The Sleek 150 comes in a variety of different styles and colors.This is the full size curved screen model in blue and my first impression on seeing it was its a nice looking watch. Its “lazy D” face is classic Timex but its thin, not like the chunky black plastic watches of old. The angled glass at the bottom and the large number display gives it a stylish and contemporary look.
Full of innovative new features like hydration and fuel timers , as well as a 150 lap timer, target time pacer and labeled interval timers its a lot of watch for the money, so why wasn’t I getting really excited about it?
I don't know, maybe I guess we’re spoiled now-days. Technology has advanced so much, is a watch with no GPS and without heart rate monitoring facility any use? Especially one that’s aimed at the Ironman market.
So, how to get the best out of this watch. What advantages has it over the more expensive and technologically advanced running tools out there. Well... Swimming.
With its Tap Screen , would the Sleek 150 be good in the pool? Its stainless steel case back ensures water resistance to 100m, which is more than adequate for swimming. I’d heard that the Garmin 405 with touch bezel is sometimes activated by droplets of water when it rains, setting off some of the functions, so before I swam I tested it in the showers. It has 3 adjustable sensitivities, hard, medium, light and I tested it on all 3 and it was fine.
If, like me, you enjoy swimming but are a bit short sighted and can’t see the pool clock, swimming intervals can be a bit tricky. I sometimes take my own clock! Even just glancing up to get your 100 splits can be hard. Well then the Sleek 150 could be for you.
With the setting on lite, I found it very easy to tap the screen whilst in the glide phase off the wall after flip turning. Just a firm tap with two fingers was all it took to stop the lap timer and this was confirmed with a reassuring beep. Even underwater it was plenty loud enough to hear despite any noise around you. I didn’t have any problems with the timer stopping at any times, other than when I tapped it (Timex advises that if you do, to adjust the sensitivity setting).
I must admit I was impressed, no fiddling around for buttons and as its “sleek”, I didn't really notice it on my wrist. My only concern would be that in the washing machine that is the triathlon open water swim start, would it get knocked and activated.
So, it did the business in the pool, but what about outside. Its large face is easy to read when your are out on a run and the Tap screen is easy to use although I did find at first I kept looking at it while I tapped it, but this something you easily and quickly stop doing, which you need to do as it defeats the whole point of having a Tap Screen!
A couple of neat features were separate fuel and drink timers so you can program in when you need to take your nutrition while out on a long ride? It also has a “peek” feature which allows you to check the time from the chrono or any other mode, and then quickly return to that mode.
The Sleek 150 also has a feature called “target time” This allows the user to set a time and distance goal that can be checked each time a lap is entered. The idea was to provide the ability to monitor one’s progress whilst out on a course, but there are some limitations with this feature.
You can only check your progress on a measured course and only when you hit the lap button, so if you are running one-mile laps, you only get an update for that mile. The other problem is that your target time, which essentially is a calculation of where you “should” be at the given time, shows up ten seconds after you hit the lap button.
While this may provide some motivation to run harder, it is difficult to look at your watch to get your target time when you are running hard! Even if you do not keep track of laps, the watch will tell you at the end of the race if you were ahead or behind the target time, but when the run is over, what is the point? This feature , I feel, is best suited for races rather than training unless you run predetermined laps. On the track its fine.
The memory is huge at 150 laps and can store average lap, best lap and target time. Unfortunately, you cannot specify which laps you want to clear from memory—it is either the last one or all of them.
Well, crunch time, would I buy or recommend this watch? If you don’t want a watch with HRM or GPS then yes. Its good looking , light, comfortable, and good in the water. If you want a watch just to wear for races or go to the pool , again yes, although this is a bit of an extravagance. If you’re a serious Triathlete, or potential Ironman.
I cant help feeling you’re going to want something more to monitor your training, progress and racing. I have a Garmin and love plugging it in to the computer to download all my data, even if I don't know what it all means!
Timex are bringing out a new Ironman GPS soon and if its as good looking as this, and works as well as a Garmin it will be a great watch.
I'll give the Timex 3 lattes.
Retail Price: $90.00
EveryMan “Gotta Have” Latte Rating Scale: Rating Scale (based on the amount of lattes per day you’ll give up to buy this product)
• 4 Lattes: A must have product that will make your
jealous and your competitors cower in undisguised fear and trepidation.
• 3 Lattes: A very good investment that is well worth forgoing a year or two of your children’s college fund.
• 2 Lattes: One of those products that actually does what it says it does, but with the same pizazz as a Q-Tip.
• 1 Latte: The best thing said about this product is that I wouldn’t send it back if I got it for free.
• No Latte: So excruciatingly lame that you would get more value by crossing the street for some discarded and well chewed gum before buying this product.
Thanks to Danny Ward
(England's Ironman Chef) of (TriSport Epping) for this review.