You need the best swimming watch if you are a water enthusiast, whether for racing or a hobby. It’s easy to track your laps, heart rate, SWOLF, and distance with a waterproof fitness watch. Garmin is a reputable brand with reliable smartwatches.
I reviewed six and found Garmin Descent Mk2 to be the best for swimming. I delved deep into every video, Garmin watch community, and social media platform to uncover the best swim watch in the world. I also used my experience in triathlon with Garmin smartwatches for this research.
Garmin Descent Mk2 tops the list because it can go up to 100 meters deep underwater without damage. It’s the best for diving and has an intelligent auto start and rest mode.
Keep reading to find out more about our top choice and possible alternatives.
Table of Contents
Top choices for Garmin Swimming Watches
#1 Garmin Descent Mk2 (Best Overall)
The Garmin Descent Mk2 is a complete dive device beyond a swimming watch. It keeps you safe by monitoring and recording your tracks while diving. It has all the standard records in automatic and manual lap counts.
Descent Mk2 comes with an intelligent start and rest mode. It also has a detailed diving organizer that shows your entrance and exit points.
Its Auto Multisport design makes it the perfect choice for triathletes. It can transition from swimming to other out-of-water activities.
Swim modes include pool and open water swimming. It also has other exciting modes like apnea and apnea hunt, single and multi-gas, and the gauge mode.
#2 Garmin Swim 2 (Budget Pick)
Garmin Swim 2 has a 5ATM waterproof rating. It can track swimming performance in open water and pools. The sleek and light design ensures there are no slowdowns while swimming.
The Garmin Swim 2 has smart stroke-type monitoring and pacing alarms. It’s possible to share fitness stats with your trainers and exercise partners.
The watch has an automatic rest option. This allows the resting countdown to begin without pressing the lap button.
The swim speed test is another unique feature present in Garmin swim 2. It measures how fast you can swim without getting exhausted.
The swim speed test is useful for tracking how fast your pace increases. You can set reminders to let you know when to take a break and when to resume swimming.
The Garmin Swim 2 also provides health and fitness monitoring tools. It helps keep track of your general well-being.
This is among the best smartwatches for swimming you can get at a fair price.
#3 Garmin Fenix 6 Pro (Best for features)
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is the ultimate watch for swimmers. Able to withstand any challenge, it’s among the most costly and feature-rich watches available.
The watch is compatible with both Android and iOS. It has many features, including app accessibility, fingerprint scanning, and contactless payment options.
The swim features of Fenix 6 Pro are better than those of Fenix 5. Fenix 6 pro meets your regular tracking options with a waterproof upgrade of up to 10ATM.
The watch features various metrics, such as distance, speed, strokes, SWOLF, and heart rate count.
The heart rate monitoring has high accuracy, but you must push the lap button during rest for more accurate results.
The Fenix 6 pro has a distinct Drill Logging option, which allows you to capture strokes. If swimming in a pool, you can use this feature to log your kick intervals and one-arm swimming rounds.
#4 Garmin Vivoactive 4S (Lightest Choice)
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 has great swimming tracking features, harmonizing with its light and compact design. It weighs approximately 40g, which is much lighter than previous versions.
This smartwatch is an absolute powerhouse and has a lot of strength for its size.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 is able to watch your body temperature to determine when you are going slow or straining. It also detects your strokes with high accuracy and keeps track of your laps.
The watch is 5ATM waterproof and can stand up to 50 meters depth of water. Vivoactive 4S has a 1.13′′ AMOLED screen that is readable in bright sunlight.
Support for third-party apps is now available, enhancing your preferred apps’ tracking functionality.
#5 Garmin Venu 2 (Good Display)
The Garmin Venu 2 has a lovely AMOLED display and a sleek circular shape. The AMOLED display offers a sharper and more readable view while swimming underwater.
The smartwatch fits well and is lightweight, making it comfortable to wear for long hours.
Venu 2 offers water resistance of up to 50 meters in depth.
The watch is excellent for monitoring your location, pace, distance, and burnt calories. It can also record all your metrics, such as SWOLF, strokes, and heart rate.
The Garmin Connect app gives you the details you need to determine your swimming intensity. It gives you an analysis of the periods where your swimming is most strenuous.
#6 Garmin Forerunner 945 (Triathlete Choice)
The Forerunner 945 is triathlete-specific and withstands water up to 50 meters deep. It supports GPS tracking in swim runs, pools, and open water.
It’s among the few watches able to track heart rate on its own while submerged.
The heartbeat sensor on the watch’s backside sticks out a little to provide good contact. It’s also possible to connect it to an external heart rate track.
The Forerunner 945 weighs about 50g and is comfortable to wear. It’s compatible with Android and iOS and has a smartwatch battery life of two weeks and 10 hours for GPS and music play.
It features an integrated audio player that you can use with waterproof headsets to play audio while swimming.
The heart rate sensor’s accuracy is less precise underwater, but you can use a chest strap for accurate monitoring.
Forerunner 945 makes the best companion thanks to its 5ATM water protection. This watch is a big deal considering the high range of fitness and smartwatch functionalities.
Things to look out for before purchasing a Garmin Swimming Watch
Garmin watches come with different features and price range. Have a list of what’s important to you according to your swim schedule and how much you are willing to spend. Here’s what to look for when buying a swimming smartwatch.
Garmin watches have good battery performance, although some last longer. Swim 2 has seven days of battery life on smartwatch mode and 13 hours on GPS mode.
Descent Mk2S can go up to 30 hours on dive mode, 18 hours on GPS, and seven days on smartwatch mode.
Almost all Garmin watches come with metrics features. Go for metrics relevant to you, like heart rate and lap count.
Every smartwatch is unique in its way. Venu 2 and Vivoactive 4 have AMOLED displays, but only Vivoactive 4’s screen is always on for easy viewing.
Garmin watches are smart, but not all have an in-built audio player. You’ll need a monitoring tool for your music device if you like listening to music while swimming.
Smartwatch is one of the best gears to have as a swimmer.
Garmin offers a series of the best smartwatches for your water-related adventures.
I found that Garmin Descent Mk2 is the overall best smartwatch for swimming.