What useful data does a swim watch provide that a pace clock doesn't?
Stroke count, pace per length, splits for EVERY length so one can see pacing....all pretty valuable, especially if one swims alone.
Can your watch pick up stroke count data from the other hand? If not, that stroke count value would be of minimal value.
I count strokes in my head every length as I go, anyway. Much more valuable for me to know the stroke count mid-rep at the turn as I'm swimming than to see it on a screen hours later.
As for the splits and pacing, I have my doubts about the accuracy, but I'm certainly open to having my mind changed. Have you ever done a swim with someone recording splits on a stopwatch and compared them to the data on your watch?
I think youâ€™re being a bit silly. If you seriously believe you can remember better than a mechanical device all those metrics you are quite impressive. The watch will be accurate enough, and since I am very consistent in how I operate it, it will be repeatable enough. Far better than my memory. Most people canâ€™t even remember their workout as they march in with the sheet of paper in front of them.
I think what people are saying is that the watch is moving your mind to focus on things that don't matter, and probably doing it at the expense of things that do matter. You think stroke count FOR EVERY LENGTH is important, but it's not. You think your pace BY EVERY SINGLE LENGTH is important, but it's not. All swimmers can maintain very accurate track of where these metrics are relative to status quo with a simple pace clock anyway. Keeping exact track of every little detail in some database is not seeing the forest through the trees.
For example... Nobody is going to have some Eureka! moment by discovering an anomaly 50m split after the workout as they examine their extensively accurate and detailed split data. It's just not going to happen. You might have a chance of a Eureka! moment if you are looking at your splits real time (might), and can correlate whatever stroke adjustment you might have just tried. After a workout are you going to remember any stroke differential on a per split level? Most likely not.
I think we've got to give experienced swimmers the benefit of the doubt about knowing the best way to approach their sport -- especially when they've seen and experimented with the newfound tech and found it lacking.
Edit: That being said, if I found myself at a pool or out in open water without a pace clock, I might well use a watch. It's just that the watch is getting put away when a better tool is available.