Many runners are happy to do without fitness trackers, gps monitors, mobiles and the likes and prefer to run with a straight forward digital stopwatch.
Personally I’ve ran for many years with a Casio W96-H watch (pictured above). The Casio is made of plastic with a resin strap. The watch is very light and it pretty much unnoticeable on your wrist when worn. The battery has a suggested life-span of 10 years which in my experience is easily achievable. One often mentioned criticism of this Casio is that the strap snaps years before the battery dies. If you’re only wearing this watch for running then it should last you a long time. The strap on mine eventually snapped where it joins the case. You can buy replacement straps on eBay or Amazon but you need to consider if buying one is cost effective.
It’s water resistant to 50m and is considered by Casio to be suitable for swimming. I’ve not swam while wearing it but I’ve ran in the rain with it and it’s been fine with no steaming up. The watch is often priced at around £20 but I’ve seen it a few times at Argos for just £9.99
The watch has a reasonably big face and the digits are easily readable when you’re on a run. Pressed the mode button toggles between the four displays which are:
- Dual time (useful when there’s a time difference on holiday)
Personally I find that the alarm is too quiet to wake me up. You might want to test it before relying on it to wake you on a race morning.
You use the bottom right button marked 12/24hr to start and stop the stopwatch. Press the top left button marked adjust to reset the stopwatch to zero after stopping it or to record a split time while the stopwatch is running.
The stopwatch displays hours, minutes, seconds with smaller digits underneath for hundreds. Such accuracy is not really needed for distance runners of course. The watch will display single digit hours until 10 hours are reached. If you’re an ultra-runner this might be important to you.
The top right button activates the light for night running. The light has a green tinge and isn’t particularly bright but you’ll be able to see your elapsed time on your run.
In my opinion the Casio W96-H is a great, easy-to-use watch for timing your running.