5 Best Stopwatches
Someone once said that nobody knows the value of a millisecond better than an athlete who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Whether it’s about 100 meters running or 100-meter swimming the time taken by the winner and runner-up usually differs only in milliseconds.
A stopwatch is an ideal sporting accessory that helps you to better your opponent by milliseconds. It is also a great tool for performing workouts or sporting activities to keep time in short intervals.
You can track lap, split, and cumulative times simultaneously on the same screen with a stopwatch. It also provides a countdown feature and sounds an alarm as and when needed.
In this review, you will read about the best stopwatches online, the key aspects you should consider while shopping for a stopwatch, the different categories of stopwatches, and frequently asked questions.
Top 5 Best Selling Stopwatches in India
|Product (Best Brands)||Best Price|
Best Stopwatch for Swimming
Best for Bike Racing and skating
Best Lightweight Stopwatch
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 are two buttons on either side of the stopwatch used to start/stop and split/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, most stopwatches are the same, especially digital ones.
But did you know that most stopwatches, despite their outer cover having a similar look, are different in the way they 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 dig deeper to know the type of watch movement since they know it affects its performance and functionality.
Here are the three basic types of stopwatches based on the kind of movement.
They are quite popular due to their battery saving modes and are much more accurate than 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.
Although now overshadowed by digital stopwatches, mechanical types were quite popular when quartz watches were a little bit expensive.
They probably grew out favour 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 helps in the minute and seconds hands movement.
The watch is mainly dependent on the user for its accuracy to be on point, making it less precise than 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 precisely how an automatic stopwatch works. Instead, it utilises the kinetic energy derived from the user’s hands movement.
Kinetic energy is energy in motion. This energy is used to power the watch’s mechanism 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 new brands, and now buying a good stopwatch is a task.
From simple, pocket-friendly watches to more complex timepieces, you are more likely to have a tough time purchasing a watch since most of them have many useful features.
Below are some of the essential 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 allow you to hold the stopwatch easily.
You will find that your duties are more than just looking at and recording time in some cases. 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 matters.
What is the point of having a watch with excellent built-in time functions but has a poor cover that is not sturdy enough to protect the delicate electronic units inside?
You need a stopwatch that can withstand constant slamming against your body and ensure that no infiltration occurs in situations where it comes into contact with water.
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 labelled 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 several milestones, that is point A, B, C, D and the time it takes to reach each of the milestones 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 the 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, e.g. 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 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 lose time data of older events.
A good model should have the ability to store a vast 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 dim light, is 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 enhances the readability and 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 scratches.
Imagine going out to time a long-awaited event only for your precious stopwatch 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 regular athletic event? Whatever event you have in mind, will undoubtedly have a significant impact on your final choice.
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 5 Stopwatches
1. Generic Stopwatch
The Generic stopwatch is an excellent 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
- 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 water sports
- Buttons stopped working correctly after a few weeks of use
2. Royals Digital Stopwatch Timer
Royals stopwatch is a handheld LCD digital professional stopwatch timer. It is powered by one AG10 button cell that ensures its long-lasting usage.
This stopwatch is suitable for a wide range of sporting activities such as running, swimming, climbing, camping, etc. It is prepared from high-quality plastics.
- This stopwatch features 1/100 second precision along with a lap counter for the first 30 minutes
- It displays time in 12/24 hour format (current time)
- It is equipped with various useful features such as a bell alarm, stopwatch, time, date, etc
- The LCD provides enhanced visibility
- The big digit display improves its readability
- It features a lengthy and durable lanyard that assists you to hang the stopwatch on your neck for enhanced safety
- It is suitable for various sporting activities and fitness routines
- It features a lightweight design as it weighs 250 grams
- You can easily carry it around and operate it without any hassles
- It features a colourful and trendy design that complements your style statement
- The intensity of the alarm sound is like that of any digital wristwatch
- The buttons are stable and easily withstand the rigours of intensive use
- It can also be used for studies and examinations when you need to beat the time for completing the question paper in record time
- It provides easy switching between various modes with easy-to-press buttons
- It doesn’t have an odometer
- It doesn’t have a light on the display that makes it difficult to view in the dark
3. Lista Stopwatch
Designed with a racer needs in mind, the Lista058 stopwatch comes with 7 different flashing modes and a stretchable head strap.
The stopwatch features a combination of two-cycle warning lights, red and white. The reflective colours ensure that other motorists on the road can spot you in the dark, thus minimising an accident’s chances.
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 colours
- 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
- No batteries featured. You will have to buy your own.
4. Naivete Stopwatch
The Naivete Pratham has some neat features and retails at a very pocket-friendly price.
This standout feature is the big digit display 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
- Measures 8x5x2.3 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 standard time and calendar modes
- The lanyard 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 quickly 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
5. Dealcrox Stopwatch
The Dealcrox timer has a simplistic lightweight design available in different elegant colour palettes, and hence, you can easily choose one that fits you right.
You will fall in love with the watch’s oval shape, which feels so comfortable in your hands. Just like many other stopwatches, the Dealcrox has a long 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 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 unfavourable conditions
- The watch is very lightweight, measuring 8 * 6.1 * 2.3cm and weighing around 37 grams
- Available in different colour 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
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 regular watch.
2. Are stopwatches expensive?
No. The price depends on the features that the stopwatch has to offer, its durability, and accessories.
Some basic models retail at INR 250 where some sophisticated brands 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.
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 result’s accuracy is affected by human error rather than the watch itself. Also, ensure that the buttons are easy to press since most human errors are due to delay in pressing the start and stop button.
5. What are some of how 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 is the need to keep time, you can always employ a stopwatch’s services.
6. How durable are stopwatches?
Your usage, how you care for the watch, and its quality dictate the watch’s life.
The outer shell has a great impact on the watch’s durability 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. The most common type is the quartz type due to its efficiency.
8. Does the shape of the cover affect 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?
Yes. The water-resistant band is made with a tight design and a strong plastic that does not allow water to infiltrate the watch’s interior. 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 its impact 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 can read the time comfortably.
A three-row display can display different time modes, on the same screen at the same time. This is usually 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?
Yes. You can use other options such as the wireless laser timers, which are very accurate despite being more expensive.
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 ideal for gyms where people need to be alerted when the time is up when doing a given time.
12. Which is the best stopwatch for swimming?
The best stopwatch for swimming is the Generic waterproof digital LCD stopwatch.
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.
A stopwatch is an ideal handheld timepiece that displays highly accurate time in hours, minutes, seconds, and even milliseconds. It comes with two buttons on either side used to start/stop and resetting/splitting the stopwatch.
You would have seen the coaches or trainers with the stopwatch in their hands, and measuring their players’ speed stopwatches are extremely simple to use.
All you need to do is press the same button twice for measuring the time elapsed during the time gap up to milliseconds.