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Best stopwatches to buy in 2023

Sometimes, old is gold. This precise piece of sports kit can still help athletes reach peak performance...

Man using a stopwatch

Stopwatches may appear an archaic technology in 2023, bringing up images of a gym teacher from the 1980s.

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They may be more akin to a piece of tech from a training scene in Rocky or The Karate Kid than something we should be reaching for today.

But perceptions aren’t everything. This piece of kit still has a place in our hearts. Whether you’re a coach or athlete, it can still be the most reliable way of determining your pace, speed, and ultimately ensuring progression.

Why buy a stopwatch in 2023?

  1. Accuracy and reliability: Stopwatches are specifically designed to provide extremely accurate and reliable timing, whereas computer/phone stopwatches can be less reliable due to factors such as app glitches, battery life, and screen lock.
  2. Durability: Many dedicated stopwatches are designed to be more durable and rugged than smartphones, making them better suited to the outdoors.
  3. Water resistance: While many smartphones are water resistant, their cost and importance to our daily lives may make us hesitant to use them, for fear of getting our phones wet.
  4. Portability: Dedicated stopwatches are often smaller and more portable than phones, with clips or lanyards making them easier to carry when on the go.

If you’re looking to get your hands on a trusty stopwatch, we’ve chosen our top picks below. There’s something for every budget, chosen based on in-depth research and analysis of user reviews.

Best stopwatches in 2023

Adanac Professional Stopwatch

Featuring a display that claims to be large and easy-to-read, the Adanac Professional Stopwatch offers laser-tuned timing of up to 1/100th of a second, which may be good for accurately measuring split times and lap times during training sessions, races and competitions.

There’s also the option for time/calendar displays of hours, minutes, and seconds, as well as dates and days. It also has a countdown timer and a pacer function, which allows users to set a target pace and stay on track during their workouts.

Adanac claims this stopwatch is water and shock resistant, while there’s a 40-inch lanyard, which has a breakaway function said to ensure there isn’t a risk of injury if the stopwatch gets caught or pulled.

Weewooday 3 Piece Stopwatch

This budget stopwatch from Weewooday is available in a package of three, including black, red, and orange. Each stopwatch can display hours, minutes, seconds and the date.

There are settings for alarms, 12/24-hour cycles and circuits. Weewooday states that it uses a solid ABS material to ensure the stopwatch is sturdy and shockproof.

Ultrak 100 Lap Memory Timer

The Ultrak 100 Lap stopwatch features memory recall for up to 100 dual split timings, meaning users can record multiple split times at once. Ultrak provides access to time, calendar, plus an alarm function.

There’s a 3-row display, which looks large and easy to read. It can also measure stroke/frequency, aiming to make it easier to analyse your activity.

Gymboss Charge Interval Timer and Stopwatch

This stopwatch from Gymboss comes with a rechargeable battery, which is said to function for months on a single charge.

It’s also reportedly the brand’s most durable model, designed for use in heavy rain and to cope with sweat and humidity, although it shouldn’t be submerged in water.

Gymboss includes a backlit LCD, designed to make it easy to see in low light. There are intervals that can range from two seconds to 99 minutes and can be repeated up to 99 times.

The alarm can also be set for beep or vibrate, and the duration can be adjusted from one to nine seconds. The stopwatch comes with a removable belt clip, aiming to make it easy to carry while running or cycling.

Robic Oslo 1000w

Robic says this stopwatch is designed to be comfortable to hold, thanks to rubberised buttons and side grips.

It combines a stopwatch with a countdown timer, able to reach a max of 10 hours and time to 1/100 of a second. If you’re doing laps or using the stopwatch on the track, it includes single event, lap, or split timing for your convenience.

Dakota Stopwatch

If you need a stopwatch that you don’t need to worry about getting wet, this option from American watch manufacturer Dakota offers up to 100ft of water resistance.

It also features a digital watch face attached to a carabiner, meaning it can clip onto a belt loop, strap or running utility vest.

Dakota claims that the digital watch features a chime, stopwatch, countdown timer and deal time. There’s also a dial light designed to ensure that you can still see the face in low light.

Ultrak 493 

Ultrak’s 493 stopwatch is said to offer 300 lap memory, designed to make it a good pick for anyone needing to record a large quantity of lap times.

It can also display the fastest, slowest and average lap times, designed to help athletes measure their performance and improve.

The timer modes offered include a pacer to keep track of the target performance, a countdown timer and a lap counter.

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Top image credit: Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images