View Full Version : watches?

August 27th, 2004, 11:27 AM
What watches are out there with a thermometer and the abilty to handle water that aren't bigger than your wrist? I've been searching for a replacement and I cna't find anythign small enough to actually swim in! Seeme like all my minimal equipment is failing. THe onyl thing still working as expected and easy to repalce is/are my goggles!

Rob Copeland
August 27th, 2004, 12:30 PM
Iíve had my Timex ReefGear for over 4 years. Besides being cheap and still working; it does a great job of measuring water temperature (not as good with air temp). Itís measured my swims down to 47F and as high as 94F. Iíve verified it against pool thermometers a number of times and it has always been spot on.

The only problem is that Iím not sure where you can get them these days.

August 27th, 2004, 12:56 PM
Here is a link


Good luck


August 28th, 2004, 02:45 AM
Fancy equipment?? Watches with a thermometer??
I use a simple water thermometer. With a thermometer that is not attached to your body, you can chuck the thing in, look at the thing while on the shore then entrust your body to retieve it and read it. Hence how you learn water temps!
While waiting, I have anticipated my swim judging the weather, month, air temp as well as my 'foot reading'
Here's How!
If ,when I put my bare feet in the fresh water while my body is fully clothed and warm, and I get an Ice Cream Headache then the rest of my body remains clothed. The temperature is not there for swimming.
If I put my feet in, and my face grimaces, really contorts, while walking deeper, It's questionable.
If as I walk in, and it makes me grimace, hands flapping, body dancing, but slowly I keep on moving till most of me is wet, then give it a possible 20 mins swim.
You see, if I had to immerse a watch, attached to my arm, and wait for that thermometer to record, I would be rather cold, and depending on the temp may have come up an intriquing list of "To Do's". Besides, keeping that arm immersed for the length of time required for the reading , while doing a 'cold water dance' may interfer with the improvised choreography.
In the early months (May and June depending on the lake) MY thermometer swims a lot more than I do. But at least not a lot of me gets wet.
I do however record the temp most times I swim. Adds to the log book entry!!
Sometimes, the temp is more endurable than you would expect.
Have fun. Be sensible, swim with others.

August 28th, 2004, 01:33 PM
THanks for the link the wathc looks nice but sort of large-any idea of the dimensions?

As for why well I swim open water and paritcularly in the fall months water temps drop dramatically or rise dramatically along the swim. Par tof it is curiosity and part safety. I've pulled swimmers form the water along this coast quite a few times (when kayaking) becuase of hypothermia in most cases the water temp had dropped 10 degrees or more.
Yes, I swim unescorted wise or not its the onyl way i cna manage and knwoing when the temp drops can help me guage if I'm feeling a little tired and cool or if its time to get out!

On the other side, during an 8 mile swim that turned into 10, I had a friend join me, he usually fades out badly at 4-5 miles and becomes very chilled if he continues. He kept insisting he was fine and the thermometer he had showed a water temp rise to 74 degrees-our water is usually in the 60's! So I thought it was fine for him to continue and it was. His watch is a true technical marvel with altimeter barometer etc but its huge!

Most of it is curiosity though if i'm wearing a watch anyway why not know the temp. I've seen small watches with a thermometer, I just can't find one. I see most swimmers in the ocena with wathces and quite a few seem to have temp readings so i wondered where they bought them!

Rob Copeland
August 30th, 2004, 11:17 AM
My ReefGear is the size (thickness and diameter) of a typical menís sports watch, like the Ironman series. It is much smaller than true dive watches. It is definitely NOT large enough to drag you to the bottom or to be used as a shield to fend off Georgeís sharks.

And while the ReefGear will never replace Kiwiís cold water dance to the godís of the open water, it will give you readings throughout the swim not just along the shore. Itís nice to know how cold those cold patches are.

Kiwi raises a valid point, with a regular pool thermometer; you can toss it in the water and drag it back to check the temp, without committing to getting wet. With a wristwatch, there is a certain level of commitment and it does take my watch a minute or two before it gets a true reading. Also, I donít need to stand there with my hand submerged to get a good reading. My watch does just fine, when Iím swimming freestyle.

August 30th, 2004, 04:21 PM
Does the ReefGear watch do splits? I think I saw one at Sports Authority recently. BTW, I use a $1.99 thermometer from Target attached to a cord. That way early in the season we can throw it in off the end of a dock, let it sink, then read it - no commitment. Granted, we do not get to read it as we swim along, but once the temps start falling I like to take the reading after the immersion, as opposed to before (I have something of a cold water dance, myself - quite a crowd pleaser).

Rob Copeland
August 30th, 2004, 04:44 PM
Yes, the ReefGear does splits; mine does up to 4 splits in stopwatch mode.

It also says itís ďWater resistant to 100 metersĒ, but Iím sure Iíve swum farther than that and it still works.;)

And I havenít tried this, but you could throw your watch off the pier, instead of a thermometer. Just make sure to tie the cord.

August 31st, 2004, 01:03 AM
Can I throw it out in the surf and then retireve it. Will it scare off whatever bumped me in the water yesterday? Most importantly can it be converted into a mini-motor?
Okay we all swim in different sorts of open water with different assumptions. I usually swim through a surf break and when the water is colder the surf is usually bigger no dance for me because I'm ducking the waves. I will check out the reef gear! I am female but it doesn't look like there are any women's watches out there!

September 1st, 2004, 11:15 AM
I'd just like to thank you all for this topic. I live in Italy, and have been looking around for a watch with a thermometer, but just get looks like I must be a crazy lady (which may be kind of true). Usually the water here is on the warm side (anyone who did the 3KM at Riccione can confirm), but I'm just curious as to what the true temp is, instead of guessing. I'm going to look for the reefgear.

October 25th, 2004, 09:09 PM
I appreciate the info about watches with temperature indicator. It occured to me, as much as I would like and could use such a watch, I probably could not read it without my glasses. Which, as you may well appreciate, I don't wear when I swim. So, next step, where would I find prescription goggles. So I could read my watch.:)

November 3rd, 2004, 07:41 AM
Temperatures may go up and down during a swim, depending on current, exposure to winds and shade, ... Dropping a thermometer into the water before the swim is a very good method but we cannot foresee surprises that may be waiting for us on our way across.

Another alternative would be a depth gauge with integrated watch and thermometer, such as a Suunto D3 or Suunto Stinger. They are very accurate and primarily used by freedivers.

By the way, I just found out that Rob Copeland has successfully swum around Manhattan in 1999 and across the English Channel in 2000. I would like to express my greatest respect for these achievements!


clyde hedlund
November 4th, 2004, 01:56 PM
Did a fast search on the internet for Timex Reefgear. There appears to be several different models of this watch. Now, just which model works best for swimming? They even come with different bands. Will the Fastwrap work in the surfzone? Especially when swimming parallel to the waves (I love getting banged around) and body surfing in to the beach (getting lifted and pounded into the sand)?

November 9th, 2004, 03:42 PM
Today I got a water thermometer! I got it with "points" from my local supermarket - didn't even pay for it! It's a baby-bath thermometer. Measures from
-19c to +60c! (I hope the water temperature I measure is somewhere around the middle range there...) But the best part is it's shaped like a tropical fish!!! I can't wait to bring it to the pool tomorrow... at least it will be worth a few laughs. :D