The 8 Best Swimming Watches: For the Pool, Ocean, and Sea

NanaDC watch reviews

Thanks to the influence of Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz, swimming has become a popular sport over the past few decades.

Whether you need to find a new routine or want to try your luck in the pool, swimming is the perfect alternative to more rigorous workouts like weights or aerobic exercises.

To enhance your experience, you are going to need a swimming watch that tracks your movements and records valuable data. Here are some noteworthy picks.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 - Best Overall

Samsung is one of the leading providers of smartphones and digital devices. Indeed, its versatility, customizable designs, and abundant features make it the best overall watch on the list.

The Samsung timepiece satisfies military standards (MIL-STD-810G), so expect top-tier durability on land, air, and water.

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It also boasts of 43-hour battery life, so there won't be a need to worry about the Galaxy watch randomly shutting down.

A built-in coaching feature provides additional feedback and analysis for pool activities and open water swimming.

Outside of multisport functions, the Samsung watch gives an in-depth analysis of rest patterns with its automatic sleep tracker, which focuses on sleeping habits, stress management, and breathing techniques.

LTE activity optimizes user experience by connecting notifications, texts, calls, and music.

These can be accessed while in open water. The AMOLED display ensures easy readability of all the watch features in real-time.

  • Meets military specifications (MIL-STG-810G)
  • Superior 43-hour battery life
  • Straightforward and detailed coaching feature
  • Automatic sleep tracker improves downtime patterns
  • Easy-to-read AMOLED display
  • None

Fitbit Versa Smartwatch - Best Value

Fitbit is a young player on the rise among other watch brands. The Versa Smartwatch does more than your average fitness tracker. Hence, the Fitbit watch gives maximum value for money.

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For starters, it can operate under temperature ranges of 10 to 60 degrees Celsius. Therefore, you can use it for either lap or open water swimming.

On one hand, a conventional swimming pool has temperatures of 26 to 28 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the mean temperature of the ocean is 17 degrees Celsius.

A 50-meter water-resistant capacity guarantees utmost protection while swimming. The Versa Smartwatch gives access to real-time statistics such as distance, pace, time elapsed, and heart rate.

Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity displays all the recorded data on Apple, Android, or Windows devices. Comfort is another asset because of the sleek and lightweight aluminum watch body.

The Versa timepiece houses one of the most reliable battery lifespans. While other watches barely survive a day's worth of activities, the Fitbit watch lasts for four or more days without charging.

  • Satisfies average water temperatures
  • Water-resistant of up to 50 meters
  • Access to real-time data (distance, pace, etc.)
  • Bluetooth compatibility connects mobile phones
  • Long-lasting 4+ days battery life
  • Hot water may cause defects

Timex Ironman Classic 30 Watch - Best Budget Pick

While most swimming watches can go for hefty price tags, there is also a fair share of timepieces that are reasonably-priced.

One of which is the Timex Ironman watch, the most affordable swimming timepiece.

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For starters, easy readability is one of its strong suits. The digital display comes with an illuminating Indiglo backlight that can illuminate the timepiece while in dark areas or night time settings.

A 100-hour chronograph with 30 lap memory benefits those who want to keep track of their speed in the pool.

Rather than relying on a separate stopwatch, the Timex Ironman records elapsed seconds per lap. Not only is it more convenient, but the watch provides accurate results in real-time.

An accurate quartz movement guarantees reliable timekeeping and a 100-meter water-resistance rating ensures protection from water pressure.

The swimming watch can last up to a decade with its 10-year battery life. Five user-friendly buttons deliver all-access to timers, alarms, and night light features.

  • Easy-to-read digital dial
  • Lap memory records correct and exact data
  • Precise and accurate quartz movement
  • Water-resistant of up to 100 meters
  • Long 10-year battery life
  • Easy-to-use buttons
  • Plastic strap may be easily breakable
  • 38 mm case diameter may be too small

Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch

Garmin is another watch manufacturer that produces high-end smartwatches for activities like diving, hiking, and swimming. The Swim 2 GPS timepiece keeps up with other premium swimming watches.

The pool swim mode tracks distance, pace, stroke type, stroke count, and other factors that contribute to swimming efficiency.

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The open water swim mode works for courses such as lakes, rivers, seas, etc. An additional GPS function gives the exact location for easy navigation.

The Garmin Swim 2 smartwatch also comes with a heart rate monitor, which updates your beats per minute (BPM) readings while underwater. It helps determine average heart rate measurements per swimming session.

If you want more advanced data, the Critical Swim Speed feature estimates anaerobic speed levels. Drill logging is for more specific skills like one-arm swimming, leg paddling, etc.

Online analysis and through the Garmin Connect online community gives feedback that helps you maintain pace and develop new swimming skills.

A 7-day battery lifespan completes the user experience.

  • Pool swim mode records swimming data
  • Open water swim mode provides GPS settings
  • Heart rate monitor gives precise BPM readings
  • Superior 7-day battery lifespan
  • Online connectivity via Garmin Connect
  • None

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker

Do you want a swimming watch that sports a minimalist feel and packs useful features? Look no further by checking out the Fitbit Charge 4 timepiece.

The GPS settings do more than track the current location. It also records heart rate changes in real-time. It helps gauge how to maintain consistent BPM ratings and avoid burnout while swimming.

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Practicing excellent sleeping habits are as important as daily exercise.

The Sleep Score function on the Fitbit App can track light, deep, and REM sleeping stages. These give a more detailed breakdown of sleeping patterns.

Unique vibrations start buzzing once you have reached accomplishments like burned fat or peak heart ratings. These sounds gauge your current progress to help maintain consistent results and elevate your overall workout.

Want to receive extra motivation and energy? The Fitbit swimming watch enables Spotify app controls, which lets you play your favorite music.

Rounding up the features is a 50-meter water-resistance rating and a 7-day battery lifespan.

  • GPS settings record changes in heart rate
  • Sleep Score gives feedback on sleeping patterns
  • Vibrations track current progress
  • Spotify app control lets you play music
  • Water-resistant of up to 50-meters
  • Reliable 7-day battery lifespan
  • 30-gram weight may be too heavy for some

POLAR Vantage V2 Wrist-Based Swimming Watch

Although POLAR is not a household name compared to the likes of Fitbit, Samsung, and Garmin, the Vantage V2 swimming watch is another timepiece swimmers should be on the lookout for.

GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO tools assist the user when it comes to navigating directions for open water swimming sessions.

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The POLAR watch connects with the Polar Flow application and web software.

It provides all the information you need on both your smartphone or computer. These include progress reports, sleep, and activity data.

It is also compatible with other fitness apps such as Nike+ Run Club, Adidas Running by runtastic, Trainingpeaks, etc. These improve the user experience while doing exercises like jogging, swimming, and hiking.

The Leg Recovery Test help determine the current status and condition of the legs. This feature is essential to avoid injuries and freak accidents.

Furthermore, the battery power can last for 40 hours (training mode) 100 hours (watch mode), and seven days (ultra-saving) based on which you choose.

  • Navigation tools guide watch users
  • Polar Flow App connects watch to PC or smartphone
  • Compatible with third-party fitness apps
  • Leg Recovery Test gauges legs' current condition
  • Superior battery lifespan
  • None

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist Watch

Not to be outdone, Suunto makes watches that satisfy the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and sports fans. A rugged design and useful features supply the high-quality Spartan watch.

For starters, a mineral crystal and polished stainless steel bezel enclose the digital display for scratch-resistant purposes. There won't be a need to worry about potential damages affecting the Suunto watch.

Suunto Spartan Sport (Wrist - Hr), Black
  • Battery life up to 12 hours in training mode
  • Steel bezel, mineral Crystal Glass, and an outdoor grade color touch screen
  • Strong and sleek design with100 meter water resistance

Bluetooth Smart connectivity allows compatibility with the Suunto Movescount App. Apple and Android devices have access to data like distance covered, heart rate, and time elapsed.

Eighty sports modes with racing and interval use benefit those who want to record their real-time stats in the middle of lap swimming.

Getting lost in the middle of the ocean? GPS and GLONASS satellite systems will help find your way back to shore with their precise readings and accurate tracking.

Capping off the features is a 100-meter water-resistant rating and 12-hour battery power in training mode.

  • Scratch-resistant mineral crystal
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel bezel
  • Compatible with the Suunto Movescount App
  • Satellite systems (GPS and GLONASS) provide exact location
  • Superior 12-hour battery lifespan
  • 74-gram weight may be too heavy for some

Willful Swimming Waterproof Watch

Finally, the last watch on the list is the Willful Swimming Waterproof watch. It lives up to its brand name by willfully competing with other top-tier swimming watches.

It never misses a beat when it comes to daily online updates. By downloading the "VeryFitPro" app, you can check out Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter notifications.

Practical features surround the Willful watch to enhance the user experience. A stopwatch, timer, and breathing guide are necessary to develop everyday habits and proper exercise routines.

A fitness tracker accurately records statistics such as calories burned, distance covered, and physical status. The watch can last around 10-30 days after two and a half hours of charging.

The Willful swimming timepiece practices easy readability. You can choose between three levels of brightness.

Therefore, you can adjust the brightness level according to preference or recommended prescription.

  • "VeryFitPro" app connects with social media sites
  • Access to smart notifications, calls, and texts
  • Stopwatch and timer are beneficial for pool swimming
  • Long-lasting battery lifespan
  • Easy-to-read digital display
  • Not compatible with all phones
  • Requires Android 4.4/iOS 8.0 or higher

Why Should You Buy Swimming Watches?

You may be wondering why you need to buy a swimming watch. However, it is more than just techy features or an extra accessory for both pool and open water swimming.

why should you buy swimming watches

Here are some advantages that may convince you to purchase your swimming watch:

Complete Data Breakdown

The best swimming watches give you a complete breakdown of the data.

From determining the different speeds of each lap to the total distance covered on the water, they provide you with a blow-by-blow analysis of each swimming session.

Some swimming watches also cover additional data like stroke count, heart rate, etc.

Precise Technique Monitoring

If you want to master the butterfly, freestyle, or any other stroke type, some of the more high-end swimming watches can critique your techniques.

These timepieces determine whether your stroke rates are just right, too slow, or too fast. In short, a swimming watch serves as your virtual coach.

Satellite Navigation Tools

For those who want to go out in the open water, it is vital to have a GPS by your side. It can be a hassle to carry actual GPS while swimming.

Luckily, most swimming watches contain GPS, GLONASS, and other tracking systems that optimize the user experience.

Indeed, these navigation tools will help you find your way back should you get lost.

Maximum Durability and Reliable Battery Life

Swimming watches can last for extended periods. Premium materials and meticulous craftsmanship result in timepieces that withstand water pressure, bumps from the pool's edges, etc.

It also helps that most swimming watches contain long battery lifespans. These allow you to have extra practice time to perfect your swimming forms.

What Should You Consider Before Buying Swimming Watches?

Now that we have gone over the features, advantages, and drawbacks of each timepiece, here are some things to ponder before purchasing your very own swimming watch.

First of all, does your desired watch fit the budget? Swimming watches vary in the price range.

what should you consider before buying swimming watches

The cheap watches track lap speed or pool activity, while expensive timepieces contain more sophisticated features like fitness trackers, a heart rate monitor, etc.

Do you want a watch that records multisport data, or are you fixated on swimming statistics only?

Last but not least, the watch will not mean anything if you have little to no interest in the sport. So before buying the swimming watch, make sure you are fully committed to at least trying the activity.

You don't have to be a swimming expert, but using the watch often will make your purchase worth it.


I hope you enjoyed browsing through the different swimming watches. May you find the one that will help you conquer the water.

With proper practice and a lot of help from the swimming timepiece, you may be well on your way to becoming the next Michael Phelps.

Links, prices, and images were pulled from the Amazon API. Last updated on 2022-10-07.