
July 15th, 2013, 09:28 AM
I have used the Timex Ironmen watches for as long as they have been on the market and always swim with it and use it to do splits and interval times when a clock is not available. I always push the buttons underwater and have never had a problem with the watches except for the fact that the bands break long before batteries go. Bands are difficult to replace.

JanSwim
July 15th, 2013, 11:05 AM
Why does it have to be a watch? I don't particularly like watches -- the numbers are too small -- and I definitely don't like pushing buttons. I bought a Pace Pal (http://mypacepal.com/) personal pace clock, and use it every day. It's quite portable. I take it everywhere. I like it. You can set it on the deck, or underwater.


Swimosaur - I love the idea of a personal underwater pace clock. It's on the pricey side though ($169). If it works well for a long time it would be worth it. How long have you had yours?

Swimosaur
July 15th, 2013, 04:24 PM
Swimosaur - I love the idea of a personal underwater pace clock. It's on the pricey side though ($169). If it works well for a long time it would be worth it. How long have you had yours?

JanSwim - I have had my PacePal for a year and a half. Full disclosure: There was an equipment failure during the first year, but PacePal replaced the defective clock immediately, and at no cost. I give their customer service a 100% A+ rating. I use it daily, and sometimes twice a day, so I am a heavy user. The unit I have now has been working flawlessly for 10 months.

The PacePal was designed by a competitive swimmer, for competitive swimmers. The President of PacePal is a wonderful gentleman, Larry Day. Larry swam for the University of Michigan '69-'73, and has stayed in shape ever since. He definitely walks the talk(*)! Larry is the current FINA masters world record holder in M60-64 LCM 200 fly (2:29.05), and the immediate past WR holder in M60-64 LCM 400 IM (5:28.25). And did I mention, a really great guy?

I shopped for a portable, personal pace clock for several years before I got the PacePal. As far as I can tell, it is the best choice on the market.

(*) Swims the spiel?

fmracing
July 16th, 2013, 10:56 AM
I have the sportcount, which is like a little watch that fastens to your index finger, and then you can hit the button with your thumb at any time without breaking stroke. There are different models depending what you're looking for. http://www.sportcount.com/

Mike137
July 17th, 2013, 06:23 PM
I have been using the same Timex Ironman watch for the last 5 years. I use the buttons underwater all the time and I have never had any problems with water getting inside. The buttons do not actually penetrate into the interior of the watch. They are merely plungers that push against a rubber membrane and the membranes push a small button inside the watch. Assuming that the membranes donít crack, I donít think there is much to worry about.

Jason Curry
July 24th, 2013, 01:41 AM
I love the Garmin Swim! It is VERY accurate and comfortable to wear. I've used it for a month and so happy I bought it!

Jlvs2run
May 11th, 2016, 10:50 AM
I have a terrible time remembering when I left. I use the chrono function and when I get to the wall I look at the watch and then push the lap button when my interval is up and it's time to start again.

Great idea!

This way each rep starts from zero, a great way to start from odd seconds.