The new Garmin Swim is Garmin’s first training watch designed specifically for swimming. It allows you to track stroke type, stroke count, distance, pace, lengths and so much more. Out of the box the sleek wrist piece can be used as a regular watch and doesn’t look like a child’s toy. It’s pretty simple with a large clear screen, that’s easy to see in the water.
Getting started couldn’t be easier with the large blue button engaging the swim mode and allows you to input the pool length. A press of the middle right button gets things started and you’re away. Pressing the same button pauses the recording and data can be saved at this point. What is neat here is that Garmin have included a drill mode. This allows the timer to continue running while you manually set the distance and records the time spent drilling over the set distance.
Garmin provide two pages of data fields but there is also the option to customise this if desired. Another useful feature is being able to look at swim history allowing you to look at old sessions and make instant comparisons. We also like the fact you can keep track of your weekly swim distances on the unit. With regards to outdoor swimming the Garmin Swim is not a GPS and uses using an accelerometer and therefore wont track as such.
All data from the watch can be downloaded to Garmin’s excellent ANT Agent software (which can be downloaded for free if don’t have it) using the ANT+ USB stick provided. Once paired with your computer the watch will automatically upload workouts. With data loaded on to your computer the information and analysis is as slick and useful as we’ve come to expect from Garmin whether it’s stroke count, distance, time or efficiency.
The watch unit uses a regular CR3032 battery, which Garmin say should last a year, and can be changed at home. To help save battery life the watch automatically switches off after a few seconds if it doesn’t detect movement. If you own a 91 0XT it will perform most of the features found here, but if not then this is cheap and easy way to start tracking pool data. The Garmin Swim is the best pool based swim-specific watch we have used.