Apple watch and swimming

No not manually ….

If you have an Apple Watch 2 /3 or and you use Strava you’ll be as frustrated as I am that Strava doesn’t support swimming on the watch. You have to record any swim that you do using the watch’s native Workout app (which works really well), then manually create a new activity in Strava and fill in the details. There is quite a thread developing on the Strava Support forum requesting swim support for Apple Watch 2 / 3 and I would urge you to add your name to it. However, I have just discovered the Swim Exporter app that connects with Apple Health and Workout data and imports the information into Strava when you record either a pool swim or an openwater swim using the Workout app. It costs £1.99 and is incredibly simple to use: simply connect it to your Health app and link it to Strava and it will automatically display all swim workouts. To upload a workout to Strava, just click on the workout and click, “Send to Strava”. Job done.


Apple Store:

Shame Strava don’t do a swim part for their watch app

off topic – watch design

Saw this blog and thought how interesting this change to standard design was. Most watches get complicated or expensive or tech. This appeals to the nerd in me and the travel part in equal measure.

Klokers 02

Klokers Watch Times 2, For the Nerd, and the Not Quite a Nerd

Klokers 03I first saw the Klokers Watch on their own web site, before it was launched on Kickstarter, and I was interested in the project.  Life being what it is, I did not have a chance to cover it right when it launched, but I did see that they received a lot of coverage, both from watch bloggers and from gadget watchers.  Now, with a little time remaining before the project closes, Klokers introduced a second model into the mix.

Klokers 01The first watch, the Klok-01 is an homage to a circular slide rule.  It is definitely a nerd friendly design.  I graduated from a tech-heavy university, and I grew up with calculators, but I am not far removed from the generations who had to use these instruments for calculations.  So for me, this is a fun watch design concept.  As a watch in and of itself, it is simply a clever way to do a three hand watch.  Instead of the hands rotating against a static time scale, the time scale rotates around a static single hand.  Because the time scale is moving, the discs have to move in retrograde, opposite the normal motion of a handset.  But the overall effect is a fairly simple way to tell time.

Klokers 02The second Klokers model, the Klok-02, was introduced half way through the funding campaign as an optional reward and is a distant cousin to the first model.  You have the same basic shape, as well as the curved, bezel free acrylic glass case, but the styling cues are less nerdy and more innovative.  A Soprod movement controls a series of micromotors moving the second hand and minute hand in a more traditional (watch world-wise) retrograde movement, where the hands move through an arc and then reset back to the far left once they make it all the way over to the right.  The hours are displayed in the center of the watch, and the window to the right represents the time zone.  Move to another city, and just click through the cities to change the time zone, an hour at a time.  A long push on the pusher displays the date in the center window.

Klokers 04As if the time displays and micromotors were not enough, the team at Klokers also came up with a new watch strap, where a tab locks into a slot on the back of the watch, allowing for easy strap changes, or easy watch head changes, whichever way you want to look at it.  The project has been wildly successful, with about $600,000 raised against a target of $56,000.  Super early bird watches are gone, but there are still early bird and night owl rewards in the low to mid $300s for the Klok-01 and mid $500s to $600s for the Klok-02.  It is hard to assess how feasible it will be to actually produce these watches at this price.  Both watches use existing movements, (a Soprod SOP 813 in the Klok-02), which means they are not inventing the watch technology, just packaging it.  With any crowd funded project, and especially with an innovative one, do your research.  Crowd funded projects by definition are not retail transactions, but rather the backing of the development of a project in exchange for a reward.

Watch Overview:

  • Brand & Model: Klokers Watch Klok-01 and Klok-02
  • Price: ~ $339 to $556 for the Klok-01 and ~$566 to $981 for the Klok-02depending on timing and options
  • Who we think it might be for: You want to fly your nerd flag (Klok-01) or you want something different on your wrist (Klok-02).
  • Would I wear one myself based on what I’ve seen?: I think I would make an exception to my automatic/manual only trend for the Klok-02.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I like it as is.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: With so many watches, especially crowd funded watches, looking alike, these are truly different.

Tech Specs from Klokers:

  • Movement: Swiss Ronda Quartz with micromotors (Klok-01) or Swiss Soprod SOP 813 micromotors movement (Klok-02)
  • Functions: Three hander (Klok-01);  World time, date, retrograde minute and second hand (Klok-02)
  • Case: Composite metal and polymer
  • Crystal: Acrylic polymer
  • Water resistance: 5 meters (Klok-02)
  • Lug width: Proprietary strap connection
  • Straps: Leather
  • Diameter: 44mm (Klok-01), 43.2mm (Klok-02)
  • Thickness: 11.5mm (Klok-01), 13.2mm (Klok-02)

Suunto Core Alu

Although I have a Garmin Fenix I use for running and kitesurfing, i also have a suunto core which I love. but the first edition Core has had it’s issues the latest being battery problems so I have sent it back to Suunto.

(within six months it had munched its first battery, three months later it had got through two others so I pretty much forgot about it. Last month I sent it back to Finland under warranty, and two weeks later I got a refurb back (was made a month earlier than the one I sent in.)

This one lasted a week before exhibiting the same problems as my original one (blank display, no life) so it’s currently back in Finland again.

I’ve heard good things about the late 9xxx serials, and the 0x serials, so check before you buy – if it’s a 7xxx or 8xxx serial number, even an early 9xxx (try to buy later than 930x) then walk away.

Serials are Year, Week, 5 digit serial – a eg 949xxxxx is week 49, 2009.)


In the meantime i have a Suunto Core Black Alu to enjoy. Get yours here – if you buy one I get a whopping few pence as a thank you

Screenshot 2014-07-29 23.05.43

Same Spec but nicer build

Suunto Core Alu watch, which comes in a variety of finishes, is a soup to nuts watch, though keep in mind it lacks GPS.  That short coming aside, it can measure the air’s temperature and tell if you’re heading in the correct direction thanks to the digital compass, which mind you automatically calibrates itself according to your surroundings.   In addition to that, there is an automatic altimeter/barometer switch, storm alarm with a weather trend indicator, altitude logger with altitude difference measurement, multiple date/watch/alarm functions, sunrise/sunset times for 400 locations, multiple language support, a user replaceable battery and a few different straps to choose from.

Best fitness tracker

I have ordered the Garmin one (as I have a fenix for running / kitesurfing and the edge 510 for cycling)  but this article from iMore highlights the best and better out there.
Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

Fitness trackers are all the rage these days. The iPhone 5s already includes an Apple M7 motion co-processor that lets apps monitor steps taken, calories burned, and more. If you want a dedicated fitness tracker, though, something you can wear in the rain or in the shower, while running or while in bed, then until an iWatch comes along, you’re going to have to get a Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike, or Garmin. But which one should you get? They aren’t cheap and they aren’t all created equal. That’s why I’ve taken an in-depth look at the most popular ones!

Fitbit Force recall

Before beginning I’ll preface this and say we initially started our tests using the Fitbit Force. We swapped it out for a Fitbit Flex since Fitbit recently recalled the Force due to skin irritation. The main differences are that the Flex doesn’t have a full LCD like the Force and it doesn’t track stairs. Other than that, they’re pretty similar in every other way.

Design and comfort

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

The Fitbit Flex is made of a soft silicon material and doesn’t create any discomfort when wearing it for long periods of time. This is especially important since the Flex can track your sleep as well. The problem I ran into with the Flex is that when sleeping with it on, the clasp would come undone during the night resulting in it falling off. I’ve never been a huge fan of the push in clasp types as it’s very easy for them to snag on something and get ripped off. The same holds true for the Garmin vivofit whose design is very similar to the Flex. I had the same issues with it falling off or getting snagged if I pulled my sleeve down over it.

The FuelBand has the most secure locking mechanism since it clicks in place with a metal clip. A friend of mine tested my FuelBand for a few days and found that while playing sports like basketball, it’s not pleasant when a ball hits your wrist where the FuelBand sits. It even came unlatched a few times, proving no type of clasp mechanism is completely fool proof. The UP24 by Jawbone was the most comfortable fitness band to wear and by far the easiest to put on and off. There’s no display on the UP24 at all which allows for it to be smaller. It comes in several different colors and also tracks sleep. More importantly, it never fell off, which I couldn’t say for the vivofit and the Flex.

When it comes to comfort, the UP24 wins hands down, if you’re willing to forego a display. If that isn’t an option for you, the FuelBand is second best.

Fitness tracking and app functionality

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

All four fitness trackers pair with companion apps on your iPhone. Fitbit’s app offering pulls data from any Fitbit tracker you own. It pulls in calorie burn, active minutes, steps walked, distance, and more. Fitbit also tracks your weight loss progress if you want it to along with sleep. You can also choose to log food so you can see what your calorie intake is compared to your burn. I didn’t find the food tracking portion to be very intuitive or easy to use. A major concern I had with the Flex (and the Force) was how generous it was with calories and steps. It always seemed to offer up way more activity than I feel I actually performed. The screens above are from the Nike FuelBand and the Fitbit Flex from the exact same workout. You can see the huge discrepancy. When using the Garmin and UP24, they always seemed to be more in line with the FuelBand than the Flex.

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

Moving on to the Connect by Garmin, it has the simplest interface and just imports everything from the vivofit when you choose to sync it. The vivofit also comes with a heart rate monitor strap which can import data right into the app as well. It’s nothing fancy and has very few frills but for those worried more about stats than a pretty app, it gets the job done.

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

The UP24 app by Jawbone pulls in similar information but displays it differently. One of my favorite features is the Lifeline which lets you quickly scrub through your activity. You can also track food with the UP app but again, I didn’t find it particularly awesome and much prefer dedicated apps like My Fitness Pal instead. UP24 can pair with other third party apps too including IFTTT, RunKeeper, Strava, and more. So that’s something to think about if you’re currently using any partner apps. Both the Flex and the UP24 have the ability to pester you to start moving if you’ve been sitting idle for too long. The vivofit has a similar function but instead shows a red bar on the display that increases and grows longer as you sit inactive.

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

The FuelBand SE tracks basic data like the others but also uses its own system of points called NikeFuel. This algorithm combines calories, steps, and activity to obtain your NikeFuel point count. You can compete with friends to rack up the most NikeFuel and hit milestones. Aside from the uniqueness of the NikeFuel system, I’ve found the FuelBand SE to be the most accurate when it comes to actually tracking calories, steps, and distance. Unfortunately it’s also the easiest to fool. Just give it a few twirls around your finger and watch your step and NikeFuel count climb. As for the FuelBand app, it’s well designed and easy to use. The Sessions feature for SE owners lets you track Fuel points that you rack up doing a specific activity like biking, playing basketball, or anything else. It breaks it out separately instead of lumping it with everything else.

The FuelBand app by Nike is the best of the bunch when it comes to design and usability. Garmin’s Connect app is the only one that tracks heart rate while UP by Jawbone has the best third party integration. Fitbit’s data concerns me as it seems to be far too generous when it comes to steps and calorie count.

Sleep tracking

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

The only fitness tracker out of the bunch that does not track sleep is the Nike FuelBand so if that’s important to you, eliminate the FuelBand from your pool of candidates right off the bat. When deciding between the other three, it really comes down to what you want to know. If you’re just tracking how many hours you’re sleeping each night, all three apps can either track while you sleep or you can manually enter it in.

The UP24 analyzes and breaks up sleep the best within the app and shows you how many times you woke up, how many hours of light sleep you got as opposed to heavy sleep, and more. Just hold the only button found on the UP24 down when you’re ready to go to sleep to put it in sleep mode. You can even set an alarm within the app and the UP24 will wake you up within 20 minutes of it based on where you are in a sleep cycle. The UP24 will never disturb you during a REM cycle. When it comes to comfort, the UP24 is by far the most comfortable. And as mentioned before, I had issues with the others coming off during the night which is something to think about.

The UP24 not only analyzes sleep better than the rest, it’s by far the most comfortable to wear all night long.

Battery life

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

What kind of battery life you get varies greatly across all four trackers. I’ve found the Nike FuelBand SE to suck the most battery resulting in needing to charge it every three to four days. If I’m lucky I can squeeze five days out of it. It’s also got bright LED lights that make it flashy but unfortunately it results it faster battery drain. The Fitbit Flex was next to die at around the five day mark. It can make it six or seven in some cases but if you’re wearing it all day every day, I’d expect about five days.

The UP24 has no trouble making it a complete week with no charge mainly due to the complete lack of LCD or any kind of indicator lights minus the sleep/wake toggle. None of the bands however can hold a candle to the Garmin vivofit when it comes to battery life. It lasts an entire year. Yes you heard that right, a whole year. There is actually no way to charge it. The screen is always on but uses a technology that eats a lot less battery life than the others. Once it dies a quick trip to a supermarket or battery store and you’re good to go again.

If you hate charging things, consider either the Garmin vivofit or the UP24.

Water resistance vs water proof

The Nike FuelBand SE, Fitbit Flex, and UP24 by Jawbone are all billed as water resistant but not waterproof. That means they can tolerate activities like taking a shower but you shouldn’t go swimming with them on. The vivofit by Garmin is rated to be waterproof up to 50 meters which means you can wear it while swimming and performing other water activities.

If waterproof is what you want, the vivofit is the only option.

Who should buy a Fitbit Flex?

Who should buy a Fitbit Flex?

My biggest concern with Fitbit’s line of products is tracking accuracy. I feel they greatly overcompensate when it comes to step count, calories burned, and distance. This makes it really hard for me to recommend it over other offerings I feel are far more accurate. However, the Flex is one of the most fashionable bands on the market. Fitbit even offers an attractive array of colored bands on their website you can swap yours for.

If you’re willing to forego accuracy to make a fashion statement, there’s no arguing that the Flex is a nice looking product.

Who should buy an UP24?

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

The UP24 is by far the most comfortable fitness tracker out of the bunch and the easiest to take off and put back on. The battery lasts a reasonable amount of time due to the lack of a display and the app is well done. It’s also the best at tracking sleeping patterns.

For those who are the most about comfort and tracking sleep habits, the UP24 is what you want.

Who should buy a Nike FuelBand SE?

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

Nike makes the best companion app out of the bunch and the FuelBand’s latching mechanism is designed a heck of a lot better some of the others. The NikeFuel system also helps to create some healthy competition among friends which can be a great motivator for some.

If you’re a competitive person, you’ll love the NikeFuel system and what it can offer you and your friend when it comes to getting, and staying healthy together.

Who should buy a Garmin vivofit?

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Flex vs Jawbone UP24 vs Nike FuelBand SE vs Garmin vivofit!

Garmin is the only offering currently available on the market that requires zero charging. A whole year on a single battery charge is pretty awesome. You can also swim with it on, which is a huge plus for those that want to track water activities. You can also order different colored bands and pop the tracker into them.

If you don’t ever want to take off a fitness tracker in fear of forgetting to put it back on, get the vivofit. You won’t have to take it off for an entire year, unless you choose to.

Still can’t decide?

Fitness trackers are a large purchase and for many people, they just can’t seem to decide on just one. If that sounds like you, I would personally recommend the UP24. It’s a great middle ground that improved on a lot of things from the original version of the UP. It may not get a full year of battery life but it gets a full week and that’ll be good enough for most. The UP24 is also the most comfortable to wear for long periods of time which is important if you want to track sleeping habits regularly.

G-Shock Aviation Gravity Defier GWA1100-1A3 – Review

Mmmm lovely

AZ Fine Time Blog

G-Shock Aviation Gravity Defier GWA1100-1A3

With a ton of truly impressive G-Shock’s hitting the market this year, one of the most interesting, durable and technologically advanced is the new Gravity Defier GWA1100-1A2.  I’ve had my eyes on this piece since we 1st saw it at the Basel Fair earlier this year.  After much anticipation the new G-Shock Aviation GWA1100’s are finally in stock, and look way more impressive than I remember.  I’m proud to say, I just picked this piece up for my personal collection, and want to explain why this was my “must have” G.

G-Shock Aviation Gravity Defier GWA1100-1A3

G-Shock’s are known for their durability and being virtually bullet proof.  This new Aviation model goes above and beyond the limits of not only other watches, but also pretty much any other G-Shock on the market today.  This model is Triple G Resist which means it is resistant to shock , centrifugal force, and vibration.  Utilizing the new Alpha…

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Strava is bad today

went for a run and this is the picture I see after putting it into Strava so I think the Strava gremlin is out trying to change from Ride (default) to run.

Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 13.30.08


eventually i import it and Whoah something is wrong (besides my lack of pace which is expected) …. the gps track on the Fenix is way out.


bad gps track
bad gps track
Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 21.31.37
what the track should have looked like

So what could cause the track to be so bad on a cloud free day – was only wearing a vest so that can’t be to blame. So i googled the possible reasons.

Instead of the straight line, the satellites in the sky above you track your route through a series of plotted dots that’s typically within 10 feet of your GPS watch. But that 10-foot margin of error can add up over the course of 26.2 miles. Two dots could weave 10 feet inside and outside of that “straightest path possible” that the USATF certification ensured, which will add to the total distance on your watch.

Other factors can mess with your GPS, too, including:

  • The number of participants at big races often make going the “shortest path possible” impossible for most runners. Things like taking wide turns can add distance to your total.
  • Tree cover could disrupt the GPS readings and make it slightly less accurate.
  • Veering off for a water stop, bathroom break or to run over and high-five your kid will add distance to your total.
  • Starting the GPS in the corral rather than at the start line adds pre-start line distance to your total.


Snow, who doubles as a running coach, praises the usefulness of GPS watches in training. Few runners would disagree.


So no answer but changed software to latest version and there is a nice feature that will now read the ANT+ speed cadence sensor …… hooray.

Changes made from version 3.30 to 3.40:

  • Added full support for GSC 10 Speed/Cadence bike sensor to allow calibration and display speed (options found under Setup > ANT Sensor > Bike Spd/Cad, Setup > Fitness > Bike Speed)
  • Added ‘UTC (24 hr)’ option to alternate time zone list. This option displays UTC time in 24-hour format regardless of system settings
  • Added support for ‘Alt. Zones’ to become a data page option

So will see how good the new version is – off SUPing tomorrow so we will see.

Wakmann sailing watch


Wakmann Regate 1972

Is it actually possible to put any more on the dial of a watch?????

It is clearly marked Wakmann Watch Co on the rotor of the 1341 movement

It has a Regatta (or Regate) countdown between 12 and 3
The rest of that outer ring taken by a tachymetre
There is a month calendar, set using the crown at 10.30, so you set the day on the beginning of the month, and it tells you the days of the week for that month.
Of course there is the time and date.
Constant seconds
and a 12-hr chrono with the classic Lemania central seconds and minutes, leading to fantastic legibility.

The dial is a lovely brushed dark navy blue its sobriety somewhat accentuated by the more garish 70’s colours chosen for the calendar wheel.

It still manages to be very legible, despite the “crowding” of the dial.

I am beginning to like it more and more.