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Thread: Swim/Sports Watch

  1. #1
    Participating Member
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    Aug 2012
    Brooklyn, NY

    Swim/Sports Watch

    Any recommendations as to the best watch for swimming? I am an independent swimmer who does about 3-4 meets a year.
    My main goal is better conditioning and fitness.

    I am an Apple guy...Iphone 7 and MacBook Air. Doesn't mean I need to buy Apple, but something that will sync up well with my devices.

    A fellow swimmer recommended the Garmin 735xt, but she is more of a triathlete who, of course, has to swim. I am 'just' a swimmer.

    I'm willing to pay $500-ish, tops, although less would be better, of course.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Round Rock, TX
    Blog Entries

    Re: Swim/Sports Watch

    I posted in a similar thread some time ago:

    I've had my Apple Watch (2nd generation) for about 1-1/2 year and continue to enjoy it. When the 3rd generation was released last year, Apple released some firmware updates for earlier watches (such as auto sets) that have really helped.

    In the past I've used Garmin Forerunners for running and cycling. Toward the end I constantly ran into issues with the HR monitor synching, and with the device logging accurate distances. I had purchased a version that could be used for swimming-biking-running, but I was so frustrated after using it a few times that I returned it.

    Along with the fitness aspects of the Apple Watch, it also does many other things. At first I didn't think I needed them, but after getting used to sending/receiving texts, having directions (with the watch buzzing when there's a change), checking weather, controlling the phone's camera, and checking news headlines, I like the whole product of the Apple Watch.
    Check out my blog here
    "You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

  3. #3
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Re: Swim/Sports Watch

    I like the Apple Watch too, however if you want to time your intervals on the 3 theres only two time settings (at either :15 or :70) to choose from to keep the watch face active. For me itd be ok for 50s or 75s but any greater distance and the watch goes dark and takes a few taps to wake it back up; takes a couple seconds.
    Last edited by arrieros; May 28th, 2018 at 05:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Glenn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Pasadena, CA

    Re: Swim/Sports Watch

    The Firebelly is an excellent device for swimming. You can slip it under your cap and it can talk to you and tell you your 25 split, 50 split, etc. It is easy to hear and it also can give you your sendoff so you really don't even need a clock on the wall to workout. All of your times can be downloaded later.

    Firebelly was created by a Masters Swimmer, Matt Keller, and is still being tweaked for swimmers.

    It is definetly worth looking into!
    Glenn Gruber

  5. #5
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Algonquin, IL

    Re: Swim/Sports Watch

    Thanks for bringing up Firebelly, Glenn! As Glenn mentioned, I invented the Firebelly device. It's a little different than the swim watches in that it gives you real-time feedback on your times using bone conduction audio. You can get feedback while you swim without trying to look at a tiny screen or "pace clock peep" during your turns. It's generally very accurate and can read out times to the tenths.

    As mentioned in the referenced thread, there are a number of swim tracking options (Apple Watch, Garmin, etc.) that are good for tracking yardage, time spent, etc. I consider Firebelly more for performance monitoring and feedback, which can help you with pacing, stroke technique & efficiency, and even motivation

    Feel free to reach out here or DM me with any questions.
    -- Matt

  6. #6
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Dover, DE

    Re: Swim/Sports Watch

    I use the Garmin 920XT. It is also a triathlon watch, but is a lot cheaper than the 735 since it isn't the newest model. Mine has survived 2 years so far and still works fine, although it is turning yellow. I've used the GPS function for open water and the accelerometer in the pool.

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