Every swimming coach knows the value of a good stopwatch. No matter if your athletes are practicing or competing, tracking time gives you an insight into their performance and progress. Stopwatches are one of the easiest ways of tracking the swim workout, so you get a clearer picture of where and how to improve.

Since accuracy and reliability are very important in this sport, getting the best coach stopwatch can make a big difference. In this article, we’ll take a look at the highest-rated models when it comes to performance, so you can take your practice sessions to a higher level.

How To Choose A Stopwatch For Swim Coach – Buying Guide


Reliability and Accuracy

Being able to count on your stopwatch for swimming to show accurate times is very important. In practical terms, this means proper calibration and precision that goes up to 1/100th part of a second.

All of the products we’ve featured in our swimming stopwatch reviews will do this as well as record split times, while other more sophisticated models can also time laps and memorize the data. While on the topic of reliability, it’s a big plus if the stopwatch is shock-resistant and keeps working normally even after you’ve dropped it (which is bound to happen).

Waterproof Construction

Since you’ll be using it around the pool, your new stopwatch should handle the water well. Not all stopwatches can do this, so pay attention when buying.

Also, keep in mind that there are certain differences between water-resistant and waterproof products. Water-resistant stopwatches can be only splashed with water, while waterproof models can be safely submerged into the pool.

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Color Options

While this has nothing to do with functionality, it can make things more fun. Several products we’ve featured offer a wide array of color choices, so your stopwatch isn’t black and boring. Some even have a multiple-color design which, in combination with simple operation, makes them great for children too.


The display is perhaps the essential part of your swimming timer clock. You should make sure that it’s large enough and that the digits are easy to read. This way, you can simply glance at the stopwatch instead of trying to decipher what it says.

To make tracking several parameters easy, some displays show different information simultaneously (without changing modes), which can be a big plus. Finally, some stopwatches have a backlight, making the display more visible in low-light conditions.


Most stopwatches out there have three buttons, but there are exceptions. The number of buttons is not that important, as long as they are functional.

Usually, stopwatches will come with start/stop, mode, and reset buttons. They need to be easy to press, accessible when using the stopwatch with one hand, and they should not jam after continuous use.


When used around the pool, the stopwatch is going to be exposed to water and maybe even a drop or two. For this reason, always look for a product that has a tough casing (usually hard plastic) and preferably some rubber protection too. This type of reinforcement ensures shock protection so your stopwatch will keep working even if it hits the ground.

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Ease Of Use

No matter which swim timer you get, a user manual will come in the package. However, some products are more user-friendly than others. Take your time and choose a stopwatch that gives you easy access to all the functions without getting on your nerves.



Q: What Are The Benefits Of Using A Stopwatch?


Stopwatches give you precise information about the performance of your athletes. With it, you can motivate them and give them hints on how to swim faster. In addition, stopwatches are more straightforward and easy to use compared to watches.

Q: Are All Stopwatches Waterproof?


No, not all of them are. This depends on the way they were constructed. If you plan to submerge it into the pool, make sure you buy one of the waterproof stopwatches. Otherwise, a water-resistant stopwatch will also do the trick.

Q: How To Care For My Stopwatch So It Lasts Longer?


For starters, get a product that is made from tough materials that are resistant to shock and water. For added security, many products come with various clips and lanyards for securing them. Nobody drops their stopwatch on purpose, but putting it around your neck or wrist greatly reduces the chance of it falling and breaking.

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Tracking time is very important for competitive swimmers, so both athletes and coaches rely on stopwatches to track the progress and find ways to improve performance. As we’ve discussed, finding the best swimming stopwatch depends on what you need – a basic product or one that can track lap times and stroke rate. We don’t have any doubt you’ll find the right one to make your training sessions better and more effective.

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