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The Best Swimming Watches in 2023

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The Best Swimming Watches in 2023

Swimming is a great hobby and an even better way to keep your body fit as well. You can make things even better by wearing a swimming watch through your laps. A swimming watch is far more than just a simple accessory to keep swimmers happy and content in the pool. In fact, there are still lots of features that will make a swimming watch worth it.

A swimming watch should have features like timers heartrate trackers, and much more. Overall, it should help swimmers make the most of their time while swimming. If you love breaking new records or if you love just casually swimming, then you should invest in these best swimming watches to keep you company.

01 Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin is one of the best names you can trust when it comes to fitness trackers and smartwatches. They’ve created some of the best fitness trackers out there, and for swimmers, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is the best choice.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 comes with all of the necessary features that you’ll need for swimming. Be it out in the open waters or in the pool, the Garmin Forerunner 945 makes you well-equipped for the swim session ahead. For starters, the watch isn’t just for swimming. Thanks to its chest-strap heart rate monitors, you can also use the watch for running and cycling as well. Chest-strap heart rate monitors are better than the ones on the wrist because they can measure your heart rate more accurately underwater by themselves.

The watch also comes with a built-in music player, which you can use with a good pair of waterproof headphones so that you stay entertained while in the water. Not many smartwatches and fitness trackers come with a built-in music player, and the Garmin Forerunner 945 adds this feature very well. Additionally, the watch also comes with swimming metrics, including distance (with GPS tracking), stroke count/rate, stroke distance, calories burned, and much more. The watch basically helps you keep track of the important details while you’re swimming out in the open.

Perhaps the only downside to the Garmin Forerunner 945 is that it’s not really the most stylish watch out there. The overall design is plain and rustic, in our opinion, but that doesn’t really matter if you’re looking for a watch that’s made purely for living an active lifestyle. Still, there are others out there that might like Garmin’s straightforward and simple design for its watch.

While a bit pricier than other options out there, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is the best watch for swimmers right now because of the necessary features that it has, which makes it a cut above the rest.

Pros

  • Comes with chest-strap for better heart rate tracking
  • Superb battery life
  • Excellent swimming features

Cons

  • Not very stylish

Specification

  • Price $551.47
  • Battery Life Up to two weeks
  • GPS Yes
  • Heartrate Tracker Yes
  • Waterproof Rating Up to 50m
Garmin Forerunner 945

02 Coros Vertix 2

If the Garmin Forerunner 945 isn’t available, then the second best watch you can get for swimming is the Coros Vertix 2. This super-tough watch will last you for years throughout the most extreme activities. 

The Coros Vertix 2 is a super-touch multi-sports watch that is a great option for those that want to find the best swimming watch. One of the major upsides of this watch is that it has a surprisingly long battery life which makes it perfect for long adventures and trips. As per Coros, the Vertix 2 can keep tracking for up to 140 hours with GPS active. It can go for as long as 240 in its Ultramax mode, and this is applicable for all of its functions including foot, bike, and swimming metrics. If you’re planning on doing all three, there’s also a multi-sport triathlon mode.

The watch comes with a 1.48-inch always-on display that features bold and crips images, which is arguably one of the best ones on the market right now. The high-quality screen makes it easy to see and keep track of your stats at a glance. Even when underwater, the screen still gives visible images. The watch is mostly operated using physical buttons, which is important if you’re going to have wet hands most of the time due to swimming. Of course, you can still use the touchscreen of the Coros Vertix 2 in most cases which is a good way to please everyone.

Another upside to the watch is that it comes with an accurate heart rate. You don’t need a separate chest-strap heart rate monitor to get all of the details that you need. It’s very impressive, considering that most of the watches on this list find it difficult to track heart rate accurately when underwater.

When it comes to negatives, the only real one is that the Coros Vertix 2 is an expensive watch. Still, you’re getting an impressive device that will fit all of your needs with this one if you’re willing to pay extra.

Pros

  • Mosty button-operated
  • Great battery life
  • Accurate heart rate monitor without strap

Cons

  • Expensive

Specification

  • Price $699.00
  • Battery Life Up to 45 days
  • GPS Yes
  • Heartrate Tracker Yes
  • Waterproof Rating Up to 150m
Coros Vertix 2

03 Garmin Descent Mk2i

Swimming isn’t just about taking laps in a pool or in a lake. Some people go the extra mile and dive for several meters underwater. In cases like that, you might want to go the extra mile and use the Garmin Descent Mk2i.

The Garmin Descent Mk2i is more than just a swimming watch. It can serve as a full-fledged dive computer which you can use to keep track of your stats when deep underwater. Of course, the Garmin Descent Mk2i is also capable of keeping you safe. The Garmin Descent Mk2i is equipped with a subwave sonar that can help you transmit data to other divers within a range of 10 meters. Satellite positioning also helps automatically plot entry and exit points so you’re always ready to get in and out when you can. Additionally, there’s a dive log that can store data for up to 200 dives.

Garmin also adds a few important touches that can help you deep underwater. Those include an always-on display that’s very easy to read in various conditions underwater and an Apnea Hunt mode which helps you swim through wildlife without any distractions. There’s also a strap extender that you can use to wear the watch over a dry suit. These smart features and additions make the Garmin Descent Mk2i an excellent – if not the best choice for divers. It’s also probably why this is the most expensive watch on this list right now.

The Garmin Descent Mk2i features support for pressure monitoring of up to five tanks, but this is only made possible if you also purchased the Descent D1 Transmitter. The price of the Garmin Descent Mk2i is extreme, to say the least, and it’s safe to say that the device itself is geared toward hardcore divers. If you’re going to swim in pools or shallow waters only, the Garmin Descent Mk2i might be a bit of an overkill, so we suggest buying a different watch if you’re not going to go scuba diving.

Pros

  • Best for divers
  • Comes with great features for scuba diving
  • Superb waterproofing

Cons

  • Extremely expensive

Specification

  • Price $1,499.99
  • Battery Life Up to two weeks
  • GPS Yes
  • Heartrate Tracker Yes
  • Waterproof Rating Up to 100m
Garmin Descent Mk2i

04 Suunto 7

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a decent swimming watch. If you’re not going to do something extreme and if you just want to keep track of regular workouts, the Suunto 7 is a great choice that won’t cost a lot.

While affordable and simple, the Suunto 7 comes with necessary features that can help data tracking easier for swimmers. There are profiles for pool and open-water swimming, for example. What’s great is that pace and distance measurements are available for both profiles as well, so you can keep track of your performance and progress accurately.  The common misconception about swimming watches is that cheap devices come with limited features and functions. The Suunto 7 proves otherwise by becoming one of the best affordable swimming watches out there.

The Suunto 7 comes with a heart rate sensor that can provide accurate measurements underwater. It can also keep track of other metrics, such as stroke length, type, and count. If you’re training competitively, the Suunto 7 comes with recovery tools that will help you plan out training sessions and resting periods more effectively. Additionally, there’s also a logbook that helps you keep track of all the valuable data that you need to train as well. Overall, the Suunto 7 is a perfect device for professional swimmers as well as for casual swimmers.

The Suunto 7 is compatible with an app that syncs stats very quickly, so you can easily dig through the numbers to spot changes in your performance. Additionally, voice controls via Google Assistant help you use the watch hands-free, which is a great touch that isn’t found in many watches for swimming. The only downside is that you’ll need to have the Suunto app and Google Fit installed on your phone. This minor downside is a small compromise for what you get in return. While the Suunto 9 is a superior device, the Suunto 7 is pretty hard to beat at its price point.

Pros

  • Comes with great features at a great price
  • Recovery tools are great for planning
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Needs two apps for full function

Specification

  • Price $379.99
  • Battery Life Up to 40 days
  • GPS Yes
  • Heartrate Tracker Yes
  • Waterproof Rating Up to 50m
Suunto 7

05 Apple Watch Ultra

When it comes to smartwatches, one name that comes to mind rather quickly is Apple. While the brand has been on a tear with its smartwatch line, but the Apple Watch Ultra is geared toward those that love to be active.

Since launching in September, the Apple Watch Ultra has become a very popular choice for joggers, triathletes, swimmers, and more. Thanks to its assortment of great features and the high-quality build expected from Apple, you’re getting an amazing watch that can do more than just connect to your smartphone. The Apple Watch Ultra comes with a lot of amazing upgrades that make it worth getting. It has a large bright screen which is perfect for swimming. When underwater, the colors are still crisp, and it’s very easy to know what you’re doing because of its size.

The Apple Watch Ultra also comes with an action button on the side that’s customizable. You no longer have to fiddle with the touch screen too much if you want to start or stop an activity. Since you’re going to be bringing this watch to the pool or in open waters, this action button serves as a great addition that makes controlling the watch a lot easier. The Apple Watch Ultra also comes with a superb battery life that can make it at least 36 hours with most of its metrics on. It’s one of the best and most stylish smart watches from Apple, so if you’re a fan of the brand, this is the watch to get.

Sadly, the swimming metrics of the Apple Watch Ultra could be a bit better. It has features for tracking swimming which includes a SWOLF score that can count your strokes against your swim time. The waterproofing of the Apple Watch Ultra is around 100m which is 50m less than most of the competitors.

The Apple Watch Ultra proves that Apple really knows its game when it comes to making watches for specific needs. It might lack high-end features for swimming, but it’s still good overall.

Pros

  • Very stylish
  • Large and bright display

Cons

  • Lacks impressive features for swimming

Specification

  • Price $799.00
  • Battery Life Up to 36 hours
  • GPS Yes
  • Heartrate Tracker Yes
  • Waterproof Rating Up to 100m
Apple Watch Ultra

Jonas Sunico

Jan 13, 2023

Jonas is a writer with over 6 years of experience in the tech and gaming industry. He holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from University of the East Philippines and is one of the proud leaders of the academe's Journalism Society. At heart, he's a hardcore tech junkie that loves video games, the latest gadgets, and the wonderful science behind social media and AI.

314 Articles Published

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