Water sports and TVS – not combined.
1 ‘Moov Now’
Half the size of the previous iteration, the new Moov Now is a serious piece of kit. Not so much a tracker as a prodder, it’s about offering metrics that will improve your swimming. Via the app, you can check everything from your pool stamina to stroke type and distance-to-turn time, while a voice will even coach you in real-time. What’s more, rather than use a lithium smartwatch battery, it has a traditional watch battery, giving six months on a single charge. $79.95; welcome.moov.cc WIN: INCREDIBLE COACHING FUNCTIONS. FAIL: NO FACE, SO YOU CAN’T CHECK DATA MID-SWIM.
2 ‘Speedo Shine’ by Misfit
Minimalist and sleek, this is for the serious swimmer who doesn’t want to be burdened with a bulky tracker. Still, that slimness comes at a price – while, like others, it can track things such as laps and distance swum, it can’t count stroke numbers or stroke type and, like the Moov, has no face of its own, meaning you can only see the data later, via the app. On the other hand, ahem, it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminium, so is virtually indestructible. $79.99; misfit.com WIN: MINIMALIST; HARDY. FAIL: LACKING IN MORE ADVANCED FEATURES.
3 ‘Fenix Sapphire’ 3 by Garmin
Not cheap – $899 of not cheap, to be exact. But you get the best fitness watch on the market – not just a swimming watch but one for everything from skiing to cycling, gym work to hiking. In water, it can do everything you’d expect (lengths, distance, pace, calories) and much you wouldn’t, from being waterproof at diving depths (100m) to a specialist wild swimming mode. Best is the tracking of your ‘Swolf’ score, which eggs you on to beat your best lap. $899; buy.garmin.com WIN: BEST OVERALL FITNESS WATCH ON THE MARKET. FAIL: THE PRICE, THE BULK.
4 ‘Poolmate HR’ by Swimovate
Yes it may resemble that digital you threw out in the ’80s, but the Poolmate has some serious tech – as well as recording laps, strokes, distance and calories burned, it’s also one of the few watches that will track your heart rate in the pool (most monitors transmit at 2.4Ghz, but this one, at 122Khz, works in water) and includes a vibrating alert. Based on your arm movement, it can even judge your stroke efficiency. $281.33; wiggle.com.au WIN: ONLY WATCH ON TEST THAT MONITORS HEART-RATE IN THE WATER. FAIL: NOT A LOOKER, PRICEY.