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Old 06-04-2012
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Any experience on a good racing watch?

I've looked through all the old threads, and searched major websites for the varieties (Ronstan, Suunto, Gill..) To be honest, what I really want is either the Ronstan Sailing or Regatta, or the Gill Regatta Master. They're basic, have a large digital display, and do the only job I want from them, countdowns.
The problem I keep running into, is the endless poor reviews on them. I know sometimes the reviews will only have negative feedback from PO'd customers, but this time it's enough to scare me away from the products.

If the reviews are all true, then the Ronstan Sailing would be the best bet at only $59. If it breaks, then I'm not out a lot of money. Still, I'd rather not throw my money away.


Anyone have one that's held up well?
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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

I have used the Ronstan sailing heavily for the last 3 years. I bought it just to do countdowns, and have zero complaints about it. Even the original band is still in good shape.

I might be tempted to look at some of the new gps toys that have a time and distance to the line feature, but for $50 the ronstan has worked very well for me.
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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I have used the Ronstan sailing heavily for the last 3 years. I bought it just to do countdowns, and have zero complaints about it. Even the original band is still in good shape.

I might be tempted to look at some of the new gps toys that have a time and distance to the line feature, but for $50 the ronstan has worked very well for me.
Have you gotten it wet? Most of the poor reviews are about it not being water resistant at all.
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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

Timex

What do need but a countdown timer ?
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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

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timex

what do need but a countdown timer ?

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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

I have had two Ronstans, both of which were generally good. The first was the fancier model with the larger digits and the buttons on the face of the watch. I was happy with this one but it was comparatively expensive and the band broke after only one season and I have not yet found a replacement to fit it, although I haven't looked too hard.

RF4030 |Ronstan Marine Division

The other one, which I am using this season is the one that you mentioned, I think. No moisture problems, so far, and I have raced three times in the rain so far this season. The downsides are that the digits are smaller and the buttons on the side of the watchface can be accidentally pushed by your writst or another watch. (I also use a regular watch with a second hand to help me time the beginning of the starting sequence.)

The best of luck.

RF4031 |Ronstan Marine Division

Edit: I neglected to mention that I have also used a digital egg timer that I bought at walmart for three or four bucks. Won't beep at 4 and 1 minute but will keep track of the time without a problem.

Last edited by CBinRI; 06-04-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

If you only want a countdown timer...really, spend ten bucks on a big digital kitchen timer. We used to velcro one on the cabin bulkhead next to the instruments, so everyone could see if and watch the countdown. Cheap, durable, easy to change the penlight battery every two years. And when not in use, zipzip the velco and it went below as a clock.

I never invested in a "proper" racing watch but at least in theory, it should count DOWN, reset and restart if there's a postponement, and after the countdown switch to counting elapsed time to keep time for the race. Oddly enough many watches will do that--but only keep elapsed time to one hour.

So I've always said "screw it" and used a stopwatch or kitchen time. The smartphones can do better now, but anything on deck eventually tries to go swimming and that never ends well.

CB-
Have you tried asking Ronstaan about a band? I'd be surprised if they didn't replace the band, or just send you a new watch. Always worth asking, and giving them a chance to earn good pr.

Last edited by hellosailor; 06-04-2012 at 05:07 PM.
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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

^^^I read about a few people using the talking kitchen timers. Sounds like something I'll end up trying on my boat, but I'd like a watch for when crewing.
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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
If you only want a countdown timer...really, spend ten bucks on a big digital kitchen timer. We used to velcro one on the cabin bulkhead next to the instruments, so everyone could see if and watch the countdown. Cheap, durable, easy to change the penlight battery every two years. And when not in use, zipzip the velco and it went below as a clock.

I never invested in a "proper" racing watch but at least in theory, it should count DOWN, reset and restart if there's a postponement, and after the countdown switch to counting elapsed time to keep time for the race. Oddly enough many watches will do that--but only keep elapsed time to one hour.

So I've always said "screw it" and used a stopwatch or kitchen time. The smartphones can do better now, but anything on deck eventually tries to go swimming and that never ends well.

CB-
Have you tried asking Ronstaan about a band? I'd be surprised if they didn't replace the band, or just send you a new watch. Always worth asking, and giving them a chance to earn good pr.
Good idea. I had intended to do this but hadn't yet gotten around to it. I have sent them an email and I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks.
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Re: Any experience on a good racing watch?

Even though their watches have bad reviews, the reviewers say they have good customer service.
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