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Thread: Need a Decent Swim Watch with Reliable Heart Monitor

  1. #1
    Active Member Judester's Avatar
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    Need a Decent Swim Watch with Reliable Heart Monitor

    Ok, so maybe I'm asking for too much but I want a swim watch that...
    1. Tracks laps accurately
    2. Tracks pace
    3. Has a GPS so it can also track open water distance
    4. Has a reliable heart rate monitor for swimming
    5. Works with Gymlink


    Right now, I have a Garmin Swim Watch and a Polar FT7 heart monitor. I love my swim watch but it only tracks pool lengths and not open water. The sensor on my Polar FT7 keeps flipping out in the water. One minute it reads 147, the next minute it reads 30, the next minute it reads 216, and then it tells me it can't find the signal. I've already been through two sensors in three months. Both of them eventually flipped out and flipped out the same way.

    I'm also tired of wearing two watches. I would like an all in one watch but if I'm going to spend a small fortune on a new one, I want one that's reliable and won't break after a month. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Kevin in MD's Avatar
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    Re: Need a Decent Swim Watch with Reliable Heart Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Judester View Post
    I love my swim watch but it only tracks pool lengths and not open water. The sensor on my Polar FT7 keeps flipping out in the water.

    The ft7 heart rate strap and many others are digital and don't transmit through water. I think the frequency is 2.4 ghz.

    For underwater function you need an analog heart rate strap, they work at 5 mhz. It's actually important that you seem to be a woman, since straps don't work well for shirtless men at all.

    This is only one watch that will do what you want and it won't do it yet.

    The polar v800 has an analog strap, by the end of the summer it will do lap counting in a pool and has open water swim measuring with a gps receiver. I think it retails for $500. They are planning a firmware update to get the new swim functions with it.

    There are other watches that do one half or the other. The suunto ambit, garmin 910xt and garmin fenix2 will do everything but the heart rate while swimming.

    A very inexpensive heart rate monitor from walmart will often have an analog strap but won't do the lap counting.

    The poolmate hr has heart rate while swimming and pool metrics but not the outdoor swim metrics.

    So for foreseeable future, the polar is the only option.

    The tomtom multisport cardio also appears to have all the bits needed to do what you are asking for but for some reason they have not enabled those functions and their roadmap offers no suggestion that they will.

  3. #3
    Active Member Judester's Avatar
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    Re: Need a Decent Swim Watch with Reliable Heart Monitor

    The manual for the FT7 doesn't list the MHz so I don't know what it is.

    I'll check out the ones you recommended though. I may take your suggestion on a Walmart analog strap for now until something better comes around. I didn't think Walmart even carried such things!

  4. #4
    Active Member Judester's Avatar
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    Re: Need a Decent Swim Watch with Reliable Heart Monitor

    What about the Forerunner 910XT w/heart rate monitor? Anyone have one of these and an opinion about it?
    Last edited by Judester; August 26th, 2014 at 08:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member Kevin in MD's Avatar
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    Re: Need a Decent Swim Watch with Reliable Heart Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Judester View Post
    What about the Forerunner 910XT w/heart rate monitor? Anyone have one of these and an opinion about it?
    I own a 910, works well, but it doesn't do hr in the water, as I mentioned earlier.

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