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10 Best Stopwatches Reviewed & Fully Compared

last updated Jul 17, 2019
Fitness instructors, coaches, and gym teachers find the best stopwatches can make all the difference in the performance of their athletes.

Whether you need to time your planks or lap speeds, the best stopwatches are a handy addition to any athlete. The best stop watches can be super cheap or more on the expensive end—either way they all offer plenty of benefits to every athlete.

You can choose between mechanical or digital stop watches—mechanical stop watches are broken down into interruption, fixed distance, and single action; digital watches typically have 3 buttons (start/stop, mode, and lap/reset).

To learn more about the best stopwatches available and the features they offer, take a look at our carefully curated list below!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
MARATHON Adanac 4000
96.2/100 our score
Use
97
Features
97
Accuracy
95
Responsiveness
96
Durability
96
MARATHON Adanac 4000
Why is it better?
  • Well made
  • Excellent buttons
  • Easy to use
  • Nice shape and size makes it comfortable to operate and hold
  • Holds up well to wear and tear
  • Can be used and stand up to a variety of wet environments
In a Hurry? Editors choice:
MARATHON Adanac 4000
Test Winner: MARATHON Adanac 4000
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
2
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.7K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
17
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Giselle Killebrew:

For our most recent update, we have added a lot of new information throughout the page. We have also edited and revamped all of our existing product reviews to ensure they are easy for you to sift through and compare so you can find the best stopwatches to fit your needs.

Sorting Options
Use Features Accuracy Responsiveness Durability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Use
97 %
Features
97 %
Accuracy
95 %
Responsiveness
96 %
Durability
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$13.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Use
97 %
Features
95 %
Accuracy
95 %
Responsiveness
93 %
Durability
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$20.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Use
93 %
Features
93 %
Accuracy
92 %
Responsiveness
95 %
Durability
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$7.89
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Use
88 %
Features
90 %
Accuracy
96 %
Responsiveness
94 %
Durability
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$12.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Use
90 %
Features
90 %
Accuracy
90 %
Responsiveness
90 %
Durability
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$15.95
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Use
89 %
Features
88 %
Accuracy
89 %
Responsiveness
87 %
Durability
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$15.51
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Use
87 %
Features
87 %
Accuracy
85 %
Responsiveness
85 %
Durability
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$12.17
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Use
85 %
Features
85 %
Accuracy
83 %
Responsiveness
82 %
Durability
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$21.96
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Use
80 %
Features
80 %
Accuracy
80 %
Responsiveness
80 %
Durability
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$49.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.8
Use
77 %
Features
77 %
Accuracy
78 %
Responsiveness
77 %
Durability
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$31.46
In Depth Review Top 10
  • MARATHON Adanac 4000 MARATHON Adanac 4000
  • Extech Extech
  • ProCoach RS-013 ProCoach RS-013
  • Marathon Adanac 3000 Marathon Adanac 3000
  • Gymboss Gymboss
  • Oslo Dual Oslo Dual
  • Learning Resources Learning Resources
  • ACCUSPLIT AX725 ACCUSPLIT AX725
  • Dakota Dakota
  • Ultrak 493 Ultrak 493
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Expert Interviews & Opinions
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Favorite Stop Watches

1. MARATHON Adanac 4000

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
MARATHON Adanac 4000
Amazon Link
Use
97
Features
97
Accuracy
95
Responsiveness
96
Durability
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.99
Pros:
  • Well made
  • Excellent buttons
  • Easy to use
  • Nice shape and size makes it comfortable to operate and hold
  • Holds up well to wear and tear
  • Can be used and stand up to a variety of wet environments
Cons:

Screen can get foggy now and then

Screen doesn’t light up

The MARATHON Adanac 4000 is an economy style stopwatch that includes a nylon lanyard, perfect for easy wearing during any activity or workout. It is water and dust resistant with a time and calendar on a large display. It has two place finish memory and has a clock and alarm functions.

Read more

Use

The tension on the buttons also is perfectly designed so you aren’t going to accidentally press them. The display is nice and large so it is clear and easy to read with a plastic lens that holds up well to scratching.

Features

Whether you are a track coach, swim instructor or fitness trainer, this split works well. It is water and shockproof. It has nice bright colors in red, black and yellow. It reads clearly with a large number display.

Accuracy

Overall, this stopwatch is really accurate on top of being easy to use. If you to make sure you accurately track your workouts, this is a great watch to consider using.

Responsiveness

Truly a basic stopwatch at a very reasonable price point. It is simple to use yet still is durable. It has a nice bright color so it is very easy to spot. Equipped with large buttons for ease of use. It is super water resistant, so don’t worry about using to time laps at the pool.

Durability

When it comes to durability, this stopwatch is definitely built and constructed to hold up. It is completely waterproof, so you can use it anywhere you'd like and won't have to worry about having to have someone else track the workout for you while you are in the water.

2. Extech

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Extech
Amazon Link
Use
97
Features
95
Accuracy
95
Responsiveness
93
Durability
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$20.99
Pros:
  • 5 Year Dual no proof of purchase and proof of purchase warranty
  • Works on a WOS 2.5 operating system
  • Water-resistant
  • Can time two people at once
  • Easy to read LCD display
Cons:
  • Difficult for some users to get accustomed to using it

The Extech waterproof stopwatch is a great stopwatch that can time two people at once--which makes it a great one for competitions. It is an easy to use digital stopwatch that comes highly recommended and reviewed by many real-life users.

Read more

Use

You can use it on a 12 or 24-hour clock mode and it even comes with an alarm clock. The LCD display is super easy to read and its neck strap makes it portable for anyone to wear around and use--so you can use it handsfree.

Features

The stopwatch features a rugged design that is water-resistant. It comes in bright colors so it is easy to locate and its LCD screen is clearly labeled so you know which button does what. The buttons are easy to press but not overly sensitive either--so you won't have to worry about accidentally stopping or restarting the stopwatch.

Accuracy

This digital stopwatch is super easy to use and is controlled by split/reset, It is accurate by ±3 seconds and can time up until one second under the 24-hour mark.

Responsiveness

When we took a look at how responsive this stopwatch is, you will find that it is incredibly easy to use and navigate. With minimal buttons to navigate and use, you will find that this watch is definitely one that will meet your every need.

Durability

In terms of durability, this stopwatch is definitely built to last. It is rugged and durable in construction thanks to the high-quality materials that are used in their construction. Overall, you can definitely count on this stopwatch to last you for the long haul.

3. ProCoach RS-013

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
ProCoach RS-013
Amazon Link
Use
93
Features
93
Accuracy
92
Responsiveness
95
Durability
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$7.89
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Long battery life
  • compact
  • Water-resistant
  • Great backup watch
Cons:
  • Depending on what retailor it may not come with an instruction manual

If you need a really cost-effective stopwatch, then you will love this one by ProCoach. It is a digital stopwatch that is water-resistant, durable, and really easy to use. It comes with an easy to follow manual and also has a long battery life.

Read more

Use

This is one of the most simple to use stopwatches out there--although some users find it difficult to turn off the alarm chime once it is set. However, if you take a look at the instruction manual you will find this is an easily fixed issue. However, it is pretty basic in terms of what it can do--it as easy to use start, stop, and reset options.

Features

The easy to use 3-button design of the ProCoach RS-013 digital stopwatch is one that is really easy to get accustomed to. It is really lightweight and compact in size and it comes with a strap you can attach to a keychain, or another looped holder, so you can attach it to your belt loop. It is water-resistant and features a rugged, sporty design. It is functional in design and its screen is clear and easy to read.

Accuracy

Given how easy this stopwatch is to get accustomed to read and use, it is also very accurate. Just because it requires minimal effort, doesn't mean that it is not as accurate as some of the more difficult to use stopwatches on our list.

Responsiveness

With minimal buttons to use, you will find this stopwatch is really responsive and easy to use. Once you get used to how to navigate the stopwatch, you will love how easy it is to transition between settings.

Durability

Thanks to the high-quality materials used in the construction of this stopwatch, you will find that it is absolutely built to last. If you want a stopwatch you can rely on for the long term, make sure to take a close look at this one.

4. Marathon Adanac 3000

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Marathon Adanac 3000
Amazon Link
Use
88
Features
90
Accuracy
96
Responsiveness
94
Durability
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.95
Pros:
  • Great shipping by Marathon
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with the battery already activated
  • Accurate
  • Great value for price with a solid build and comfortable feel
Cons:
  • No backlight
  • It has no memory

The Marathon Adanac 3000 can time single and split and can hold split-time display as the full timing is going on. This stopwatch displays hour, minute, second, month day and date and it has a nice alarm ability. This stopwatch comes with a 46” lanyard so you can easily wear it and takes an LR44 battery. It is a wonderful piece that allows for reliable time tracking and logging, making it a perfect choice for a wide range of activities and uses.

Read more

Use

You won’t need to know anything to just pick up this stopwatch and begin using it. It has a very intuitive design. The design has the buttons placed in the right spot for a comfortable feel in the hand. You can easily pick this stopwatch up and start using it immediately without having to read a complicated user manual to figure out how all the features work.

Features

It has a very easy grip and a nice size. The lanyard is helpful to wear around the neck or hang out of your pocket for easy access.

Accuracy

All in all, this stopwatch is really accurate and will ensure you get the right numbers every single time that you use it.

Responsiveness

The buttons are placed perfectly and they have a positive feel. When you hit one, you get a beeping sound alerting you. The overall size and shape are easily held and used without effort for both men and women and even children shouldn't have too much trouble figuring out the system setup.

Durability

It is lightweight while still being solid. The design is durable and holds up well to daily wear and tear,

5. Gymboss

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Gymboss
Amazon Link
Use
90
Features
90
Accuracy
90
Responsiveness
90
Durability
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.95
Pros:
  • Powered by one AAA battery
  • You can set this alarm for every one minute for 90 minutes
  • Timer is compatible with the Galloway method
  • Vibration and alarm can be used simultaneously or individually
  • Long battery life
Cons:
  • The seal is more for spills and splashes, but not to take and use in aqueous environments like the pool or the ocean
  • Does not have a countdown option

The Gymboss interval timer will allow you to take the time one to two intervals between two seconds and 99 minutes. It is compact, roughly the size of a pager and uses a belt clip for hands-free use. There is a built-in stopwatch as well so you can easily train a variety of techniques including HIIT, Kettlebells, MMA, Running and much more.

Read more

Use

You get a nice compact interval timer in this stopwatch. There are literally limitless numbers of ways you can use this stopwatch to your advantage. Using this versus using your phone is advantageous because while your phone has a timer option it also has a ton of other distracting features such as texts and emails that can pop up and interrupt your activity. There's not a chance you will be distracted while using this tool.

Features

Many people who work full time are sedentary with mostly computer and desk work. You can use this stopwatch to set intervals of say 20 or 25 intervals for working with 3-5 minute intervals to stretch your legs and give your eyes a rest from the screen. You can use it in the kitchen for cooking, especially if you have more than one dish being made. Musicians can use it for music and athletes can use it to train.

Accuracy

When it comes to the overall accuracy of this stopwatch, you will find that this is definitely a reliable stopwatch for you to use. Overall, this stopwatch will ensure you get the right time so you can go off accurate numbers and really see how much you improve over time.

Responsiveness

Gymboss is a trustworthy company with high customer service standards. You are also getting a 1-year warranty so there is extra safeguarding. It's an excellent timer that you can use for a wide variety of activities and it comes in a convenient, compact and lightweight package.

Durability

Although this stopwatch has a more sleek, compact, and modern design, you will find that it is still pretty durable--so don't underestimate it just by the way that it looks.

6. Oslo Dual

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Oslo Dual
Amazon Link
Use
89
Features
88
Accuracy
89
Responsiveness
87
Durability
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.51
Pros:
  • Great battery life and replacing battery if needed is easy to find
  • Good tension with buttons
  • Counts down to zero then automatically will start counting up from 0
  • Beep is not super loud
  • Beeper goes off with 5 seconds left in the countdown
Cons:
  • It does not have a clock
  • There is no backlight

The Oslo Dual stopwatch is a single event, lap, and split tool. It is accurate 1/100 second to 10 hours. There is two finish timer memory recalls and an alarm that goes off when the countdown finishes. The overall design and special features of this stopwatch make it a popular choice among athletes and hobbyists alike. It is perfect for beginners and pros alike.

Read more

Use

The Oslo stopwatch works great. Just hang it around your neck and start using it. The beep function is helpful. There is a large display that is clear and easy to read. As it reaches 0, it will automatically count up from zero. It is easy to use.

Features

The buttons work well so when you press them you don’t have to worry if they did their job or not. You can easily replace the batter with a standard watch battery that can be found almost anywhere. Even though the watch stays on all the time as there is no on/off button, the battery life is terrific.

Accuracy

This stopwatch is incredibly accurate, in fact, you will find that it will track as accurately as one one-hundredth of a second for up to ten hours-- so, you can definitely rely on it to give you an accurate reading each and every time that you use it.

Responsiveness

All in all, not only is this stopwatch really easy to use and navigate--but it is also incredibly responsive and during your workouts.

Durability

This stopwatch has an excellent timer and will serve you the way you expect and need. Made of quality materials it will not fail you. You can easily read the display. This is a simple and practical stopwatch.

7. Learning Resources

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Learning Resources
Amazon Link
Use
87
Features
87
Accuracy
85
Responsiveness
85
Durability
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.17
Pros:
  • No beeps, the stopwatch counts up
  • Easy to time with a useable stop button that only clears the time if you hit yellow
  • Has cord to wear around neck
  • Formulated with vitamin C
  • Super easy to use, very straight forward only three colored buttons
  • Long battery life and replacement batteries are cheap
Cons:
  • Does not count down
  • Does not hold time

Learning Resources offers a simple watch that is designed for kids age 5 years and over but adults can benefit from using it too! It is perfect for teachers who have to stay on schedule for classroom lessons and activities.

Read more

Use

This is a very simple stopwatch that is very easy to use. There are only 3 buttons that are very self-explanatory. Green means go, red equals stop and yellow clears the screen. It is well sized at 3” across with grips on the sides so it is very comfortable in little hands. It also comes with contrasting color combinations your child will enjoy.

Features

Other stopwatches offer many bells and whistles that often come with noise. The various modes and alarms can be difficult for children to learn how to use, to understand and can be a nightmare for parents to figure out how to turn off. There are no sounds at all with this stopwatch, even the smallest 5-year-olds can easily use it right away and understand how.

Accuracy

It works well for helping children understanding numbers and time. It displays minutes, seconds and 1/100 seconds.

Responsiveness

At the end of the day, this stopwatch is incredibly responsive and easy to use--it's perfect for kids, but adults can use it too!

Durability

Although this stopwatch is not as durable as many of the other selections on our list, you will find that if you take care of it that it will definitely last you.

8. ACCUSPLIT AX725

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
ACCUSPLIT AX725
Amazon Link
Use
85
Features
85
Accuracy
83
Responsiveness
82
Durability
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.96
Pros:
  • This watch and remember 16 labs that can be recalled individually until the timer hits zero
  • It’s quiet, it doesn't beep just clicks when buttons are pressed
  • Official stopwatch relied on by professionals
  • Truly an accurate stopwatch
  • Clicking on and off is very solid
Cons:
  • Doesn’t keep the time of the day
  • Doesn’t have a light

The ACCUSPLIT AX725 comes with their signature “X” performance case. The battery is a 5 year Lithium, CR2032. The controls are reliable and easy to use and are great for adults or children as well. There is a 16 dual split memory with a split counter and a memory review. The functions of this watch are versatile and can be a little difficult to master right out of the box but are fairly easy to learn with a little bit of use.

Read more

Use

This stopwatch is very easy to use. The simplicity of use makes it very hard to make a misstep as both the left and right buttons have the same function. The numbers are very large for anyone to easily read even if they are wearing swim goggles. It is also great for older individuals who have trouble seeing smaller readout screens at times.

Features

The instructions that go with it are very clear to understand and follow. Its memory per lap is super helpful as well. You get a nice readout with a high-quality split screen.

Accuracy

Not only is this stopwatch incredibly versatile and durable, but is also accurate and capable of tracking all of your numbers down to the "T" for you.

Responsiveness

It is comfortable holding it in your hand and left or right-handed person can use it with no problems. A nice long battery life with a 5-year warranty to boot, there isn’t much to gripe about with this stopwatch.

Durability

You will be able to time perfectly with this durable watch. This is the stopwatch used by professional baseball scouts worldwide. It is super durable and has a nice large display.

9. Dakota

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Dakota
Amazon Link
Use
80
Features
80
Accuracy
80
Responsiveness
80
Durability
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$49.99
Pros:
  • Has military time
  • Has a countdown repeat timer
  • Sounds on the stopwatch can be silenced
  • Great for hiking, camping, geocaching
  • Water resistant up to 100 feet
  • Weighs 2.75 ounces
Cons:
  • Can be on the heavier side, not for people looking for lightweight gear
  • Could have better contrast between the hands to the face to make reading it easier

The Dakota stopwatch is on the higher end of stopwatches. It has the ability to clip to you, belts, backpacks, jackets, bags, with it’s spring carabiner. Substantially and solidly designed there is an alloy case equipped with stainless steel watch back. Comes with a spare battery so you wont be caught unaware with a dead battery and can keep on tracking time when you need to.

Read more

Use

This is a top of the line product that offers a lot of nice features. You get a timer, dual time zone ability, and an alarm with a chime function as well as an analog compass. It feels solid and sturdy. It uses a CR2016, capacitance 90 M Ah battery. It also has a light to see the display at night.

Features

This is a sharp looking stopwatch that is very unobtrusive. Easily hangs from anything, but is very convenient off your belt that has an upside-down display so all you have to do is take a quick glance down and you have the time. The winding stem is on the side and out of the way so it is less likely to get damaged.

Accuracy

In terms of accuracy, this stopwatch is incredibly accurate and is the perfect option for those who want to make sure you are accurately tracking all of your numbers.

Responsiveness

You can enjoy fast shipping so you can get to what needs to be done quickly. And as if that all wasn't cool enough, it also has a great clip feature should you not want something hanging around your neck or something on your wrist.

Durability

A terrific value in a carabiner watch that comes packaged with an extra battery. A ton of neat features compliment the overall quality materials used in the watch as well as the solid construction and rugged design.

10. Ultrak 493

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.8
Ultrak 493
Amazon Link
Use
77
Features
77
Accuracy
78
Responsiveness
77
Durability
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$31.46
Pros:
  • Doesn’t have a silent mode, but just beeps when you start and stop
  • You have the ability to lock the start button
  • Great lap recall
  • Tons of features
  • Nice price
Cons:
  • Warranty red tape can be confusing
  • Could have a clearer instruction manual

The Ultrak 493 stopwatch has a memory recall when it is being used. You can preset the countdown timer and pacer. You get everything displayed, fastest, slowest an average lap times. With the ability for lab and cum splits and a lap counter it is an excellent well rounded stopwatch.

Read more

Use

It has good size and an overall good, comfortable grip. It has so many features that make it very versatile. If you are looking for a good starting stopwatch this a great piece to try as it is built to last and while fairly simple in design and layout it gives you everything you want and needs to get started tracking your time.

Features

The buttons have a nice amount of tension. You can lock the start-stop button so you won’t have to worry about it accidentally getting hit when not in use. They are also comfortable and it is easy to figure out how to use the functions of this stopwatch.

Accuracy

It is very accurate and can be used to time laps with no problems. There is a 300 lap memory.

Responsiveness

At the end of the day, this stopwatch is incredibly responsive thanks to the simple design and easy to use features that it has to offer to users.

Durability

This stopwatch has an overall nice sturdy feel and grip. Its weight is appropriate and it has a professional look and quality. The durable design is such that it can easily be handed and manipulated and also holds ups well to wear and tear and usage on a regular basis.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

It is important to consider how you will be using your stopwatch before you invest in one.

One thing that you need to be aware of is that you are likely to find more digital watches than mechanical watches because they are by far the most sought after, most produced, and most commonly sold the type of stopwatch. Most people tend to lean towards digital stopwatches because they are less expensive vs the higher priced more extravagant mechanical options.

They also tend to last longer as they are less prone to breaking and parts malfunctions. Even though digital stopwatches tend to be more affordable, they are still fairly accurate compared to traditional mechanical style watches, up to 1/100th of a second in sync with traditional watches.

Whatever stopwatch you choose is right for you, one thing is for sure and that is that they are terrific tools for measuring time and can help you track minutes and seconds with reliable ease. And, if you decide to get a more "techy" option, just remember that over time you will get used to using, even if it might take a little longer than some of the simpler options.

Features

You can look for a number of different features to suit your needs best.

Competitions, training sessions, practices, music, there are countless numbers of ways stopwatches can be super useful and helpful. Because of this, you can look for a number of different features in the watch of your choice to suit your needs best. Swimmers would most likely want water resistance.

Viewing in the dark is a good reason to find one with backlighting. Memory size is important for those who want to store times. Being easy to spot on a field is something that might warrant a nice bright color. Anyone wants their stopwatch to have precision, so a great reputation regarding calibration of a watch is important.

Additionally, stopwatches have alarms, countdown timers, stroke rate mode, and can also be shock-resistant. Many come with a convenient strap or cord, some come with clips for easy wear. A strong battery life and also watches that have batteries that can easily be found at any store for an inexpensive price is surely important.

Last, there is nothing better than a solid warranty on your product regardless of how inexpensive or expensive it is. There are many options available that have 1-5 year warranties.

Accuracy

Stopwatches by their very nature and design are made to be accurate and reliable.

Any stopwatch you pick is going to be very accurate and have the ability to measure most any time-frame. They are very helpful if you are training for athletic activity and trying to increase your effectiveness and sharpen your skill. They are necessary during track and swim meets.

You can look for a watch that has any number of features to compliment your use, for instance, the Ultrak 100 is designed specifically with rowers in mind. It has the features that a rowing coach or athlete would find advantageous. It is also important to note that some stopwatches are a lot more accurate than others.

If you are serious about your training and improving your performance then it is crucial that you consider how accurate the stopwatch you purpose is. Typically the most accurate stopwatches are a little pricier than others--but they are still really affordable. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you remember to prioritize your needs before making your final purchase.

Responsiveness

Responsiveness is one of the most important features athletes need to look out for in a good stopwatch.

You will want to find a stopwatch that responds to your wants and needs and that is easy to use. Most any stopwatch no matter how basic or complex will come with a user manual, that you should reference if you are unsure how to operate your product. You want a stopwatch to not only be streamlined to your needs but also be practical and functional.

It should be comfortable and easy to hold in your hand. It should be easily attached by either clip or hung around the neck for hands-free use. It should ideally be lightweight, which is a very common need for most stopwatch users. However, it is true, that there are some people who need specific materials and functionality that outweigh weight.

Kids and seniors would benefit from the least amount of complexities and large displays that are easy to read. Most people prefer some type of backlighting feature. Almost anyone can enjoy a fun color or design--but at the end of the day, you need a watch that you can easily navigate and use, and that you don't have to wait around for.

Durability

The watches on our list are some of the most durable available.

It is never a bad idea to have a backup stopwatch in on you if you are someone who actively needs to use this tool. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, and while you very well may need a back up at some point, it’s nice to have a primary stopwatch that you can rely on. You want to check out the battery information like we previously discussed.

Also the materials the stopwatch is made out of can determine how strong and reliable the product will be. The material used for the lens or display plays a part because you want to be able to see your times clearly, an easily scratched surface can make that difficult. If you know you need a stopwatch that can handle everything that comes your way, the material is of utmost importance.

When we evaluated each of the stopwatches we chose to feature on our list, we made sure to rate them each on how durable they are. In order to ensure we were giving all of our readers an accurate depiction of what to expect before they purchase a stopwatch, we made sure to take a close look at reviews by real-world users so we can get a good look at how well each one holds up to the test of time.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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Protection/Durabilities can vary.

There are different types of protection that you can look for in your stopwatches such as water and dust resistance.  Some can be anti-magnetic. Shock resistance is another nice form of protection to help tolerate accidents like drops.

Also, make sure that "water-resistant" is not the same as waterproof. A water-resistant watch may be able to deal with some water contact, however, it has a limit and will be ruined if it is submerged for too long or exposed to more water than it is designed to handle.

So, if you know that you need something that can handle being submerged, or that won't be ruined with a lot of water exposure then make sure to look for a stopwatch that is waterproof rather than water-resistant.

Function

While a stopwatch has the word "watch" in its name, many don't offer a clock to keep track of time--although it is important to note that nowadays many of them do offer a time feature.

A stopwatch, in its simplest form, is not a watch at all and instead it is a timer designed to help you start and stop time to keep track of things. It is a great addition for athletes--but can also be used by anyone who needs to time anything at all really.

Many stopwatches offer an alarm option as well--so you can use it to time yourself as well as set alarms to remind you when to stop.

Other Factors to Consider

Advanced Features

To get a better understanding of some of the important functional features when looking for a stopwatch below lightly covers such phrasing:

Cumulative split: This references a time of your choosing for recording while the stopwatch is working. This is very helpful if you need to know the time of each individual lap finished.

Lap split: The measurement of the frame of time between each cumulative split.

Alarm : Just as you’d think, set the time for whenever you want the ring to go off.

Countdown mode: This will allow you to set a time you want a countdown from and when it reaches zero might set the alarm off or just begin counting back up.

Recall: The button to use so you can see all your previous splits.

Stroke rate calculator mode: A measurement of strokes per minute, mainly used for swimmers.

Bottom Line

Remember, a stopwatch counts up from zero. A timer counts down towards a specific interval. A chronograph can show the time as well as the stopwatch function with the use of independent buttons to work the stopwatch features. It is important to know the difference between these three.

There are different types of protection that you can look for in your stopwatches such as water and dust resistance. Some can be anti-magnetic. Shock resistance is another nice form of protection to help tolerate accidents like drops. Other considerations are finding out what length of time the watch you’re looking for can actually time.

This is called time register and you can find products that offer a 60-minute register. A feature for displaying the month and day which is a helpful calendar feature. You might be surprised to know you can actually find stopwatches that include FM radio in their design. And others are great for runners, with a pacer included in their features so you can figure out the pace of your running.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How do you use split times?

a:

When referencing running, a split is a time from the first part of the race to the halfway point against the second. Literally, it is like splitting the race right down the middle. Your split time when you are training will help guide you to understand what your performance would ideally be at the halfway point of your race.

It helps you to know, while you are actively running if you need to keep your current pace or speed it up for the time you are working towards.

q: Why are stopwatches helpful when you are working out?

a:

The stopwatch tends to be a huge factor in Crossfit and functional fitness training circles. Timing workouts help to measure performance against others which will ultimately help motivate you to either stay at the top or work towards the top.

Some training styles require timing training intervals to ensure proper workout and the best results are achieved. Some people have specific training programs that require timing total work out times.

q: Is it really a big deal if I don’t find the perfect stopwatch for me right away?

a:

The stopwatch can be a valuable tool for many different applications in day to day life. While finding one that has the features and set up that best fits your wants and needs, almost all share the same basic features. So as long as you are able to track time and log your time as you need to any watch should meet those needs.

If you find, however, you need more than what your current stopwatch can provide, you can use review guides like ours to see what other watches might have what you want and need. Something is better than nothing but it is always best to get exactly what fits your needs.

q: What accessories can be used with a stopwatch?

a:

The stopwatch is a fairly self-contained system which is why it is so popular. But you can use a number of accessories and other tools with it to enhances its performance and maximize the benefits. Most stopwatches can be worn with a lanyard, clip, or other accessories so your hands can be free most of the time.

You can also use the results of your stopwatch times with other tools to track miles, calories, heart rate, and overall workout performances. All in all, the best stopwatches will offer the features you need!

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