Best Stop Watches to Time Your Training With Reviewed
Everyone who’s ever fought in the ring knows that it’s not always the person who’s bigger and stronger that wins the fight. An equally important factor to strength is who can last. If you can outlast your opponent, then your chances of victory skyrocket. However, most training regimes nowadays don’t focus on this aspect, instead opting to promote things such as specific technique or boosting muscle size and sheer physical strength. As anyone who has found themselves getting exhausted halfway through a fight can tell you though, endurance may be overlooked, but you’ll really begin to notice it when it starts to run low.
The problem, then, becomes how does one train and improve this aspect of their physique? Well, to do so you’ll need some digital help. This digital help can come in the form of a chronometer, a time-measurement device designed to help athletes with this task. One of the most common ways that athletes begin training to improve their endurance is through performing laps, either around the track or in the pool. Being able to push yourself to cover the same distance at faster and faster times is a sign that your body is getting stronger, and that you are increasing your levels of endurance.
- LAOPAO Melt
- 1/1000 second accuracy
- Retrieve memory data
- ACCUSPLIT Pro Survivor
- Ergonomic case
- 5year lithium battery
- INSTEN LCD
- Easy-read display
- Split timer
Another common way that these devices are used is to help with interval training. Interval training, of course, refers to switching between two different high-intensity activities, with short periods of rest interspersed. However, the whole concept of interval training falls apart if you don’t have an accurate time-keeping device to remind you when it’s time to switch from one activity to another, and when it’s time to rest. Chronometers are incredibly useful for both of these aspects of training. The devices that are designed to help with this are both commonplace, readily available, and incredibly affordable.
10 Best Stop Watches
1. LAOPAO Melt
It can be frustrating when you're trying to get accurate timing data, but your chronometer isn't up to snuff. Many only trace time up to the one-hundredth of a second. However, for some people, they need data that is more pin-point accurate than this. This product is accurate up to the one-one-thousandth of a second, ensuring you're getting the greatest amount of accuracy possible.
Retrieve Memory Data
Many chronometers have the fatal flaw of only being able to show you one set of data at a time. Once you leave a timing session, the data is lost to the digital void. That is not the case with this product. The LAOPAO Melt has retrievable memory so that you can keep an eye on your timing history for your own records. Nothing is lost with this product.
Cost and Value
This is easily the most expensive product on our list when compared to the other items. However, it is easily among the most advanced, and the most accurate, products we've assembled. It is also among the most highly lauded. All of these factors combine into a product that, if you're willing to invest in it, will be worth every dime you spend.
Timing accuracy 1/1000 second
Smooth metal body
Retrieve memory data
2. ACCUSPLIT Pro Survivor
When you're purchasing a product like this, it's usually that you'll be holding it in your hand. With these kinds of products, few things are as annoying as a product that is too bulky or is oddly shaped to be held comfortably in your palm. This product is ergonomically designed to help you hold onto it comfortably.
Sometimes we want to be able to read things at a glance; some people just have poorer eyesight than others. Either way, being able to have large-clearly legible numbers is a huge seller in products with digital displays. This product fits the bill with its XL digits that will help you keep track of your timing.
Cost and Value
This product has a middling to high price when compared to other items on our list. It has many features that set it apart from the crowd, though. Among those features are the fact that it has an ergonomically designed case, its XL digits for easy reading, its large and easily visible display, as well as its long-lasting battery. Overall, this product is stuffed to the brim with value.
Ergonomic "X" case
Million Cycle switches
5 year lithium battery
3. INSTEN LCD
Sometimes we want our products to be able to do more than just the most basic functions of that product. Sometimes we want something that has the ability to go above and beyond. This product has an advanced display that will show you not only the simple data of a chronometer but more advanced data as well.
Hourly Chime Function
When you're training, sometimes you need an hourly reminder to perform a certain amount of reps, a certain number of situps, or other exercises. Instead of having to purchase a separate timer, this product has a built-in hourly chime to help you out with this feature.
Cost and Value
This is easily the least expensive item on our list when compared to the other products we've assembled. Despite the fact that it has such a rock-bottom cost, it also manages to pack in many great features, among them its advanced display, hourly chime function, large display, and ability to function as a split timer. Overall its low-low price is worth every scent.
Hourly chime function
Advanced time display settings
4. Learning Resources
Sometimes the most complicated products with many bells and whistles are the ones that give us the most problems. This product may not be very complicated, but there is an elegance in simplicity. This product has a simple three-button design that anyone can use, and is very approachable and accessible.
Variety of Colors
Many of the products on this list do not give you much of a choice with regards to the outer appearance of the product. What you see is what you get. This product, however, comes in a variety of colors that allow you to pick and choose to your preference. The degree of customizability allows you to have a degree of control in the purchasing process.
Cost and Value
This product is the second least expensive product on our list when compared to the other items we've assembled. Despite its low price, it has many things going in its favor. It is very intuitively designed, with an uncomplicated three-button system to help you track time. It also has a range of colors available depending on your preference. If you're looking for a great, streamlined, and simple product for a rock-bottom price, look no further.
Easy to use
Three button simple design
Accurate to 1/100 seconds
Variety of colors
No off switch
Many chronometers have the same design flaw: they either have to be held in your hand or worn in a bulky lanyard around the neck. You can't risk putting them in your pocket without risking losing your data. This product comes with a handy belt-clip, which is extremely useful if you are using it as an interval timer.
Vibration Alarm Feature
When you're using chronometer as an interval timer, you need to be able to know when the interval is over, and when the next activity is about to begin. This is hard to do if the time measurement device doesn't have any way of alerting you, leading to having to constantly be looking at its display. This product has a vibrating and chiming alarm, which means you won't even have to look at it to know the interval has changed.
Cost and Value
This product is among the more expensive items on our list. With increased quality comes an increased cost. When you purchase cheap goods, you receive cheaply-made goods. This product has numerous high-end features, such as serving as an interval timer, its chiming and vibrating alarms, and its removable belt-clip. All of these and more combine into a product that is a great investment.
Up to 20 programs
6. Oslo Dual
When we purchase a product, we want it to be worth the money we spend on it. A bare-bones product that only has a single function is rarely something that we want to spend money on. This product has no fewer than three separate functions. It can serve as a single event timer, a lap timer, as well as a split timer. No matter your needs, there is a setting for that.
Many chronometers only count up, showing increasing increments of passing time. However, this product also has an option that allows you to view the inverse as well. If you want to be able to watch the time in a countdown format instead of an ascending format, simply choose that option from the menu.
Cost and Value
This product has a middling price when compared to the other items we've assembled on our list. It has several great features in exchange for its middle of the road price, such as its ten-hour maximum countdown option, its many various functions, and the countdown timer format. This product is positively loaded with value when you consider its extremely reasonable price.
Ten hour measuring capacity
Unit may be defective
Many of the chronometers on this list are only able to be held in the hand or on a lanyard around the neck. This does not make them the easiest to use, especially if you are in motion. This product is the only one on the list that is wearable on the wrist. If you need to look at your numbers, simply glance down at your wrist.
As human beings, when we push ourselves to the limit, we sweat. This is as common as breathing. However, not all of our technology takes this basic biological fact into account. This product does. No matter how sweaty you get, this product won't be affected by the moisture. It will continue to work despite contact with various kinds of liquid.
Cost and Value
This is the second least expensive item when compared to other items included on our list. Despite the fact that it is surprisingly inexpensive, it is a standout. It is unique in design, being the only chronometer included here that can be worn around the wrist. Additionally, it is moisture-resistant, meaning that no matter how much you sweat, its performance won't be affected. All of these factors lead to one valuable product.
Only one color option
Many of these devices are designed to be worn around the neck. Sometimes, though, the cord is simply too short to be worn comfortably. This product allows you to choose the appropriate length, with a whopping thirty nine inch neck strap that can be adjusted to your preference.
Chronometers typically are only designed to keep one kind of time, which is a linear succession of seconds for laps or split timers. This product allows you to keep track of longer ranges of time with a calendar function. This product is truly a time-keeping device; whereas other devices have a limited scope that they can measure, this device goes above and beyond.
Cost and Value
This product has a middling cost when compared to other items on our list. It has many features that make it worth that price, however. Among those features are its calendar function, extra-long adjustable neck strap, audible timer and one-one-hundredth of a second accuracy. All of these features and more come together to build a product that has everything you could look for in a chronometer.
39" neck strap
12 and 24hr clock
1/100 second accuracy
9. Marathon Adanac 4000
When you're purchasing a chronometer, one of the most important things is that it be accurate. If it's not accurate, there's not much point to purchasing it in the first place. But how can you be sure of its accuracy, without solely having to rely on the marketing team's words? This product comes laser-tuned for optimal accuracy so that you can rest assured about its measurements.
Large Display Buttons
With handheld products, oftentimes designers think that smaller is better. That, however, is not always the case. Anyone who has had to deal with tiny buttons, minuscule text, or hard-to-read displays knows this problem well. This device has large and easily-read buttons to make sure you never have to suffer through this particular design flaw.
Cost and Value
This product has a middling to low price when compared to other items on our list. It is the third least expensive item on our list, though it is from one of the most well-known companies in the chronometer marketplace. It has many high-profile features, such as its easy to read buttons and laser tuned accuracy. When you add that to the split mode option and its calendar function, this is truly a standout product.
Easy to use
Large display and buttons
Time and calendar
Clock may malfunction
10. Ultrak 100
One of the issues that chronometers often have as a design flaw is the fact that they are unable to store any data. If you want to be able to look at your history, you're out of luck. Well, that's not the case with this product. Not only can you recall your information, but you can also pull up several varieties of data as well.
When you buy a product, you want to be sure that it's going to run for a long time. Purchasing a product that you're just going to have to replace in a month is a waste of money. Such is the case with chronometers that have short-lived battery lives. This product, however, has one of the longest-lasting batteries on the market. Its lithium battery typically lasts for several years at a time before it needs to be replaced.
Cost and Value
This product is the second most expensive on our list when compared to the other items we've assembled here. It is also among the most high-end and advanced chronometers both in this list and in the marketplace. For the higher-end functions and features, the wise consumer knows that you're going to have to be willing to spend slightly more money.
Dual split re-callable memory
Measures up to 10hrs
When you’re training, keeping track of your timing is an important part of increasing endurance. Whether you’re looking to shave a few minutes off your mile or to outlast your opponent in the ring, being able to go in for the long haul is an important goal. Having top-notch devices that can help you along on that journey is equally important. These devices have many features, forms, shapes, and functions. To the layperson, it may be overwhelming at first. With some simple reading, though, it is easy to make informed and smart purchases, and to find the product that’s right for you.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Stop Watches
- Cord: Far and away the most common method of wearing these devices is with the included cord. Almost every single one of these devices comes with a cord that is designed to be worn around the neck, although there is a wireless model in the mix. These cords are often made of artificial fiber, and can usually be adjusted to your desired length. They are usually fairly extensive in terms of cordage, so you never have to worry about it being too short.
- Wrist strap: A rarer design for these devices is a chronometer that is able to be worn around the wrist. This design is more akin to that of a traditional time keeping device. The benefit of this kind of design is that you don’t have to fumble around your neck to look at your time. All you have to do is glance down at your wrist to get all the data you need.
- Belt clip-on: This design is most common for chronometers that are also designed to function as interval timers. An interval timer designed to be worn on a cord around the neck would be immensely impractical, especially when you consider the intense physical activity and movement such intervals entail. The belt clip-on allows it to both stay in place and stay on your person in one convenient location.
- Split timer: When you’re training to improve your endurance, one of the most important things is consistency. You need to be able to run a consistent pace throughout the entirety of the lap or swim. If you’re going in fits and starts, you’re not truly training for endurance. Split timers are designed to split the total time up into smaller increments, to show that you are keeping a consistent pace throughout the entirety of your training.
- Lap timer: Perhaps the most basic function of a chronometer is the ability to track how long it takes to run or swim a single lap. This gives you an accurate baseline for your training, and a goal to shoot to improve upon. The goal is to be able to perform each portion of the run or swim in a similar amount of time, which means that not only are you getting stronger but that your endurance is improving as well.
- Interval timer: Interval timers refer to a kind of timer that gives an alarm, alerting the wearer that it is time to switch between activities. Interval training typically involves switching between two or more activities, with short breaks for rest in between. These kinds of timers have some kind of alarm, either chiming or vibrating, that alerts the wearer. They can also serve as a more basic lap timer or sometimes even a split timer as well.
- Accuracy: Some products are accurate up to one-one-thousandth of a second. Most, however, are only accurate up to the one-one-hundredth of a second. For the average athlete though, the one-one-hundredth of a second is more than accurate enough for their purposes. If being accurate down to the one-one-thousandth of a second is important to you, the models that have this capacity tend to be a bit pricier.
- Calendar and date: Not all chronometers have a calendar and date function, as their time keeping concerns are of a more immediate nature. However, some do include this function, and the ability to navigate backward or forwards through several years in time.
- Alarms: This function is most commonly found in interval timers, whose job is to remind the wearer that an allotted exercise interval has ended. However, many do have built-in alarms that can also be programmed. Many of these alarms are designed to go off at 12-hour or 24-hour increments. Some are even able to be programmed to go off at certain times of the day.
- Recallable memory: This is a feature that you’re not likely to find on lower-end models. With simpler chronometers, once you click out of the current session, you lose your information. Some of the pricier, higher-end models have the ability to let you pull up past sessions, though. This onboard memory lets you track previous sessions to get an idea of your performance over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will I need to change the battery?
A: The need to change the battery will vary from model to model. However, most chronometers nowadays rely on lithium batteries or watch batteries. These batteries tend to last for years on end. When they do finally give out, many of these products (especially the lower-end models) are not designed to have the battery changed, but rather to be thrown away, and a newer model purchased.
Q: How do I switch between functions?
A: This too will vary between different varieties of chronometer. On simpler models, they take a streamlined three-button approach that is very intuitive and easy to navigate. For more advanced models, you’ll need to refer to the operating manual that you receive with your product.
Q: Can I save my data?
A: On the more advanced models you can. Some products on the higher end of the quality spectrum have the ability to lt you pull up data from its memory to let you see your session history. This is unique to the higher-end models though. With less expensive chronometers, once you exit a session, the data is deleted forever.
Q: Is it waterproof?
A: Some are, many aren’t. If waterproofing is a feature that you’re looking for in a device, you’ll need to ensure that it is listed in its product specifications.
Q: What is a split timer?
A: This is a fairly standard feature on mid-range to high-end products in this category. For the cheapest and simplest models though, you may not find it.
Q: Can I read the display in low-light settings?
A: Many of the displays on these products are not backlit. Some of the displays on the higher-end models are lit, and can be read even in the dark; this is far from an industry standard feature though.