What Is The Best Fitness Watch For Swimming? – Product Guide And Review

Are you training for a swim competition? Maybe you simply love swimming because you enjoy the cardiovascular benefits and want to improve your overall health. There is no better way to track your progress and maximize the return of your swimming efforts than with a fitness watch!

Thanks to today’s innovative technology, you can improve your strokes, lap count and performance by tracking your sessions all in one place. And the best part, you can do it all without needing a coach to supervise you in the process. 

In this guide, we found and reviewed 5 products to find the best fitness watch for swimming. We will also share the key benefits of wearing these devices, and what to look for before you start shopping.

Let’s get started! 

Our Favourite Waterproof Fitness Trackers For Swimming At A Glance

OUR TOP PICK

MOOV

Fitness Tracker & Real-Time Audio Coach Swimming Watch

Our #1 Rated

4.8/5

4.8 out of 5

Suunto Spartan

Sport Wrist HR

Our #2 Rated

4.5/5

4.5 out of 5

Garmin Forerunner 935

Multisport GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate

Our #3 Rated

4.2/5

4.2 out of 5

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

Smartwatch Fitness Band

Our #4 Rated

3.7/5

3.7 out of 5

FITVII

Smartwatch with 17 Sports Mode Activity Tracker

Our #5 Rated

3.7/5

3.5 out of 5

3 Key Benefits Of Wearing A Fitness Watch For Swimming

1. Allows You To Track Your Progress

Every professional athlete knows that tracking your progress is critical when trying to master their craft. Every metric is taken into account so that they know which areas they have to focus and improve on.

Most fitness watches for swimming will allow you to track the number of strokes you are taking, the length of your lap, and your pace. They will essentially do all the math for you and log the data so you can compare your sessions, allowing you to make performance adjustments as necessary.

2. Helps You Focus On What Matters

Thanks to fitness watches, swimmers no longer have to give a thought to how many laps they have completed, or the distance of their laps.

Fitness watches designed for swimming can calculate the length your laps by detecting each turn, which helps you stay focus on what matters most; technique, strokes, and intensity. 

Remember, every second counts during your sessions. You would be surprised much of a difference, freeing up your thinking capacity can make during your swim sessions.

3. Helps You Improve Your Swimming Technique

One of the best ways to improve your swimming technique is by being able to look back at your number of strokes you take for each length, as well as the distance per stroke. The higher the number of strokes, the faster you complete your runs. However, a higher stroke rate can reduce the distance you travel for every stroke you perform.

Understanding where you are using this data will allow you to correct your movements so that you can set new goals and maximize your efficiency when swimming.

What To Consider Before Choosing Your Fitness Watch For Swimming

When it comes down to choosing your fitness watch for swimming, it all boils down to your goals, personal preference, and needs. Each watch will provide different features for your fitness goals. Therefore, it is important to identify what to look for when choosing your fitness watch.

Below, we listed a few factors to look out for before choosing your watch.

How Deep Can You Go!

Each swim watch will have a certain waterproof rating that lets you know the maximum depth you can swim to when wearing the device. Most fitness watches for swimming will have a depth rating of 50 meters.

If you are planning to only wear your watch when swimming in a pool, you have nothing to worry about, since most swimming pools have a depth of 50m or less. But if you are considering snorkeling or diving, it is recommended that you choose one that can resist up to 100 meters or more.

Battery

There is nothing worse than finishing a good run during your swim, only to find out that your fitness watch decided to go to sleep during your session. 

In today’s day and age, keeping up with charging multiple devices such as phones, lab-tops, tablets and now watches can be a pain in the rear! This is why going for longer battery life is important in order to avoid having to charge multiple times throughout the day. 

If you want to make big progress, then you know that every session counts when tracking your swims. So be sure to pick a watch that won’t quit on you and choose one that you can rely on without having to charge as frequently.

Compatibility And Pairing

Most fitness watches can log and store data to your smartphone by sending the information using Bluetooth connectivity, and/or to a dedicated app. You can also receive notifications to your home screen along with performance suggestions based on the data it collects.

Whether you have an iPhone, Android, PC or Mac,  I would still recommend that you check the compatibility between your watch and your devices to avoid any mistakes.

Design

Do you ever wonder why all Olympic swimmers shave every hair off of their body before their competition? 

When swimming, especially for those who are training competitively, weight and dynamics matter. Every little factor that acts as a form of resistant will determine that one millisecond of difference between your lap times, which is why going with a lightweight watch that is slim is important.

Quality

When swimming, your watch will be exposed to either chlorine in a pool or salt in the ocean. Both of these environmental factors can damage and corrode material’s overtime, which is why going with a good quality watch is important. 

Although there is no accurate method to measure this, the best way I found to determine whether or not the watch will cause problems is by reading reviews of others who had the watch for a long period of time. Luckily, we did all that work here for you so you don’t have to waste any time looking around.

Features

Key features to look for when choosing your swim watch will primarily be swim stroke detection, and length tracking (or lap counter), along with the ability to log your progress. These are the bare essentials. However, extra features such as heart rate and stress monitoring can help you correct other vitals, such as your breathing and rest.

A large display and easy navigation can also make your tracking experience much more friendly. Some watches will not have a display, and will simply log your data onto your smartphone or tablet. This can not only make the watch more dynamic when swimming through water but can also reduce the amount of weight on your wrist.

Bonus features such as being able to access messages, or see if you have any missed calls can also be convenient. However, choose wisely, as more features typically result in more weight and a thicker design which can slow you down.

Other Uses & Activities

Many fitness watches for swimming can be used for other sports or physical activities. These can include running, cycling and golfing.

Basic features such as heart monitoring, steps, blood pressure, and calories can all be extras when performing other activities outside of swimming. They can even help you manage stress by tracking your heart and can detect your sleeping patterns, allowing you to find ways to achieve a better deep sleep cycle.

Consider these bonus features if you want to track your overall lifestyle. 

Our 5 Best Water Proof Watches For Swimmers.

FITVII

Smartwatch with 17 Sports Mode Activity Tracker

  • Quality
3.8/5
  • Price
4/5
  • Our Rating
3.5/5

Max depth: 5m
Battery: 5-7 days

If you are looking to only do surface level swimming, then the FITV2 is a reliable option which can measures performance accurately. This fitness watch can detect up to 7 different run modes and 7 swim types automatically. It can also read distance using advanced GPS tracking and can measure laps, strokes, time, calories and average pace.

What’s unique about this watch is it has a smart track feature that automatically senses what activity you are doing, therefore saving you time searching through the menu. It also monitors your sleep quality and heart rate 24/7, with realtime results which can be accessed either on the watch or on a mobile device using an app.

Additional features of this watch that you may find useful is its ability to store and save up to 10 messages. The device can sync to your phone and will vibrate when you receive inbound calls or texts, allowing you to be away from your phone.

On the downside, the watch can only resist up to 5 meters of depth which won’t allow you to dive, so it is only recommended for people who are performing surface level swimming and non-water activities. On the bright side, the design is sleek, comfortable and surprisingly light-weight, even with all the bells and whistles that this watch offers.

Pros

  • GPS path tracking
  • 7 swim modes and stroke monitoring
  • Smart tracking senses your current activity
  • Lightweight and slim design
  • Monitors all basic vitals
  • Measures sleep quality
  • Notifies you of calls and messages by vibrating
  • Long lasting battery
  • Compatible with Android, IOS including apple health app.
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Can only support water depths of up to 5 meters.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

Smartwatch Fitness Band

  • Quality
4/5
  • Price
3.4/5
  • Our Rating
3.7/5

Max depth: 50m
Battery: up to 48hrs

Samsung’s Gear Fit2 Pro had partnered with under armor using their app ‘myRun’ to help you track both running and swimming. The device can monitor your stroke count, laps, and continuously detects your heart rate during your sessions.

Additional features include the capability to track calories, steps, and distance using GPS mapping. You can also store music on the device and play it on your wireless headset, as well as read and respond to texts right from the interface. 

In terms of design, the watch is both sleek and comfortable to wear without bearing too much weight. The battery will last up to 2 days, however, you can extend that duration to 3 days if you set it to battery save mode.

Pros

  • Counts strokes during swims
  • Stores and plays music
  • Tracks calories burned
  • Durable and comfortable
  • On device GPS-mapping
  • Compatible with Android And IOS
  • Detects all basic vitals
  • Reasonably Priced

Cons

  • Requires subscription to access advanced features on the underarmour 'myRUN' app.

Garmin Forerunner 935

Multisport GPS Running Watch with Heart Rate

  • Quality
4.4/5
  • Price
2.5/5
  • Our Rating
4.2/5

Max depth:60m
Battery: 10hr/60hr/2-weeks (depending on mode)

The Garmin Forerunner is a great watch if you are picky about monitoring your vitals during high-intense workouts. The watch can accurately measure your heart rate, as well as your VO2 max, which is your maximum rate of oxygen consumption.

This fitness watch can track open water swims and is water-resistant for up to 60 meters, which is deeper than most Olympic pools. It is also able to track how many laps you do accurately, and can even predict race time.

Aside from swimming, this fitness watch can provide advanced motion feedback which monitors; ground contact, time, balance and stride length for activities such as running and cycling. It even has a multi-sport detector which knows what sport you are playing and where you can improve.

What we loved most about this watch is it also gives you the ability to store up to 1000 songs. In addition. you can connect to wi-fi in order to check your messages, missed calls, notifications and even your calendar right from the touch interface. 

As for the battery, it lasts quite a while depending on what mode the watch is operating in. You can get up to 10hrs in GPS mode, 60 hours on ultra track mode, and 2 weeks on smart-watch mode. If you don’t know what these modes mean, you can refer to the info page of this product on Amazon.

Pros

  • Detects stride length and strokes
  • Pool and open swim tracking
  • Tracks pool laps accurately
  • Measures all basic vitals, including sleep and can estimate your VO2 Max
  • GPS Tracking
  • Multi-sport detector
  • Stores up to 1000 songs
  • Compatible with IOS and Android
  • Comfortable and light weight
  • Tracks calories burned

Cons

  • Few reported inaccuracy with heart rate monitoring feature in the past.
  • Expensive

Suunto Spartan HDR

Sport Wrist Watch

  • Quality
5/5
  • Price
2.7/5
  • Our Rating
4.5/5

Max depth: 100m
Battery: 12hrs

If you part take in activities such as snorkeling or diving, then the Suunto Spartan HDR is one of the best options out there. It is resistant to depths of up to 100 meters and is made of superior materials that can handle extreme pressures.

What we liked most about this watch is it offers a separate detection system just for swimming. It can measure pool swim pace, distance, laps, and stroke efficiency, as well as your heart rate during your swims.

Unique features include interval guidance and lap table logging that goes straight to your mobile or computer device using the Suunto app. Additional features include 80 different sport modes, heart rate tracking, calories, steps, sleep quality, and can even monitor weather and temperature, along with GPS navigation.

As for the design, the watch is made of mineral crystal glass along with a steel bezel. This is important because it allows the watch to resist high amounts of pressure when diving. All in all, you will feel as if this watch is indestructible due to its unique and quality use of materials.

Pros

  • Durable using high quality materials
  • Advanced GPS navigation
  • Designed for endurance athletes
  • Supports 80 different sport modes
  • Detects swim pace, distance, laps and stroke efficiency
  • Monitors all basic vitals
  • Built in interval guidance
  • Monitors weather and temperature
  • Tracks calories burned

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Looks bulky

MOOV

Fitness Tracker & Real-Time Audio Coach Swimming Watch

  • Quality
4.5/5
  • Price
4.2/5
  • Our Rating
4.8/5

Max depth: 50m
Battery: 6/mo

The MOOV smart fitness watch is in our opinion the most helpful for swimmers, and for good reason. It provides accurate feedback such as your stroke count, stroke type, lap analysis, distance per stroke, and gives you recommendations on how to improve your swims. It even gives you realtime audio coaching for other activities such as running, cycling, and cardio.

Additional features that we found helpful for tracking vitals include; heart rate monitoring, the total amount of active minutes in a day, as well as your sleep quality. The watch will also actively monitor your motion throughout the day and log your progress so you never miss a beat!

As for design, we first thought that not having an accessible interface was inconvenient. However, when it comes to swimming, reducing any kind of weight and creating water dynamics is important, especially for more experienced athletes. So, all the data this watch collects gets stored to your smart device where it can be accessed through an app. In our opinion, this is a benefit, as it keeps you less distracted and more focused on swimming!

What we found shocking was the battery life on this watch. Since it doesn’t have any interface, it doesn’t require much power. In return, you get up to 6 months of battery life, therefore eliminating the worry of having to charge it often or having it quit on you during your workout.

Pros

  • Provides real-time coaching during workouts
  • Detects advanced swimming data
  • Provides recommendations as you swim
  • Tracks basic vitals such as sleep and heart rate
  • Tracks calories burned
  • Motivates you as you workout
  • Up to 6 months of battery life
  • Lightweight and breathable band
  • Can be worn on ankle or wrist.
  • Longest battery life on the market
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Requires device to display data using MOOV app. (No interface)

Our Choice And Why

The best fitness watch for swimmers is the MOOV Fitness Tracker.

The reason we chose this watch as our top pick was because it offers the most features that are specifically designed to track your performance so you can become a better swimmer. In addition, it even comes with a built-in audio coach that motivates you and makes recommendations.

Although the watch doesn’t have an interface, we consider this as a benefit because it reduces both the weight and size of the device which is important for dynamics and maximizing your performance when swimming.

Overall, this is the best option for beginner and advanced swimmers. It is loaded with every swimming metric that will help you improve your strokes and strides, and for an affordable price.

An alternative if you want an interface that you can navigate is the Suunto Spartan Sports watch if you have the budget for it. It can track all your swim metrics, plus it allows for additional activities such as snorkeling or diving. 

Did you try any of our reviewed and recommended products? We want to know your feedback. Leave us a comment below so we can learn more about your experience!