6 Best Stopwatches
Stopwatches have revolutionized the way we keep time in sporting activities as well as our personal workouts sessions.
The emerging forms of technology mean that a stopwatch is more than just a time machine.
A stopwatch can measure lap, split, and cumulative times, all on the same screen as well as sound an alarm, countdown, and automatically shut off when idle.
The latest innovations have also led to new types of batteries that can keep the watch running over a long duration without going off.
With new brands emerging as manufacturers make the dash for the limited market, it is now becoming more difficult for a buyer to choose a stopwatch that suits his needs as well as budget.
Despite the obvious need for a neat stopwatch, most people end up with chronographs that are not worth any penny. That is why we came up with this guide to help you make the right choice.
In this post, you will find significant information on the best stopwatches online, together with their pros and cons.
We also pointed out the key aspects that you should consider while shopping for a stopwatch, the different categories of stopwatches, as well as some of the frequently asked questions.
Top 6 Best Selling Stopwatches
Best Stopwatch for Swimming
Best Lightweight Stopwatch
Best for Bike Racing and skating
Best Unisex Stopwatch
What is a stopwatch, and how to use a stopwatch?
A stopwatch is a handheld timepiece. It is designed to measure the elapsed time between its activation and deactivation. There exist two buttons on either side of the stopwatch, which is used for starting/stopping and splitting/resetting the stopwatch. Stopwatches are used in laboratory experiments and for many sports competitions and events.
Digital stopwatches come with an LCD screen that displays the time in hours, minutes, and seconds. It also enables you to see the date and day of the week. Most electronic devices like watches, mobile phones, computers, and laptops also come with a stopwatch feature.
Using a stopwatch is quite simple, especially if it is a digital stopwatch. You just have to press the start button for the stopwatch to begin the measurement of time. To stop the watch, you will need to press the same button again, and you will get the measure of the amount of time elapsed. It is also possible to reset the stopwatch by pressing the reset button.
Types of Stopwatches
By face value and to most guys, most stopwatches are more or less the same, especially the digital brands.
But did you know that most stopwatches, despite their outer cover having a similar look, are totally different in the way the work to measure time?
In fact, they can be broadly classified according to their movement. By movement, we mean the technology behind how the watch works.
Movement is the core of the watch and it determines how the time hands move, ticks, amongst other features such as calendar, and countdown time.
Most experienced shoppers will actually dig deeper to know the type of movement of a watch since they know it affects its performance and functionality.
Here are the three basic types of stopwatches based on the type of movement.
They are quite popular due to their battery saving modes and are much more accurate as compared to mechanical or automatic stopwatches.
The tiny little crystals, which are not affected by gravity, control the movement of the minutes, hour and second hands or power on the LCD display.
Although now overshadowed by digital stopwatches, mechanical types were quite popular back in the days when quartz watches were a little bit expensive.
They probably grew out favor with most folks due to the constant demand of manual turning the knob at the top. The heart of a mechanical watch is the mainspring that operates the gears which in turn help in the movement of the minute and seconds hands.
The watch is largely dependent on the human for its accuracy to be on point making it less precise as compared to other brands.
The Russian company, Agat, remains a top manufacturer of mechanical stopwatches up to date.
Imagine a watch which requires no battery replacements since it uses none. That is exactly how an automatic stopwatch works.
Instead, it utilizes the kinetic energy derived from the user’s hands movement. Kinetic energy is energy in motion. This energy is used to power the mechanism inside the watch after a series of energy transformation from kinetic to electric.
Automatic stopwatches are affordable and also quite popular as the best handheld stopwatch types.
What to Consider when Shopping for a stopwatch
The market of stopwatches is evolving year in, year out. Unlike in the past when we had only a few brands such as Casio, the new era has brought with it new brands, and now buying a good stopwatch is continually becoming a hard nut to crack.
From simple, pocket-friendly watches to more complex chronographs, you are more likely to have a tough time purchasing a watch since most of them have many good features.
Below are some of the most important aspects that you ought to put into consideration.
Design of the stopwatch.
Most models in the market have an oval shape that is designed with squared corners. The main reason behind this design is to give your hand an easy time as you hold the watch.
In some cases, you will find that your duties are more than just having a look at and recording time. This is why a cord or strap is a must-have feature. It allows you to comfortably hang the watch on your neck as you continue with other activities.
The watch should also be lightweight and easy to carry around.
The Outer Cover and Buttons.
While it is easy to overlook this one, the cover of the watch really matters.
What is the point of having a watch with awesome built-in time functions but has a poor cover that is not sturdy enough to protect the delicate electronic units inside?
Won’t such a watch be short-lived?
You need a stopwatch that can withstand constant slamming against your body and ensures, in situations where it comes into contact with water, no infiltration occurs.
Hard to press buttons are less desirable and will only give you a hard time particularly when measuring split and lap times. Avoid buttons which leave space in between them and the outer shell of the stopwatch.
Reading customer reviews can give you a rough idea on the nature of the buttons.
Look for a stopwatch with easy to press buttons and is labeled as impact, shock, and water resistant. The outer shell should be made of good rubber or sturdy plastic material.
Built-in time functions.
The main reason as to why you need a stopwatch is to record time as you exercise. This is why built-in time features are a high priority.
Here are some key time functions that you need to ensure are available
- Split time; A race may be divided into a number of milestones, that is point A, B, C, D and the time it takes to reach each of the milestone recorded.
For example, a 10-mile race may be divided into 5 milestones of 2 miles each. The cumulative time it takes you to run and reach each milestone right from the beginning is called the split time.
- Lap time: This is the time taken to complete each of the splits (milestones).
Lap time is different from split time in the sense that split time is the overall time from the start to the current milestone, that is from point A to C whereas lap time is the time taken in between two distinct splits, eg from B to C or from C to D.
- Overall time: The time it takes you to run from start to finish, including the cumulative time of all the laps included in that particular race.
A stopwatch should be able to clearly record the time from zero to the time it takes you to finish the race.
Go for a stopwatch that can record lap, split, and overall time during a race.
A stopwatch needs to be very accurate with the most standard models having an accuracy of 1/100 (0.01) seconds.
In case you are recording the time taken by many athletes or in many races, you will need a stopwatch with a good memory function.
Some models are overwhelmed by a huge amount of data and end up losing time data of older events. A good model should have the ability to store a huge amount of time data which is very advantageous.
Clarity or the easiness to read time, even when under strenuous conditions such as quick sprints, very bright sunlight or in dim light, is very crucial.
A larger display doesn’t quite often translate to a legible display. Go for a watch with a display that shows the numbers clearly.
In most cases, you are likely to do your workouts outside where the light is brighter and therefore, you will need a watch with an anti-glare screen that not only enhances the readability but also improves the looks of the watch.
In dimmer environments, a stopwatch with a backlight mode will come in handy. The screen should also be strong and resistant to scratch.
Imagine going out to time a long-awaited event only for your precious chronograph to switch off due to a low battery? Irritating, isn’t it?
Well, such situations can be avoided early by investing in a stopwatch that has a long-life battery.
Lithium batteries are renowned for their extended life and can power up your watch for years. Don’t panic when the watch finally switches off as you can always replace the battery with a new one.
Some models have even incorporated a small solar panel which recharges the battery when you are out there in the sun. The key here is to avoid a stopwatch with a short-lived battery as a constant replacement can be costly.
Stopwatches’ prices range from INR 350 to INR 5000. The higher the price, the more and better features the watch has. Remember that not all watches that are highly-priced are a good fit.
Go for a stopwatch that does not only fit your budget but also your needs.
Some stopwatches have built-in extra features such as calendar, stroke rate calculator, countdown and alarm functions.
These features are also necessary depending on the activity in question.
Do you intend to use the stopwatch to time swimming, a run on the treadmill or just a normal athletic event?
Whatever event you have in mind, will certainly have a great impact on your final choice. Why? For example, you can only use a waterproof watch in swimming events. Some events will require a stopwatch with the countdown feature or one with very high accuracy or responsiveness.
Top 6 Stopwatches
1. Rothco Marathon Digital Stopwatch – Best Digital Display
The digital stopwatch is easy to read and operate, making it an ideal choice. It is water-resistant, which allows you to monitor time for water sports events. The stopwatch also has the option to show different days of the week, and it has an alarm feature.
- Length of the stopwatch: 2 inches and the width is 0.50 inches.
- It has a 1/100 split timing function for recording time accurately.
- It has a digital display.
- Comes with split/reset and start/stop modes.
- It can show the different days of the week.
- Digital stopwatch is easy to read.
- It is water-resistant.
- It is difficult to turn off the alarm.
2. Generic Waterproof Digital LCD Stopwatch – Best Stopwatch for Swimming
The Generic stopwatch is a great option for swimming and other water-related sports events because of its waterproof design. The swift micro-touch buttons make it easy to operate. You can easily switch between 12 and 24-hour modes using this stopwatch. Also, this product comes with an alarm with a snooze of 4 minutes.
- 1/100 seconds chronograph settings up to 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds.
- The digital timer features an LCD display.
- It can show the hour, minutes, seconds, month, date, and day of the week.
- Enables you to switch between 12 and 24-hour modes.
- Requires AG13 button batteries.
- It has a durable shockproof design.
- The micro-touch keys are swift and agile.
- Waterproof, making it suitable for swimming-related events.
- Buttons stopped working properly after a few weeks of use.
3. Naivete Pratham Digital Sports Stopwatch – Best Lightweight Stopwatch
The Naivete Pratham has some neat features and retails at a very pocket-friendly price. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable stopwatches on this list.
A standout feature of this chronograph is the big digit display that is meant to compensate for the smaller, one-row screen. With such a screen in place, you can now comfortably read the time even while in motion or under strenuous lighting conditions.
With an ag10 button cell in place, you don’t have to worry about the watch switching off as you time yourself since it has a long battery life.
Here are some of its key features.
- An elegant oval shape that has a grey and black color palette.
- Measures 8x3x5 cm and weighs about 42 grams.
- The watch is tuned to an accuracy of 1/100 seconds.
- Comes with built-in time features such as split and lap time as well as the normal time and calendar modes.
- The lanyard is blue in color, long and strong. It comes in handy in case you need to continue with other activities as you keep an eye on the time.
- One row big digit display that is easily readable.
- It is a quartz watch that is powered by an ag10 button that has a long life.
- Lightweight and easy to carry around.
- You can easily switch between different modes with the easy to press buttons.
- Comes in at a pocket-friendly price.
- The plastic shell easily gets scratches over a prolonged period of use.
- It has no alarm function.
- It does not recall the previous split times due to low memory.
4. Lista058 Racer Stopwatch – Best for Bike Racing and skating
Designed with a racer needs in mind, the Lista058 stopwatch comes with 7 different flashing modes and a stretchable head strap.
The chronograph features a combination of two-cycle warning lights, red and white. The reflective colors ensure that other motorists on the road are able to spot you when dark, thus minimizing the chances of an accident.
You can use the watch even when it is drizzling as it is made of a strong, water-resistant plastic outer shell. Its built makes it the best stopwatch for swimming.
It is tuned to the accuracy of 1/100 seconds and can measure time in minutes, seconds and milliseconds, making it suitable for use in different racing functions.
- Waterproof and hence can be used even under damp conditions.
- Made of durable plastic material and available in multiple colors.
- Long Lanyard that helps you hang the stopwatch on your neck as you cycle or skate.
- Built-in time modes such as day time, split and lap times as well as cumulative modes.
- One row big digit display that is easily readable.
- It features date and time functions.
- User-friendly agile buttons
- Waterproof and very durable.
- The large digit display makes it easy to read the time.
- A durable, and long lanyard included in the package.
- No batteries featured. You will have to buy your own.
5. Dealcrox Timer Stop Watch – Best Unisex Stopwatch
The Dealcrox timer has a simplistic lightweight design that is available in different elegant color palettes, and hence, you can easily choose one that fits you right.
You will definitely fall in love with the oval shape of the watch which feels so comfortable in your hands. Just like many other stopwatches, the Dealcrox has a white lanyard to help you hang it on your neck.
The watch has a reliable memory that can store huge amounts of data in multiple events. The ABS plastic material that makes up the outer body is sturdy and resistant to scratching.
- An oval shape designed to feel comfortable in different hands.
- Features a long, white lanyard which will help you firmly secure the watch on your neck as you go about other activities.
- Quartz movement which is powered up by an L1154 or LR44 cell battery.
- Made of ABS plastic material which is both tough and durable.
- Built-in time functions include a calendar, split and lap times.
- One row display which has big digits that can be read even when working out under unfavorable conditions.
- The watch is very lightweight, measuring 8 * 6.1 * 2.3cm and weighing around 37 grams.
- Available in different color schemes, making it suitable for both genders.
- Easy to carry around.
- A good display making the reading of time very easy.
- Ergonomic design with a shell that is built to last.
- No information on the warranty.
- Missing countdown, and alarm functions.
6. Trendyest Handheld Digital Stopwatch – Best Display
The Trendyest handheld stopwatch will impress you with the shutdown and key-mute functions which are rare to find in most budget watches.
The shutdown function allows you to turn off the watch without having to remove the battery. Upon switching the watch on, you don’t have to reset the watch as it has a very good memory which keeps most of the time data.
With the key mute feature, you can now silence all the sounds especially if you are in a situation that requires total silence.
Just like most other stopwatches, the Trendyest have built-in time functions and can time splits and lap times as well as cumulative time.
- An elegant oval design with squared edges which allows you to comfortably hold the watch in your hands.
- A 3 row, screen display that has big digits, making it very easy to read the time. You can also view multiple times on the same screen.
- Designed with built-in time, alarm and calendar functions.
- Features a split memory that can record multiple data over long periods of time.
- The material of the outer shell is made of ABS plastic and is available in black and white colors.
- Comes with a black, long lanyard that allows you to comfortably hang the watch on your neck.
- The watch has a time precision of up to 0.01 seconds and can count time up to 9 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds.
- Powered by built-in CR2032 button battery.
- The watch measures 75 x 62 x 21mm and has a weight of 70 grams.
- Ability to display different time modes on the same screen.
- The sturdy and long lanyard is durable.
- A beautiful design with an easy to read display.
- The key mute and shutdown functions.
- Lightweight and easy to carry around.
- The buttons are hard to press, especially when the watch is new.
- No information on the warranty or return policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between a standard watch and a stopwatch?
A standard watch displays the day time only in am or pm mode, and some have a calendar, and alarm functions.
On the other side, a stopwatch has all those features, and some added specific functions to help you track your time as you exercise. These features include lap, split, cumulative times, and countdown timers. Most stopwatches are larger and have a better display as compared to the normal watch.
2. Are stopwatches expensive?
It matters. The price depends on the features that the stopwatch has to offer, its durability, and accessories. Some basic models retail at INR 250 where there some sophisticated brands that go for as much as INR 5,000.
It narrows down to how much you have, or what you are willing to spend.
3. Is it advisable to buy a stopwatch online?
Yes. In fact, it is the best way to ensure that you get good value for your money since most online stores like Amazon sell many brands on offer and their return policy is reliable.
Definitely, there are some awesome stores in your local town where you can also buy these watches and it is also advisable that you visit them in case you don’t have the means to buy the products online.
4. How do I know the accuracy of a stopwatch right before I make any purchase?
Most stopwatches are tuned to the accuracy of 0.01 seconds. It is good to confirm the product specifications list before you buy the watch.
In most cases, the accuracy of the result is affected by human error rather than the watch itself. Also, ensure that the buttons are easy to press since most of the human errors are due to delay in pressing the start and stop button.
5. What are some of the ways in which I can use a stopwatch?
The watch can be used in very many ways. Some uses include in the kitchen, in the gym as you workout, in sporting events like running to track time, schools in the labs, amongst many uses.
As long as there the need to keep time, you can always employ the services of a stopwatch.
6. How durable are stopwatches?
Your usage, how you care for the watch as well as its quality dictates the life of the chronograph. The outer shell has a great impact on the durability of the watch as it is the cover which protects the inner content of the watch.
Buy one with a sturdy plastic or tough rubber cover.
Store the watch in a cool dry place after usage, and make sure it is switched off when not in use. When the battery is dead, replace it with a new one and carefully screw back the top cover.
If you have a warranty or return policy, don’t worry in case the stopwatch stops working. Just return it to the seller and have it repaired or replaced.
7. How will I know if a stopwatch uses automatic, mechanical or quartz movement technology?
Look out for the specifications on the package. Although you can almost tell by the design (see sections on types of stopwatches at the beginning of this post), manufacturers always indicate the movement type on the packaging box.
The most common type is the quartz type due to its efficiency.
8. Does the shape of the cover have an effect on the functionality of the stopwatch?
Yes, it does. An easy to hold elegant design is always welcome since you don’t want a watch that feels so uncomfortable in your hands.
The squared edges are meant to help you hold the watch without it sliding even if your hands are sweaty.
9. Can I use a water-resistant watch in swimming events?
Definitely. The water-resistant band is made with a tight design and a strong plastic that does not allow water to infiltrate the interior of the watch. This makes it ideal for use in water sports or when it is raining.
Please note that not all stopwatches are water-resistant and it is always good to confirm before you buy the watch.
10. Distinguish between one row and three-row display and what impact does it have on the readability of time?
In one row displays, an only one-time mode is shown at a time. You have to keep on switching the modes to the preferred one. However, most one-row display stopwatches have big digits and therefore, one is able to read the time comfortably.
A three-row display can display different time modes, on the same screen at the same time. This normally is the split, lap, and cumulative times. This comes in handy especially when tracking time in multiple events.
11. Do I have any other options other than a stopwatch?
Definitely. You can use other options such as the wireless laser timers, which despite being more expensive, are very accurate.
Another available option is the control digital timer. It features a big screen for better display, interval and countdown timers and sends a loud notification when the time is up.
It is very ideal for gyms where people need to be alerted when the time is up when doing a given the time is up.
The best stopwatches for running are:
- Naivete Pratham Digital LCD Professional Sports Stopwatch
- Delacroix Single Row 5 Digit Electronic Sports Stopwatch
12. Which is the best stopwatch for swimming?
The best stopwatch for swimming are:
13. What are the benefits of using a stopwatch?
A stopwatch helps in measuring the time elapsed between the initial and final time. It can be used for laboratory experiments and sports events like swimming. A stopwatch can also be used for knowing the date and day or even the time. Most stopwatches also have a timer and an alarm feature to notify you about something important.
The list above is a summary of some of the best stopwatches online. However, it is not conclusive as there is a wide range of stopwatches on the market. This post is meant to assist you to see what is on offer. As per the experts, we found Rothco Marathon Digital Stopwatch and Generic Waterproof Digital LCD Stopwatch have some of the great features and have received recognition from the customers.
To help you make a better choice, here is a summary of the key considerations you should make before you spend a dime on any watch.
- Ensure that your needs are met and that the watch falls within the budget. You certainly don’t need to spend all your paycheck in order to purchase a stopwatch.
- Consider the type of sporting event that you aim to keep track of time. Some watches lack features like countdown which might be essential in events like sprints.
- Remember, the outer shell matters as much as the electronic parts. Choose a tough rubber or durable plastic with easy to press buttons.
- Don’t shy off from your favorite color. A good, bright color not only looks good but also motivates the wearer of the watch.
- Consider buying a stopwatch from an online store where there is a variety to pick from, bonuses and warranty in case the watch has some defect.