Best Open Water Swim Watches in 2022

Reviewed by Patricia Warren
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Patricia Warren

For over a decade, Patricia Warren has served as an assistant swim coach and encouraged many swimmers to contribute best to their career in swimming. Now, she is implementing her skills and education in the areas of blogging.

Why in the world would you need to buy swim watches? The answer is simple: It’s tough to read the time at the bottom of the pool. However, if you own an open water swim watch, look up at the sun once every hour and be sure that your watch is always set to that time – otherwise, you’ll be swimming in circles!

It will save you from some heavy mental anguish, but it will also make it easier for the lifeguards on duty to keep an eye on things. Most of the time, high-end open water watches will also feature a certain amount of water resistance. You can have the watch on in the pool and not worry about breaking or shorting out.

You’ve probably heard of triathlon watches, and for a good reason: They’re sports watches that combine GPS capabilities with a heart rate monitor and miniature open water swim watches.

1. Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch

Features
  • Item Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 1 inches
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 2.12 ounces

More features: It includes a wrist-based heart rate monitor, accelerometer, optical heart rate sensor, barometer, and GPS mode, Reasonable design with all the features, Impressive Battery life.

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9.5
Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch
Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch 1
Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch 2
Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch 3
Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch
Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch 1
Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch 2
Garmin Forerunner 945 Smartwatch 3

It is pretty simple to use a Garmin Forerunner 945 watch. You can start by downloading the Garmin Connect Mobile App and then downloading the music you want on your device. You can control almost everything from it—monitoring, music, and more.

The app will also help you analyze your thoughts and performances to help you improve your lap swimming. Even though it is not waterproof, it has a great design and includes a wrist-based heart rate monitor, accelerometer, optical heart rate sensor, barometer, and GPS mode.

The watch is lightweight and does not feel cumbersome at all. It is very comfortable and fits perfectly for most people. Also consist of an optical heart rate sensor, barometer, and accelerometer to give you the information you need to optimize your training. There are a lot of other features on this watch, such as a fitness tracker, swimming activity tracking, etc.

GPS mapping capabilities will direct you to a route if you get lost. You can also view various maps along the way. With this watch, you can receive notifications of e-mails, text messages, and phone calls from your phone.

Battery life two weeks in smartwatch mode 10 hours in GPS mode with music or up to 60 hours in ultra-trace mode

This great watch is one of the best swimming watches meant precisely for swimmers because they will be able to know their performance at all times.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Reasonable design with all the features
  • It can be used for other sports
  • Impressive Battery life 
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Bit expensive
  • No Touchscreen

2. Garmin Swim 2, GPS Swimming Smartwatch

Features
  • Item Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 5 inches
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 1.28 ounces

More features: Tracks heart rate, distance, pace, and more without needing an additional device like a chest strap or separate heart rate monitor, Stores workout data in memory, Lightweight and comfortable,perfect for everyday wear.

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Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch
Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch 1
Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch 2
Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch 3
Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch
Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch 1
Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch 2
Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Smartwatch 3

Wrist-based heart rate tracking is provided by an optical heart rate monitor that measures the pulse wave amplitude of the blood flow through your wrist. It is unaffected by immersion in water.

Open water swim mode uses built-in GPS to track distance, pace, stroke count, and stroke rate on lakes, oceans, and rivers. Controls are pretty simple to use. You can download the Garmin Connect Mobile App, which will give you access to many different things, including your swim data.

You can share your activities and connect with fellow swimmers on Garmin Connect online community through free online analysis.

It will also provide intelligent notifications and automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online community.

It carries remarkable battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS and optical heart rate (ohr) mode, and 72 hours in pool and ohr mode.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable – perfect for everyday wear.
  • You can wear the watch for multiple occasions.
  • Compatible with a variety of mobile devices and Garmin Connect App. 
  • Reduces the need to take your phone out of your pocket during workouts. 
  • Tracks heart rate, distance, pace, and more without needing an additional device like a chest strap or separate heart rate monitor.
  • It comes with a chest strap to measure your heart rate without taking your phone out of your pocket. 
  • GPS tracking capabilities will direct you to a route if lost.
  • Stores workout data in memory, so you have it available when needed.

Cons:

  • The size of the watchband is smaller and can be uncomfortable sometimes
  • Does not provide exact GPS readings occasionally

3. Apple Watch Series 5

Features
  • Item Dimensions: ‎11.69 x 3.03 x 2.24 inches
  • Color: Space Gray Aluminum with Black Sport Band
  • Item Weight: 1.7 ounces

More features: Connects to an iPhone 5 or newer, iPad 2 or newer, or iPod Touch 6th generation, Wrist-based heart rate tracking is provided by a chest-mounted optical heart rate monitor and an electrical heart sensor, The Emergency SOS feature will call emergency services with a button.

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Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 1
Apple Watch Series 5 2
Apple Watch Series 5 3
Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 1
Apple Watch Series 5 2
Apple Watch Series 5 3

It is one of the best apple watch series that offer advanced features for staying on pace, logging drills, and more.

It is waterproof up to 50 meters so that you can swim with this watch. It will help you measure your progress and improve on it.

Its battery life is about 18 hours for the smartwatch and about 6 hours when swimming. This watch is simple but efficient. It is a perfect choice for a swimming workout.

The integration of the Apple Watch with an iPhone has been well synchronized. You can start swimming with your Apple Watch within minutes of taking it off the charger. 

The Emergency SOS feature will call emergency services with a button.

Its screen is large, clear, and colorful.

It has optical and electrical heart sensors, and a new electrical heart sensor gives you a full electrocardiogram with the touch of a finger. It is one of the most versatile watches available on the market today.

The GPS mode works well and has never failed me. Emergency SOS works when needed. This watch can do it all and track your fitness or even monitor your vitals when you sleep at night.

Also, provide a magnetic charger for charging.

Pros:

  • You can have the watch shows you text messages or missed calls from your iPhone to your wrist. 
  • Connects to an iPhone 5 or newer, iPad 2 or newer, or iPod Touch 6th generation. 
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters so that you can swim with this watch. 
  • Wrist-based heart rate tracking is provided by a chest-mounted optical heart rate monitor and an electrical heart sensor.
  • The Emergency SOS feature will call emergency services with a button.
  • Pulse measurement is provided by an optical heart rate sensor on the back of the watch that measures the pulse wave amplitude of the blood flow through your wrist.
  • Its screen is large, clear, and colorful.

Cons:

  • Battery life is not unique as you must have charge it every day
  • As the name suggests, the price is undoubtedly higher than other intelligent swim watches

4. Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

Features
  • Item Dimensions: ‎1.9 x 0.6 x 1.9 inches
  • Color: Black W/Black band
  • Item Weight: 3.04 ounces

More features: 24/7 heart rate monitoring with no chest strap needed, A large and vibrant screen works excellently in direct sunlight, GPS accuracy is top-notch.

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Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus 1
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus 2
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus 3
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus 1
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus 2
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus 3

This swimming watch is designed for the gym, bike, or run. It has an optical heart rate monitor and an accelerometer for fitness tracking. You can record your workout activity to any three activity modes: land, swim, and bike/run.

The watch will automatically detect your activity mode, so you do not have to change your settings. It can also be used as a sports watch because it features more than one sport.

The material of the watch is durable and rugged. It Will let you know if your heart rate is too low. It has a long battery life and an excellent GPS sensor, so you can use it while running or biking to track your path.

It also has a compass which is great for exploring new trails. It also has a Garmin Pay feature that lets you make contactless payments with your watch, so no one needs to see your credit card number.

Battery performance has been on point. I have never needed to charge the watch during a workout. It also lasts me all day with regular use. It is a quality product that will help you track your fitness and improve swimming efficiency into the pool and open water swimming.

Pros:

  • Build quality is excellent, feels exceptionally durable, and is well made.
  • A large and vibrant screen works excellently in direct sunlight.
  • GPS accuracy is top-notch.
  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring with no chest strap needed. 
  • Garmin Pay is a nice feature

Cons:

  • Battery life could be better, and it usually lasts me a day at most with heart rate monitoring on all day, notifications, etc.

5. SUUNTO 9 Baro & Peak, GPS Sports Watch

Features
  • Item Dimensions: ‎‎1.97 x 1.97 x 0.67 inches
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: ‎0.58 Pounds

More features: It has a compass that is excellent for navigating the mountains, The watch has excellent connectivity to both sensors and satellites, The Suunto 9 Baro & Peak will track your daily movement, sleep, heart rate, steps, and calories burned.

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SUUNTO 9 Baro Peak GPS Sports Watch
SUUNTO 9 Baro Peak GPS Sports Watch 1
SUUNTO 9 Baro Peak GPS Sports Watch 2
SUUNTO 9 Baro Peak GPS Sports Watch 3
SUUNTO 9 Baro Peak GPS Sports Watch
SUUNTO 9 Baro Peak GPS Sports Watch 1
SUUNTO 9 Baro Peak GPS Sports Watch 2
SUUNTO 9 Baro Peak GPS Sports Watch 3

This swimming watch is suitable for hiking or backpacking in the mountains. Suppose you are an athlete or just a person looking for a good watch. It has an engaging design.

It features a color touch screen and is water-resistant up to 100 meters. It also has a metal bezel, durable enough for outdoor activities. It also comes with various sensors such as a barometer, altimeter, compass, and heart rate monitor.

Connected with Garmin, Suunto’s GPS sports watch is an excellent choice for winter athletes and active people who use their watch during the day to track their training. It’s feature-packed with a color touch screen that responds quickly and has all the features you need.

It also tracks your sleep and monitors while doing any outdoor activity.

This watch is a rugged outdoor watch built to last. It also has an optical heart rate monitor to track your fitness easily. The watch’s features are outstanding, and it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor activities, especially for competitive swimming.

The Suunto 9 Baro & Peak will track your daily movement, sleep, heart rate, steps, and calories burned. The material of the watch is tough and durable.

Pros:

  • The display is bright and colorful.
  • It also has a compass that is excellent for navigating the mountains. 
  • The watch has excellent connectivity to both sensors and satellites. 

Cons:

  • App synchronization is intricate
  • Bit pricey

6. Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch

Features
  • Item Dimensions: ‎‎10 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Color: ‎Red
  • Item Weight: ‎0.8 Pounds

More features: It comes with various sensors such as a barometer, altimeter, compass, and heart rate monitor, It is water-resistant up to 100 meters, The battery lasts for 30 days.

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9.2
Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch
Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch 1
Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch 2
Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch 3
Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch
Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch 1
Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch 2
Coros PACE GPS Sports Watch 3

The material of the swimming watch is very tough and durable. It lasts 30 days on a charge, and it is water-resistant.

A barometric altimeter makes this watch truly useful for outdoor activities. The Coros Pace has a bunch of sensors on it, such as GPS, GLONASS, atomic clock, and more.

This watch features excellent battery life, and it is easy to navigate through menus. Plus, it is suitable for sports enthusiasts and casual user who does not like to use the phone.

It receives and controls notifications from your phone, and it has a lovely color touch screen. It is one of the best options if you are looking for a durable watch and can use it for endurance Swimming and training.

Pros:

  • Connected with Garmin, it is an excellent swimming watch. 
  • The battery lasts for 30 days. 
  • It is water-resistant up to 100 meters.
  • It comes with various sensors such as a barometer, altimeter, compass, and heart rate monitor.

Cons:

  • Bluetooth connectivity maybe sometimes troublesome.
  • The touchscreen feature is missing.

Conclusion:

Overall these are the Best Suitable Sports Watches for Fitness and Outdoor Activities. It is an overview guide; in your case, you have to find out what is best for you by yourself. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please comment below.

These best swimming watches are durable, and they will last longer if you take care of them properly. I have tried all watches listed above and some of the swimming watches I bought on my own, but they did not stand up to the test.

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