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Garmin Swim Watch isn’t really a fitness tracker in the sense that it has been designed especially and only for swimmers.

Garmin is one of the leaders in navigation equipment but in recent years has branched out into other areas including the sport and wearable technology markets.

This watch doesn’t have GPS as one of its features, but for swimming it probably isn’t necessary.

They are a global company with thirty five offices around the world and as you would expect, are a much respected business.

This is the kind of watch you might want to consider if swimming is the only activity you want to monitor and improve.

There are advantages to having a device which is focused on only one activity as too many features may become a distraction.

With fitness trackers the swimming function isn’t usually a priority as most people use them for running.

How It Works

It works by using an accelerometer and information programmed into it regarding strokes, plus you have to tell it the size of your pool.

It uses this information to work out how many pool lengths you have managed.

To set it up after setting the time, you need to tell it whether you want to measure lengths or laps. There are pre-sets to choose.

Once that’s done you can start it but will have to pause it when you take a rest and stop it when you have finished. It does have a rest timer included.

Once this data is recorded, the Garmin Swim Watch will work out how many lengths (or laps) you’ve completed.

It will also tell you how many strokes it has taken. The data can then be saved, or deleted if you don’t want to keep it.

It’s able to tell the difference between breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle and butterfly. As the watch is on the wrist, it can detect the different motions of the arm to work out which style is being used.

You can carry out timed sets and logging drills if you want but have to turn off the length and stroke measuring first.

You’ll need to input the length data manually for this.

Once the data is recorded you can then upload it to Garmin Connect where it gets analysed and you can view your stats to see your progress.

One drawback is that you have to interpret the information yourself.


  • Very easy to use
  • A good variety of information gets recorded
  • Very accurate
  • Looks good
  • USB adapter for syncing is included


  • There’s no training information on Garmin Connect
  • No heart rate monitor
  • Instruction manual is a download only

Features And Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to this watch as it is very easy to setup and use.

It records and provides probably as much information about your swimming as you’ll need and with very good accuracy.

The simplicity of it being just for swimming is good but on the other hand if you take part in other activities such as running or walking, it won’t be suitable.

Once setup, it does the work for you. Yes you have to start, stop and pause it as you go, but it does the rest and it does it very well too.

This allows you to focus on your training and technique rather than how many lengths or strokes you’ve done.

It also acts as a regular watch so you can wear it all the time which means you have your latest data with you.

This can be motivating as you can look at it as you want. For more detailed information just sync to the Garmin Connect platform which holds all your data and analyses it for you.

You’ll be able to drill down into this online data to get detailed information about how you’re doing.

There isn’t much on how to interpret it though and there aren’t any swimming plans on the platform either, which is a shame.

Customer feedback is generally very good although one or two did question the accuracy of some of the data.

Overall most people are really pleased with it and think the Garmin Swim Watch is worth considering.



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