Best Timex Watches for Runners

Last updated: September 4, 2021

GPS Running Watch / Timex / Best Timex Watches for Runners

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Timex have been developing watches for a long time, since 1854 to be exact. However, gps smartwatches have come fairly recently for them and they definitely made the cut as one of the best gps watch manufacturers due to their durability, precision as well as battery life. You won’t find them to be as aesthetic as Garmin, Polar or Coros but they do fit their purpose.

Best Overall
Timex Ironman R300 GPS
Timex Ironman R300 GPS
Best Battery
Timex Ironman Classic 50
Timex Ironman Classic 50
Affordable
Timex Ironman Sleek 150
Timex Ironman Sleek 150
Best Design
Timex Metropolitan S
Timex Metropolitan S
Best Value
Timex Ironman Essential 30
Timex Ironman Essential 30

Best Timex Watches for Running Reviewed

We’ve reviewed some the best Timex watches based on their specifications, key features and what we liked or didn’t like.

1. Timex Ironman R300 GPS

Key Features

  • Comes in 3 colors
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 600 hours in regular watch mode
  • 20 hours in training mode

Reasons to buy

  • Affordable
  • Lots of features
  • Superb battery life
  • Good companion app
  • Accurate built-in GPS and trackers

Reasons to avoid

  • Dated aesthetics
  • Lacks modern smartwatch features

For a watch released in 2020, the Timex Ironman R300 GPS sure looks like it came out five years ago.

It has an intentionally nostalgic—or dated, depending on how you look at it—design that suits those who want to use their watch strictly for running or other athletic endeavors. It also has a polygonal watch face with a small, pixelated display and thick bezels, which to some may look more uninspired than retro.

But what it may lack in the looks department, the Ironman R300 certainly makes up for it when it comes to performance, especially at this price point.

It’s one of the cheapest smartwatches as of this writing, and it has more features compared to others in the same category. As you may know, the Ironman lineup first started in 1986 when the company released the Timex Ironman Triathlon, a watch designed specifically for runners.

With the Ironman R300, you get all the typical fitness tracker features for a lower price than other watches on the market. This includes an accurate built-in GPS, rest monitoring, activity tracking, heart rate tracking, and several workout modes, including indoor and outdoor runs. It can connect to the Timex companion app and can also show smart notifications using Bluetooth and Strava.

One of the best things about this watch is its battery life. You get 600 hours (25 days) of battery life in regular watch mode and 20 hours in training mode. You’re not going to get that in similarly-priced watches.

All told, although the Timex Ironman R300 GPS lacks many modern smartwatch features, it’s an excellent, accessible, and affordable tracker for any runner out there.

2. Timex Ironman Classic 50

Key Features

  • 45g (1.6oz)
  • Available in 3 colors
  • Battery life of 2 years

Reasons to buy

  • Excellent battery life
  • Affordable price
  • Interval training modes

Reasons to avoid

  • Neither a smartwatch nor a fitness tracker

One of the cheapest quality watches available on the market right now, the Timex Ironman Classic 50 isn’t actually a smartwatch—but you can still use it to improve your running sessions.

This watch looks exactly like other classic running watches from a decade or so ago. It exudes a rugged, outdoorsy vibe, with a plastic watch face and a ridged resin strap design. Its pure dot matrix display is a full step below the Ironman R300 GPS due to the lack of colors, but at this price point, we’re not really expecting much.

Nevertheless, the Ironman Classic 50 sports Timex’s trademark durability. It’s tough enough to accompany you on whatever adventure you may have. You can even wear it up to 100m deep in the water, so there’s no need to take it off if you want to go for a swim after running.

Feature-wise, the Timex Ironman Classic works well as a running timer, with about 100 hours of history storage and a 50-lap memory. It also has a 24-hour countdown feature. Although extremely basic, you can use these features when designing and keeping track of your running program.

One main advantage of the Ironman Classic 50’s dated design is that it’s extremely power efficient. Unlike other modern watches, the battery life doesn’t just last for days. Instead, it can last a good two years, which is roughly 17,520 hours of continuous use. Then again, this is somewhat expected since it doesn’t have a lot of advanced, power-hungry features.

The Timex Ironman Classic 50 is an excellent watch – full stop. It’s not a smartwatch, nor is it even a fitness tracker. Yet, it still made this list because its durability and battery life alone are worth it for any runner who’s not looking for any special features. With this watch, you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of your runs.

3. Timex Ironman Sleek 150

Key Features

  • 59g (2.08oz)
  • 2 years battery life

Reasons to buy

  • Excellent battery life
  • Affordable price point
  • 1-tap record and stop
  • Reliable lap management
  • Useful pacing tool

Reasons to avoid

  • A bit heavier 
  • Neither a smartwatch nor a fitness tracker

Although the Timex Ironman Sleek 150 is also not a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, we found it to be a functional and affordable watch made explicitly for runners.

It may not be the prettiest watch in this lineup, but it does look fairly decent as a runner’s watch. It has a bigger watch face than other Timex watches here, with a plasticky look to it. We’re fairly certain it’s not something you’d want to wear to a social event, but it’s a good watch to have during your running sessions.

Function-wise, the Ironman Sleek 150 has several features to offer both casual and serious runners. It has enough memory to store 150 laps and a stopwatch that records up to 100 hours. It also keeps a detailed training log to help you keep tabs on your running and improve your runs. Lastly, it has a Target Time Pacer, nutrition alarms, and hydration reminders.

One of the Ironman Sleek 150’s best features is the tap to record feature. With this feature, you can tap the screen to record a lap and then tap it again to stop – so easy you can do it without even missing a stride. The pacer also keeps track of your performance rate and holds you to your performance rate through chime alerts. You’ll know whether you’re going too fast, too slow, or just right.

Just like the Ironman Classic 50, the Sleek 150 also has a battery life that can reach two years. Although it’s not the cheapest Timex watch, it does bring a lot of value for the price that it’s being offered.

4. Timex Metropolitan S

Key Features

  • 31.75g (1.1oz)
  • Comes in two colors
  • Bluetooth and ANT+
  • 336 hours of battery life

Reasons to buy

  • Clear display
  • Long battery life
  • Smart aesthetics
  • Great price point
  • Monitors general fitness activity well

Reasons to avoid

  • Lacks a lot of physical sensors
  • Lacks key smartwatch functions

Built on top of the accomplishments of its older cousins, the Timex Metropolitan S is the company’s bid in making a smartwatch for runners. So far, they seem to be doing it right.

With its rectangular watch face, 1.65-inch 348 x 442-pixel touchscreen display, and one control button, the Timex Metropolitan S looks far more modern than any of the other watches in this list. The digital display is crisp and clear, and the touch screen functions work surprisingly well.

All in all, although it’s still undeniably a fitness tracker, it does look smart and sleek enough for a night out.

When it comes to features, the Metropolitan S has a lot to offer. It has several workout profiles that emphasize running, whether it’s outdoors or on the treadmill. It even includes walking and cycling.

General activity tracking is where the Metropolitan S shines. It can track sleep metrics, distance and steps, calories, and pace. It also features goal setting, exercise tagging, and reports.

However, unlike most performance watches, it doesn’t have a lot of physical sensors. You can monitor heart rate, but that’s about it.

In terms of smartwatch functions, it has music controls, push notifications, and even a phone finder. You can’t store music or pay wirelessly, though.

Battery life is also rather decent for a smartwatch. The Metropolitan S can last up to 336 hours (14 days) on a single charge.

All told, the Timex Metropolitan S may not be for the hardcore data-crunching athlete, but it’s certainly enough for those who just want to improve their regular runs.

5. Timex Ironman Essential 30

Key Features

  • 49g (1.76 oz)
  • Comes in 3 colors

Reasons to buy

  • Very durable
  • Clean sporty design
  • Affordable price
  • Solid timekeeping and lap management

Reasons to avoid

  • Not a smartwatch nor a fitness tracker

If you want something that gets all the basics correctly, the Timex Ironman Essential 30 is the one for you. It’s the same Ironman model that we all know and love, packing a lot of features without the other Ironman model’s gaudy design.

Despite its basic functionalities, the Ironman Essential 30 has all the characteristics that made Timex so popular: reliable and easy-to-use controls, excellent features, and extreme durability.

Looks-wise, it has a large watch face, bold numbers, and a clean design. Fortunately, it’s large enough to make the watch easy to read without being overbearing. Unlike previous models, the design of the Ironman Essential 30 is a lot more subtle. It’s still undeniably a runner’s watch, but you can dress it up to be casual enough for everyday use.

However, it does have a smaller memory than the Ironman Sleek 150 and can only log 99 lap entries. There’s also a 30-lap memory recall and a 30-lap memory stopwatch. Lastly, it has the typical Timex battery life guarantee.

It’s neither a fitness tracker nor a smartwatch, but as a digital running watch with all the basic features, the Timex Ironman Essential 30 is a solid solution that won’t break the bank.

6. Timex Ironman T200

Key Features

  • Offered only in black
  • 2-year battery life

Reasons to buy

  • Extra-long battery life
  • Affordable price
  • Clean design
  • Clear display
  • Extensive 200-lap history storage

Reasons to avoid

  • Only offered in one color
  • No tracking or smartwatch feature

Highly reminiscent of the Essential 30 in form and function, the Timex Ironman T200 feels like it’s made to be a beefed-up version of the Essential 30 in all respects.

In fact, it looks almost exactly the same as the Ironman Essential 30, with the same clean lines and understated design – very unlike other Timex running watches reviewed on this list. It even has the same familiar 5-button controls and the same large watch face with clear, bold displays.

However, while the Essential 30 is offered in 3 different colors, the Ironman T200 only comes in black. Thankfully, its design and color are versatile enough to be worn casually, although you probably wouldn’t want to wear this shirt with a dress shirt or a suit.

The Ironman T200 shines especially well in the features department. Unlike the Essential 30, the T200 is designed by professional runners to be the perfect companion watch.

It sports a ton of functionality, such as lap and interval tracking, off-road or track modes, warm-up and cools down signals, and complete interval readouts. It has enough memory to store 200 laps, unlike the Essential 30 that only has space for 99. It’s even more waterproof than the Essential 30, capable of withstanding 100 meters of water submersion.

The battery life is typical of Timex digital watches, thanks to its coin-cell battery that can last for two years straight.

If you want a great running watch for a very affordable price, the Timex Ironman T200 packs all the functionality you need into a sleek look at an accessible price.

How to Choose the Best Timex Watch for Running

Timex is a household name when it comes to wristwatches. Although this brand is not known for fitness trackers or other performance watches, it does make great digital watches for runners.

After all, it has all the basics down pat–workout modes, lap management, pacing measurements, and even various running-related alarm functions. In addition to this, Timex running watches are also known for their super-long battery life. 

Generally speaking, their watches are known to be extremely reliable digital wristwatches, with very reasonable prices. That said, how do you choose which one is the best for you?

When it comes to Timex watches, there are two things you need to think about: features and form.

Features

Timex watches range from dot-matrix digital displays to modern smartwatches. While they all have their own upsides and downsides, you need to think hard about the exact features you need when picking the right Timex watch for you.

If you just want a Timex watch to complement your running, then the Ironman Essential 30 or the Ironman Sleek 150 are good choices. However, if you wish for a full-functioning smartwatch, then you can’t go wrong with the Timex Metropolitan S.

Form

It’s undeniable that Timex watches have a certain look. If you don’t mind their bulky, retro, and perhaps quite dated design, then that’s fine. But if you’re looking for a versatile watch that you can bring to any situation, you’re going to have a harder time.

In terms of subtlety, we found the Timex Ironman Essential 30 and the Timex Ironman T200 to be our best picks. They’re still not as versatile as other Timex watches, but they do come pretty close.

If you want something you can take anywhere, the more recently-released Timex Metropolitan S is what you’re looking for. Modern, minimalist, and best of all, functional, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better-looking Timex watch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Timex watch is best for me?

To pick the best Timex watch for you, think about the kinds of features you need from it and how you want it to look. Once you’ve decided on those things, look through our list of the best Timex watches for runners to see which fits your bill.

How can you change Timex watch batteries?

Timex watch batteries can be easily changed, but it’s still better to go to a repair center or a jeweler. Such places should be able to replace the batteries without compromising your watch’s build. They would have the proper tools and training for the delicate operations needed to replace your Timex batteries.

Are Timex watch straps interchangeable?

Timex has a product line specifically made to have interchangeable straps. However, the ones included on this list of the best Timex watches for runners are not part of that line. That said, the Timex Metropolitan S does have replacement straps.

Conclusion

Timex watches are well-loved by runners for their no-nonsense approach to watchmaking. With their excellent timekeeping, lap management, enduring battery life, and exceptional durability, you can pick any Timex watch on this list to easily improve your runs.

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