Triathlon Watch Showdown: Top 7 Picks for 2024! (Must Have!)

Triathlons are demanding races that combine swimming, cycling, and running in one event. Athletes require equipment that can endure the varied conditions of a triathlon while providing accurate data to track their performance. A triathlon watch is a specialized timepiece designed to assist triathletes in monitoring their progress across all three disciplines. Unlike standard fitness trackers, triathlon watches offer a robust set of features such as transition timers, multisport profiles, and open water swim tracking.

When shopping for a triathlon watch, several key factors must be considered to ensure athletes get the most out of their device. Durability is essential, as the watch must withstand the wear and tear of rigorous training and race conditions. GPS accuracy is critical for precise distance and pace measurements, and a long-lasting battery life is vital to cover long courses without the need to recharge. The ideal watch should also have a comfortable fit that doesn’t interfere with movement, and a user-friendly interface for quick glances during the race.

I believe that finding the right triathlon watch is a game-changer. It can transform training sessions, provide valuable insights into one’s performance, and deliver the data needed to shave off those critical seconds on race day. Identifying the perfect model can be tricky, but by focusing on features like water resistance, multisport capabilities, and connectivity options, athletes can select a watch that matches their specific training and racing needs. With continuous advances in wearable technology, my quest to uncover the best triathlon watch for peak performance has been an exhilarating journey.

Top Triathlon Watches

I’m thrilled to present my roundup of the finest triathlon watches designed for athletes who crave precision and versatility. These timepieces are the ultimate training partners, offering features like GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, and detailed swim, bike, and run metrics. Stay tuned to find the perfect watch to elevate your triathlon performance!

Timex Ironman Classic

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If you’re after a trusty companion for your triathlon training and competition days, this Timex should not be overlooked.


  • Exceptionally durable
  • Indiglo night-light is a game changer
  • Water resistance perfect for swimming


  • The band may feel too rubbery for some
  • Button responsiveness decreases over time
  • Backlight can appear dim at angles

Having recently completed another triathlon, I found that the Timex Ironman Classic was a perfect match for the rigors of the event. The watch’s resilience impressed me the most; it handled the swimming, cycling, and running portions without a single hiccup. Even during the transitions, when I was fumbling with gear and grabbing nutrition, the watch remained snug on my wrist without causing any irritation.

The Indiglo night-light feature was instrumental during my pre-dawn swims. The clarity it offered in low light conditions made it easy to keep an eye on my lap times without any strain. This feature is not just a gimmick but an essential tool that has yet to let me down when timing is crucial, especially during those early morning training sessions.

After using it in pools, lakes, and along countless miles on the road, the Timex Ironman Classic’s water resistance was faultless. I never worried about it during swims or in the shower afterward, which is one less thing on my mind on race day. However, I’ve noticed that over months of constant use, the buttons require more force to register an input, something to keep in mind for those who value tactile feedback.

One quirk I did find was the band’s texture. The rubbery feel might not be to everyone’s liking and can take some getting used to. It’s a minor gripe, but worth mentioning for those who are particular about their wrist comfort. Also, the backlight is not as vibrant as I would like; viewing angles do matter in darker settings.

Overall, my experience with the Timex Ironman Classic has been extremely positive. Durability, ease of use, and reliability are its strong suits, making it a valuable tool for any triathlete’s arsenal.


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If you’re in the market for a triathlon watch that balances functionality with simplicity, the COROS PACE 2 might just be the perfect fit for your active lifestyle.


  • Remarkable battery life
  • Featherlight on the wrist
  • Customizable training plans


  • Screen visibility can be dim in low light
  • Lacks robustness compared to some competitors
  • Limited smartwatch features

I recently had a chance to take the COROS PACE 2 for a spin, and I have to say, it’s as if it was almost non-existent on my wrist, yet it packed a punch in terms of features. The comfort level was through the roof, especially for those long training sessions and races where every ounce matters.

Navigating through the menus was intuitive, making it easy to switch between sports modes without any hassle. Plus, swimming with this watch was a breeze; it didn’t feel bogged down in the water.

However, I noticed the screen struggled to keep up under dim lighting conditions, which was a letdown during early morning jogs. While the build quality is decent, it doesn’t give off that ‘indestructible’ vibe some of the heavier watches do, which might be a concern for the more hardcore adventurers.

For those deep into their tech, it’s worth mentioning that smartwatch capabilities are somewhat limited. It excels at basic notifications, but if you’re looking for something akin to a mobile device on your wrist, this might not satisfy that criterion.

Overall, if you’re all about maximizing your training while keeping gear light, the COROS PACE 2 definitely deserves your attention. Just remember, it’s a sports watch first and a smartwatch second, but in the domain of triathlon training, it sure is a steadfast companion.

Garmin Forerunner 945

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If you’re after a top-tier training companion, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is a stellar choice with its comprehensive features and music capabilities.


  • Multi-sport versatility with detailed training analysis
  • Garmin Pay for on-the-go convenience
  • Onboard color maps make navigation a breeze


  • Pricey investment for a sports watch
  • Complex features may require a learning curve
  • Some users report sporadic connectivity issues with music apps

Having recently taken the Garmin Forerunner 945 for a spin, I’m genuinely impressed with this gadget. On a long run, the ability to jam out to my Spotify playlists directly from the watch, without my phone, felt liberating. The seamless transition from swimming to cycling to running is perfect for triathlons; it felt like having a personal coach on my wrist.

The Garmin Pay feature was a life-saver during those times I needed a quick hydration fix at a convenience store mid-ride and didn’t have my wallet on me. Also, the color maps are truly a game-changer; I explored new trails without the fear of getting lost.

However, I did notice a bit of a learning curve, with so many in-depth features to get acquainted with. And while the music feature is fantastic, I’ve had a couple of hiccups with connectivity that I needed to troubleshoot.

All things considered, the Garmin Forerunner 945’s capabilities are far beyond just tracking time and distance. It’s like wearing a personal trainer, a navigator, and a wallet on your wrist. Although it comes with a significant price tag, for serious athletes looking to up their game, it could be the investment that changes the course of your training.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

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The Garmin Forerunner 735XT packs a punch for multi-sport athletes looking for a robust training partner.


  • Continuous heart rate tracking without a chest strap
  • Extensive battery life suited for long-duration workouts
  • Offers detailed metrics for a variety of sports


  • Advanced running dynamics require additional accessories
  • May be cost-prohibitive for casual fitness enthusiasts
  • The wealth of features might be overwhelming for some users

Glancing at my wrist during a brisk morning run, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT feels like a coach that’s there with me every step of the way. The heart rate measured on my wrist allows for a comfortable and strap-free run, which is liberating. I appreciate how it tracks my pace and distance with unfailing accuracy, ensuring I’m always on top of my training.

I was equally impressed when it came to cycling. Again, the watch displayed my stats seamlessly, even when I pushed my limits uphill. No need to pause or fiddle with buttons; the Forerunner recorded everything I needed to know about my ride.

Transitioning to the pool, the watch didn’t miss a beat. It recorded my laps, strokes, and more. Swimmers will be thrilled with its performance. Post-workout, I found the smart notifications handy, letting me stay connected without having my phone on me at all times. The battery life is commendable, lasting through a week of workouts on a single charge.

I recommend the Garmin Forerunner 735XT for anyone serious about taking their triathlon training to the next level. The investment is justified by its comprehensive offerings and user-friendly features. It’s a steadfast gadget I’m excited to continue using for my training sessions.

Garmin Forerunner 745

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After weeks of testing the Garmin Forerunner 745, I’m convinced it’s a stellar choice for any triathlete serious about their training.


  • Comprehensive tracking for swimming, biking, and running
  • Useful smartwatch features, including music and contactless payment
  • Long battery life for extended training sessions and races


  • Premium subscription required for music streaming integration
  • On the pricier side compared to some competitors
  • No touchscreen functionality, which might be a downside for some users

Having recently added the Garmin Forerunner 745 to my gear, I’ve found its GPS accuracy impeccable during my outdoor runs and bike rides. The seamless transition between sports modes makes it ideal for brick workouts and triathlons. Despite its focus on functionality, this watch doesn’t sacrifice style — it looks just as sharp during a morning swim as it does at a post-workout brunch.

Its smartwatch features have simplified my day. I’ve left my phone behind more than once, relying on the 745 to stream music and manage payments. These nifty functions have kept me connected without the extra bulk. As for the battery, it’s been a game-changer. I’ve completed a full week of workouts on a single charge, music included, something my previous watches couldn’t manage.

The coaching functions are a bonus that’ll excite any data-driven athlete. It’s almost like having a personal coach strapped to your wrist. The insights on training load and performance are helping me tweak my training regime for peak performance. In the pool, cycle, or run, the Forerunner 745 has continually pushed me to excel and beat my personal records. Though some may miss the touch screen, I appreciate the no-fuss button navigation during rigorous activities where precision is key.

Garmin Forerunner 945 Bundle

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If you’re serious about triathlons and want a watch that keeps up with your training and safety, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is a game-changer.


  • Comprehensive performance tracking for various sports
  • In-built safety lights for visibility
  • Long battery life ideal for endurance athletes


  • More expensive than basic models
  • Slightly bulky on the wrist
  • The wealth of features might overwhelm a beginner

I recently had the chance to test the Garmin Forerunner 945, and it’s a powerhouse of functionality. On my early morning runs, the built-in safety lights were highly useful, making me visible to traffic. Transitioning between swimming, biking, and running, the multisport features were impressive, tracking every detail I needed without skipping a beat.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 also felt like a coach on my wrist. With its daily workout suggestions and recovery time insights, I felt more informed about my training needs. The full-color mapping was handy for my weekend hikes, ensuring I never missed a turn.

However, I must mention the cost, which was on the higher side – but for the performance data I get, it’s worth the investment. The watch is a touch large, which took some getting used to, but the comfort strap helped. Initially, I found the myriad of features daunting, but after a weekend of exploring, I can say the learning curve is steep but manageable.

Timex Ironman Classic

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I’d say grab this watch if you want a reliable partner for your workouts that won’t let you down.


  • Extremely user-friendly interface, making it a breeze to operate.
  • The Indiglo night-light makes for easy time checks in low light.
  • Water resistance is great for swimmers or snorkelers.


  • The watch’s design may not appeal to everyone.
  • It can feel a bit bulky on the wrist.
  • Lacks advanced smartwatch features.

After taking the Timex Ironman Classic for a spin during my weekly triathlon training, the easy-to-read display stood out immediately. Cycling through the timer and alarm functions was intuitive, which is exactly what you need when you’re trying to beat your best time.

What I appreciate the most about the Ironman Classic is its sturdy build—the resin strap and case can take a beating. And let’s talk about readability: whether I was checking the time during a brisk swim or between laps on the track, the clear numbers against the gray background were always visible.

The Indiglo light feature turned out to be a gem during my early morning jogs. A quick press of a button, and I could see my lap times without straining my eyes. Although it’s chunkier than I usually prefer, the robustness of this timepiece gave me peace of mind, knowing it could handle some serious action. As for tech enthusiasts looking for smartwatch capabilities, this might not be up your alley, but for anyone who values durability and straightforward functionality, the Timex Ironman Classic is a solid choice.

Boat Interior Design woman wearing a triathlon watch
by Pinterest

Buying Guide for a Triathlon Watch

Essential Features

I always look for a triathlon watch that fits my specific needs by considering key features. Here are the most crucial ones:

  • GPS Capabilities: Absolutely vital for tracking distance and speed during training or races.
  • Battery Life: Longer battery life is better for extensive workouts or full-length triathlon events.

Comfort and Durability

Comfort cannot be compromised. A lightweight, snug-fitting watch with a durable strap is what I aim for, making sure it can withstand rigorous activities.


It’s essential for the triathlon watch to be water-resistant. I check the watch’s ability to function effectively in aquatic environments since swimming is a fundamental part.

Data Synthesis

Data analysis helps me fine-tune my training. I look for watches that provide comprehensive feedback on aspects like heart rate, cadence, and calories burned.


Synchronization with other devices and apps is a huge plus. I ensure the triathlon watch can seamlessly connect to my smartphone or computer.

Cost vs. Quality

Balancing cost with quality is tricky, but I aim for a watch offering the best value within my budget.

Maybe these quick pointers will help you get excited about choosing your perfect triathlon watch too! Remember, feature-rich watches are great, but it’s crucial to find one that fits your personal needs and enhances your training experience.

Frequently Asked Questions about Triathlon Watch

In searching for the perfect triathlon watch, I’ve come across some key questions that encapsulate the essentials of what athletes need to know.

What features make a triathlon watch stand out for beginners?

As a beginner, I found that a triathlon watch with an easy-to-use interface, GPS tracking, and a multisport mode to switch between swimming, cycling, and running is incredibly helpful.

How do I select a triathlon watch that fits my budget?

I determine my must-have features, compare different models within my price range, and read reviews to ensure I get the best value for my money.

What are the latest advancements in triathlon watches for athletes?

Recently, I’ve seen triathlon watches with enhanced battery life, improved GPS accuracy, and advanced analytics to monitor performance and recovery, which are game-changers.

How does Garmin’s 735XT model compare to other triathlon watches?

My Garmin 735XT boasts multisport transitions, heart rate monitoring, and smart notifications, making it a strong competitor in the triathlon watch market.

What should I look for in a smartwatch specifically designed for triathlons?

I seek a smartwatch that offers specific triathlon modes, detailed swim metrics, and is water-resistant enough to withstand prolonged swims.

Which features are a must-have in a running watch for triathlon training?

I never compromise on a built-in heart rate monitor, interval training settings, and accuracy in pace and distance tracking for my triathlon training.

Did you like one Triathlon Watch? Let me know in the comments. Make sure to also look at Triathlon Suits and Triathlon Helmets.

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