I need a waterproof watch that monitors heart rate
July 16, 2007 9:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a waterproof watch that also measures my heart rate.

It doesn't have to be an expensive, super accurate, bells 'n' whistles watch. Just a basic digital watch that isn't too big, ugly, inaccurate, or cheap quality. I'd like to spend less than $100. Oh yeah, I also need it to be waterproof because I'll wear it when I swim, do the elliptical machine, and do some weight lifting.

I like how these Timex models look, but maybe someone who owns one can tell me if they're worthless or worth buying.
posted by oldlies to Shopping (6 answers total)
Response by poster: By the way, I'm a 25 year old male.
posted by oldlies at 9:54 AM on July 16, 2007

When I was a competitive cyclist, I used a 500$ Polar HRM, but now, I use a 25$ timex ironman HRM for recreational use and it has everything I need to track my recreational training regiment. Small downside of the Timex : the chest strap is not really comfy compared to Polar's wearlink chest strap.
posted by racingjs at 10:13 AM on July 16, 2007

I don't have all your answers, but something I do know about heart rate monitors is that most of them (Polar and Suunto), including the ones I've used, have chest straps even though they look like just digital watches.

I use a Suunto T4 right now and love it, but though it is water resistant to a ridiculous depth, but the chest band, which is also water resistant, doesn't transmit reliably underwater. Triathletes who have bought them have been rather upset about that -- you can wear it while you swim, but it's not going to monitor your heart rate. Go fig.

I don't know if Polar watches work better for swimmers or not. Suunto does make a self contained chest band that will record, but that only helps you if you're analyzing your workout after the fact.

Suunto tends to be pricey, but Polar definitely makes models in your range, I'm just not sure about the swimability.
posted by MarcieAlana at 10:24 AM on July 16, 2007

Response by poster: I assumed the watches measured my heart beat through my wrist.

Are there any that don't require a chest band?
posted by oldlies at 10:35 AM on July 16, 2007

Most heart rate monitors measure with a chest strap. There are some out there that measure at the wrist, but they are generally regarded as highly inaccurate. You'll get used to the chest strap pretty quickly; I wouldn't worry about it.
posted by ssg at 11:43 AM on July 16, 2007

My understanding is that commonly available chest-strap based HRMs don't work very well underwater, even though the chest strap is water resistant.

I've got a timex ironman with HRM and it's great. Even though I swim regularly, though, I've never tried it while swimming, just because I've read many places not to expect it to work very well.

posted by u2604ab at 12:13 PM on July 16, 2007

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