Day 146 of the Great Big Marathon 10k Swimming Adventure: First Impressions of the Garmin Fenix3 (not just) as a swimmer’s watch

Lots happening on the Great Big Swim Adventure and I haven’t had time to blog!

First off, an overview of today’s workout:

As you can see, I am finally able to post data from my Garmin Connect account again! Yay. No, not because I bought a new connection for my Garmin Swim watch. Instead, I upgraded the watch itself. Behold, my new timepiece and training computer: The Garmin Fenix 3. A very nice birthday present from the love of my life.



There are plenty of reviews out there of this watch. Most of them are rubbish. However there is one that is comprehensive and outstanding, click here to check it out, it’s by the highly recommended DC Rainmaker.

Now, suffice it to say, the Fenix 3 has more features than I will likely ever be able to use. But yes, I will use two of the features very often:

  1. pool swimming
  2. open water swimming

But just how good is the Fenix 3 as a swimmer’s watch? After the first few training sessions, here are my initial impressions:

  • For pool swimming, the automatic stroke recognition, lap counter, drill timer, rest and lap timer etc. is very reliable and the same as that of the excellent Garmin Swim (it does not identify my butterfly for some reason, but that might be due to my technique).
  • The display can be set up in a variety of ways for your activities, in just the way you like it – and in all cases it’s excellent to read, even under water.
  • What I dislike: Some of the cool features for running, such as an alarm after a certain distance, are not available in the swimming function. A software update will hopefully address this minor quibble. (Bloody preferential treatment of runners!)
  • The battery lasts for a week or so with heavy usage, including blue tooth and WiFi sync.
  • The GPS works well, but since it is still too cold for outdoor swimming, I have not been able to test the Open Water swimming function.
  • Since the best swimmer’s watch is the one you always have with you, this matters: The Fenix 3 looks good enough to wear as an everyday watch, even for casual business attire (unless you have tiny wrists. It’s a big watch.) In fact, it is far more attractive than the oddly-shaped and somewhat dated-looking Apple Watch and most Android smart watches out there. At least in my opinion.

More on the watch in the next updates to the Great Big Swimming Adventure…stay tuned.