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  • Customer reviews

on April 18, 2012
I've been running recreationally for four years, three to four times a week, usually with one long run on Sundays. I bought this watch two weeks ago because I wanted a cheap, simple, waterproof GPS watch that shows current running speed.

For those of you new to GPS watches, you should know that GPS watches don't give you an instant pace, but an "average" current pace over some number of seconds. During my first run, I did a little experiment to see how fast this watch picks up the change in speed. At warm-up, watch was showing 6.1min/km. I sped up to the pace I know from experience was about 5 min/km. Initially nothing happened. After 20-30 seconds, pace changed to 5.8, then after another 10-15 seconds to 5.6, and it kept going down. It took around a minute to go down to 5.1min/km.

It is fairly simple to use: you press the GPS button, wait 30 seconds to pick up the signal, click "Mode" few times till you find "Run", and press "Start". Watch display is quite large, easy to see, and you can adjust the contrast of letters vs the background. Display shows time/distance/current pace. You can change that to time/distance/km/ per hour (for biking) or time/distance/calories or few other combinations.

You can do automatic laps, or splits, and you can use it indoors, like a normal chronograph watch.

The watch is fairly bulky, like other GPS watches on the market.

-Great battery life of 8 hours of running (apparently it lasts few months as a normal watch)
-Easy to re-charge off the USB port
-Waterproof, you can swim with it
-The cheapest GPS running watch on the market

-No option of downloading data , although you can save the runs and review them on the watch. One of the web reviews said that Soleus cable can be used to download data, but Timex company has obviously chosen not to offer that option.
-No heart rate monitor (there is a small heart symbol, and my suspicion is Timex has not provided that option, either, probably because nobody would be buying their more expensive watches if this one offered the same features for a third of the price)
-Buttons are sensitive, I switched indiglo light on few times by accident.

For the price of $99, this is a very good value. It's so much cheaper than other GPS watches on the market. If you need a very basic, no-fuss watch to monitor your time, distance and pace on medium to long runs, this will do the job.

I would prefer to give it 4.5 stars due to sensitive buttons, but apart from that, the watch does what it promises, and price is amazing.
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on October 21, 2013
This is the first GPS I have ever bought. About the only thing good I can say about the product is that I got it for a pretty low price. The minutes/mile pace numbers at the bottom are huge and easy to read, but useless while actually running. This would be a good idea to have these numbers large if it actually worked in real time. The top line of numbers is the time elapsed while running and is somewhat difficult to quickly read while running partially to the slightly too small size and due mostly because the numbers run together without any space between the numbers. If your current time running is for example 20 minutes, 30 seconds and 52/100ths it looks like this on your watch: 203052 with no space between the numbers! Yes, there is a ' between minutes and seconds, and a " between seconds and hundreths, but is designed in such a way that there is still no space between the number digits. 20'30"52 typed allows space between the numbers, but on this watch the numbers are not spaced as I just typed. If it was, it would at least be easier to read while on the run. The normal format of 20:30 with the 52 hundreths in smaller font would be easier to read.

Also, there are other brands of watches the same price range that I could have bought, but I bought Timex wrongly thinking at least the inner part of the watch was built in the U.S. However, it is all manufactured in China with Chinese materials. No reason to buy for the Timex name. I have yet to buy any electronic device made in China that does not fail in a short period of time. Will be surprised if this watch is still functioning properly in a year.

If you are looking for a low end GPS watch, get the one with the largest numbers for time elapsed and distance numbers. Does not matter which brand since they all appear to be made in China. The only real use for the pace time is after you stop your run and view the average pace overall and for each lap. I realize that pace in real time is not accurate even on the high end watches, but knowing this, it is important to get a watch where these numbers are small so that there is room to make the important real time numbers large such as running time elapsed and distance. Also, even though I have figured out on my own how to use many of the functions of the watch, it could be alot more user friendly. The mini-manual that comes with the watch tells you very little. This watch will serve its purpose, but I would recommend getting a competitor model that has larger digits.
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VINE VOICEon October 23, 2014
The Timex Marathon GPS Watch is a great addition to my running gear. This is the first GPS watch I have owned and it proves that good information changes performance for the better. In the Set mode, the watch has a time/date function that lets the user key in information by time zone. I use the Washington D.C. Daylight Savings zone. In Set, I selected Auto GPS so the watch uses satellite information from the GMT source for accurate time and date display. The display shows WAS WE (zone & day) on line 1, 10-22 (month & day) on line 2, and time 8:08:08 (hour, minutes, seconds) on line 3. All three lines are easy to read in light, and in Night mode the Indigo light source stays on continuously lighting up the watch face.

From the Time display, a press of the Mode button switches the display to Run. The user has 2 choices: GPS or Indoors. With GPS the watch searches for a satellite. The Indoor selection does not use the satellite. In my backyard prior to a GPS run, I stand still while the watch searches and locks on a satellite (about 2 minutes). The watch is now in Run mode and displays all zeros for elapsed time and distance run. I push the start button and the watch shows elapsed time on line 1, distance run on line 2, and pace per mile on line 3. I head out on my course and check the display frequently as the watch recalculates position and pace. At the first mile, the watch displays and holds the information for the mile including elapsed time, distance, and pace for a few seconds. Then the watch returns to the total display as the user continues into the second mile of the run. At the end of the second mile, the display shows mile 2 information for a few seconds and then returns to the total run display.

At the end of the run, the user pushes the stop button and the totals for the run are displayed, again elapsed time, distance, and pace. Holding the stop button down for a few seconds saves the data from the run in a file labeled numerically (1, 2, …). The user can then push the Mode button to Run Data to look at the overall information or wait until later and review the performance. The first press shows the file number, date and lap number 1, and GPS or Indoor category. Then a press of the View button shows the user clock time of start and finish and elapsed run time. Pushing the view button again gives the overall elapsed time, distance, and pace. The next push of the view button gives the distance run and calories used based on performance during the run and body description the user has entered in the User mode (Gender, Age, Weight, Height) of the Set function. Pushing the view again shows Lap number 1 (1 mile from Auto Lap setting) and elapsed time for that mile. Repeated pushing of the View button shows elapsed time for each mile run until the last mile or portion of a mile. One more push of the View button allows the user to stay in View mode, Delete the file, or delete All files.

I looked at many GPS watches and all were more expensive than this Timex. It gives me all the information that I want, is easy to program, has a nice large display, has good battery life and the battery is easily charged via the included USB cable, is light and fits my wrist well. Outstanding product and I recommend it highly.
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on April 15, 2015
I have had this GPS watch for almost two years now and I LOVE it! I tried all my friends and relatives GPS watches before I settled on this one. I knew this Timex's limitations before I bought it and have NOT felt like I was missing out on anything. I don't want to download my daily 3.2 mile runs to my computer or to a website.
I live in the FLAT lands of south louisiana and it works perfectly well with this topography. When we stayed in the hills of North Carolina for several days, I felt that it was "shorting" me on my distances and verified. It does NOT calculate altitude. There are more expensive (and bigger) GPS watches out there that do include altitude calculations and will download to your computer or website but I don't need or want those abilities so this one is perfect for me and my needs.

- it is lightweight, not too big and is comfortable on my wrist.
- the battery life STILL is always longer than 8 hours of ACTUAL GPS use. I'm still averaging about 8.5 hours of GPS time between charges.
- south Lousiana weather is sometimes rainy, sometimes VERY overcast with thick, low cloud cover and this watch has NEVER failed to lock onto the GPS satellites. I hike trails with lots of overhead branches, etc. and have never had any problems with the GPS dropping the satellites. The ONLY time I had any sort of a problem was on an absolutely clear, not a cloud in the sky, sunny day. (Go figure!)

- the watch band has typical Timex issues. I have a box of still-running Timex ironman watches with broken bands. I have learned to be extremely gentle in the putting it on and taking it off process. I do NOT wear it other than when I'm hiking, jogging, walking. The rest of the time it sits waiting its turn.
- some people think this watch has pace issues. FYI - EVERY practical ability of measuring and displaying your pace while you are walking or running involves some sort of compromise in the way it calculates. Pedometers have to measure or assume your stride length - that changes with the speed of your walk or run - then the pedometer calculates the distance and does the time vs distance to give you your pace. They then have the same problem as GPS watches have - too long a period of averaging and your pace seems to not update when you know you have increased your speed, too short a period of averaging and your pace appears to be very erratic. I don't need instantaneous "pace." The GPS timer function works perfectly as does the distance so I'm able to glance at my watch and know what my rough pace is. After my "run" is over, the time and distance are both precisely displayed as is the pace. I don't do any kinds of races so a precise pace capability is not interesting to me.
- the buttons are large enough that I don't have to put on my glasses to operate them. They work well to navigate me through the watch's menu. I can operate them in the winter with my gloves on. BUT... they are easily accidentally pushed when the watch is placed on my countertop or moved about. I've learned to be careful or I'll find the GPS function turned on for who know how long. (Hmmmm... I wonder how much battery is left?)

Other thoughts: I don't use this for any other purpose than as a GPS watch for my "runs." I have never used the alarm or stopwatch functions. The GPS "running" display can be easily modified to show what I want or need. I set it up when I first bought it and have not needed to change it.

Bottom line? I love this watch - it is PERFECT for me and my needs. It has no bells and whistles but I don't want them. It does what I need, it is very reasonably priced. I recommend it for anyone who understands that it is a basic GPS watch and does not want the bells and whistles and associated capabilities.
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on September 14, 2015
Worst thing I have ever purchased. When I got it, it would not work even though I followed every step in the over complicated instructions. Then the seller made me return it to them at my own expense! Nice customer service. The company returned it to me once they got it running. They should have kept it. It took an hour to reset the time on the watch and I had to go to the website to find out the time zone since the company is to too cheap to give a complete manual to the customer. It took 10 minutes for GPS to find a signal! To get to the run function to work you will need to take the instructions with you since they are so involved and ridiculous. This is not a press the button and it works watch. Nothing about this product makes sense! I hate this watch so much I bought my son a Garmin Forerunner 15 and it does what this watch should do. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THE TIMEX MARATHON GPS WATCH.
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on September 2, 2014
Good watch, and the GPS initiates quickly for the most part. Maybe 5% of the time it really struggles to catch a signal, but that can typically be attributed to weather issues, or even my own impatience.

The 4 instead of 5 relates to its insufficient user manual that comes with it. I can look up additional features, but it really should have been included. Also, I would love if it could deal with splits better in run mode - I have to compensate for the watch on 1 mile interval runs on the intermediate rest breaks in between intervals, such that I don't have a great sense of my split time for every odd mile I run. Not too big of a deal, but there really should be a simpler way to reset the split times.

Otherwise, really good GPS watch for the price, and I am definitely glad I got it, but some minor improvements could make it perfect.
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on October 15, 2013
I was not interested in a full featured GPS watch for running. All I wanted was a watch that displayed the distance and is moisture resistant. After the workout I can look at the data, but during the run, all I care about is the distance. And, I run in the rain so moisture resistance is also important to me. This watch does that. No heart rate monitor or ability to connect it to a computer and upload anything. And that is fine with me.
After three weeks of use, I have had no problems with it. I charge it every few days, strap it on and go. The settings are like any other digital watch. Once I learned how to use the buttons, no issues.
My complaint is the display. The distance display, the one I want, is small. The display can be changed to show different parameters on the LARGER last line, but the distance display cannot be changed. For younger eyes this may not be an issue. But, I find I must slow down and focus on the display to read it.
Other watches, like the Nike or Tom Tom, have a large distance display easy to read from arms length. But the cost and/or lack of moisture resistance steered me away from them.
All in all, I will keep this one and would recommend it to anyone who just wants bare bones solid performance at a low price.
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on June 9, 2013
Summary: The world of GPS watches is full of breakable, self-destructing, inaccurate messes of watches. This watch is not one of them. I've spent a couple months now trying to replace my piece-of-garbage Garmin Forerunner 405CX (which inexplicably died after only 1 year of use, would cost over $100 to "re-furbish", and always took forever to acquire satellites anyways) and looked at several Garmin products as well as Nike+ and Soleus. With Garmin and Nike+ I was appalled to see how often these watches simply failed of their own volition and Soleus seemed to focus on lots of bells and whistles I simply didn't want or need. The Timex Marathon watch JUST WORKS! Yes, the menus are organized in a non-intuitive way and you can't (yet?) upload data to your computer but the Timex quickly acquires satellites, sits comfortably on my wrist, and is a solid watch. Perfect if you're looking for something reliable, accurate, and effective.

-VERY quick to acquire the satellites
-sturdy construction
-comfortable to wear (I don't even notice it on my wrist during my runs)

-menu organization is tricky at first but not really an issue after you fiddle with it a bit
-stats on screen during run can be a bit tough to see (displays not as big as say a Forerunner 405CX or Nike+)
-maybe not as stylish as other watches
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on July 11, 2013
It takes about 30-45 seconds outdoor to find the GPS satellites, like those car GPS devices. Even if the signal was lost when I go indoor, the watch will continue to measure the distance once I come out. I wear it everywhere, it tells how far from place to place. I know now the distance from home to train station is 0.57 miles. It tracks car speed, indicating the same speed as the car speedometer, amazing. The speed it shows has a 5 second delay, not instantaneous speed. There is a hump at the end of the belt that is inconvenient to pull.
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on January 28, 2015
Pros: round shape makes it move through water really smoothly...hardly know it's there. works good for counting laps in the pool. so far, seems totally waterproof. really nice for keeping track of mileage while hiking.

Cons: can't maintain GPS connection indoors (can't use GPS to keep track of swimming distance in indoor pool). some reviewers say it's not ok to swim in it. some say it is. I'm taking the risk (and so far, so good). it's REALLY big. feels clunky when not swimming.

Overall: I bought this thing to track indoor swimming distances, and you can't use it for that. That being said, i CAN use it to count laps, so it's not a total loss. plus, I'm a hiker and I know the outdoor GPS capabilities will come in handy when I hike. If I were to do this over, I'd probably look into fitbits a little more closely and see if there's a waterproof one that can track swimming distances.
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