The Garmin Swim is a fitness watch aimed at swimmers. Plenty of smartwatches and fitness bands include swim tracking, but this is one of the few that is dedicated for swimmers. There’s no step counting or sleep tracking here, it’s all about the pool, and as such, Garmin is strokes ahead of the competition.
It being a watch, it also has an alarm and stopwatch. And a back-light of sorts press the top right button and it inverts the screen, so the numbers are white on black, making them visible in the dark. You can also invert the screen for the training pages while you swim, though this is really a matter of personal preference.
This is helped by the fact you can tell it how long the pool is. It’s usable in pools longer than 17m – we tried it in 20m, 25m and 30.5m pools, and it gave accurate readings every time. You can even enter a custom length, though only to the meter. You can pause the timer whenever you want, then press the same button to carry on your session. It calls these ‘intervals’, and presumably they’re handy for interval training. We found it useful for stopping for a breather, or picking our nose clip off the bottom of the pool after it came off for the fifth time. It would also be nice to set a goal of say, 50 lengths, and have the watch vibrate when you reach it. That way you could forget about counting altogether, and focus purely on technique.
Just like most fitness watches, it’s not the most stylish, and it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t track any other activities. We also found the desktop app to be confusing with the sheer amount of data available.
There’s certainly room for improvement, but for serious swimmers? This is the only device worth owning.