A functional low cost outdoor watch from UK brand Lomo
Many outdoor and sports watches have a myriad of functions including altimeters and sometimes GPS. Such watches are expensive and have quite short battery lives. Now if all the features are useful to you then such watches are excellent, but what if you already carry a smartphone or GPS and just want a watch designed for tough conditions that’s easy to use and that doesn’t cost a fortune? That’s where the Lomo SW1 watch comes in.
This is a chunky watch with a big clear LCD display that is low cost and has a battery life of many months rather than days. It runs off a tiny ultralight CR 2032 battery. It doesn’t have an altimeter or GPS but it does have a pedometer, heart rate display, alarms, stopwatch and countdown timer.
For walkers I reckon the pedometer is the most useful function. As well as recording the number of steps it also estimates the distance travelled – to make this more accurate you can input the length of your stride – and the number of calories used (though this won’t take into account the extra energy expended climbing a hill or walking over rough terrain of course). The watch also keeps data for 50 days.
It feels tough and is waterproof and suitable for swimming, so it should stand up to the worst of downpours.
There are four buttons on the outside of the watch housing. The key one is the Mode button that cycles between the time and date, the pedometer, the data, and the heart rate display. The Up button is used to access modes inside the four main ones and, together with the Down button, is also used for changing settings. The fourth button is for a backlight. The sequence of button presses is logical and easy to remember. Checking your heart rate is also easy – once in the Pulse mode you just press on the contacts on the housing.
Whilst other items such as a phone tell the time I still find being able to glance at my wrist to see the time useful for navigation. Being able to record the number of steps and the distance is a bonus. The SW1 is comfortable to wear and the display can easily be read in poor light. The buttons are chunky and can be used while wearing gloves. Overall this is a good outdoor watch at a very low price.