Winter Sale — 10% Off Before Winter Is Over!

February 9, 2011

Hey, we love our customers and we also love sales.  So, guess what?  We’re mashing the two up and having another sale for our customers.  We’re taking 10% off our entire line of watches so that you can get that perfect watch before your spring training starts.  In fact, it’s not a bad idea to get a head start now.  Yeah, it’s cold, but it’ll make the spring training curve much shorter.  So get a watch today — at 10% off  mind you — before winter is over and the sale is gone.  Enter WINTER10 or ACTIVE10 at checkout.



The Garmin Forerunner 210 Is Here!

December 27, 2010

The Garmin Forerunner 210 has finally made its way to  The much anticipated addition to Garmin’s family of marquis sports watches is now in ActiveWatches’ inventory.  As the successor to the Garmin Forerunner 110, it has many of the functionality and features of Garmin’s top-end watches, but with the advantage of a simplistic design and compact size that has long-eluded the brand.  As a result, you can now get the latest and greatest Garmin features in a watch (such as GPS) without feeling like you’re a wearing a laptop on your wrist.

You can read a more in-depth review of the Garmin Forerunner 210 here.  Click here to see the watch at  Or click here to see our entire line-up of Garmin watches.

The ActiveWatcher



Don’t Forget…Our Annual Free Shipping Offer and Other Promotions!!!

December 7, 2010

Just a reminder for those who haven’t found a perfect gift for that special someone, ActiveWatches is still offering free shipping on all of its watches.  Okay, okay, I can hear you saying to yourself, “Big feakin’ deal.  Every Internet merchant is offering free shipping in this economy.”  Fair enough, but we’re also offering 10-15% discounts on many of our watches.   Just click on the 10% and 15% off links on ActiveWatches’ homepage.  So, hurry up before this offer gets posted on Wikileaks and we don’t have any watches left!



ActiveWatches’ Annual Holiday Sale

November 30, 2010

Hey, Cyber Monday may be over, but ActiveWatches’ deals aren’t.  From now until Christmas, enjoy 10% off and free shipping.  It’s the best deal we’ve ever extended to the general public and it happens only once a year.  So take the ActiveWatcher’s advice and visit before its inventory runs out like a cheap flat-screen at K-Mart.  Just enter ACTIVE10 at checkout.

The ActiveWatcher

An ActiveWatchers’ Thumbs up for 127 Hours

November 16, 2010

The ActiveWatches blog isn’t usually the place for movie reviews.  But after seeing “127 Hours” this past Saturday night, the ActiveWatcher couldn’t help himself.  The movie is based on the true story about mountain climber Aaron Ralston (played by James Franco) and his personal journey of being trapped under a boulder for five days in Robbers Roost, Utah.  The movie is sure to delight ActiveWatches‘ customer base.  With the theme of the movie focused on personal triumph and unimaginable sacrifice, it’s sure to make you feel guilty for complaining about your everyday life.

But on a note more relevant to the ActiveWatches blog, the movie also co-stars another famous actor besides James France: the Suunto Vector.  You see the watch so darn much in the movie — for obvious reasons  — that the watch should be identified in the opening and closing credits.  But I digress.  The movie only proves the awesome functionality and power of this watch.  From withstanding the force of a boulder to giving you the altitude and temperature, it’s no wonder why it got some face time in the movie (for the record, I don’t know if it the Vector was actually worn by Ralston).

So go watch the movie and then go to to get a much more in-depth view of the Vector and other Suunto watches.


November 10, 2010

Just because it’s getting colder outside doesn’t mean it’s time to stop being active.  And don’t even try to bring up the excuse that it now gets dark at 5pm.  We here at believe in staying active throughout all seasons.  And we got the timing gear to withstand both the cold and dark conditions associated with a dreary winter.  To help you out even more, we’re offering 10% off our entire line of watches.  This offer is available for only a limited time, so take advantage of it before it gets warmer and the days get longer.  Just enter WINTER10 at checkout.

The ActiveWatcher

Why is my heart rate monitor going crazy?

November 2, 2010

Have you found yourself asking the question, “What’s going on with my heart rate monitor?”  It’s acting erratically, giving you widely divergent readouts, and telling you that your heart is beating at a level more normal of your Grandma Edna or your dog Fido.  And you know for a fact that there’s no way your heart is beating that slow or that fast.  What the *#$& is going on?!?!

As much as we love our heart rate monitors and as much as we’d like to think they’re perfect tools for us modern-day athletes (especially given the price we paid for them), they do have one Achilles’ heel characteristic of all modern-day gadgets: they require a sufficient signal from your heart rate transmitter for an accurate reading (heck, even the venerable iPhone 4 has signal issues).

Simple enough, but what causes an insufficient signal?  Have no fear, the ActiveWatcher’s diagnosis is here.  The most common causes are:

  • No Synchronization: For your heart rate monitor to work, the transmitter must be in “sync” with the watch unit.  Syncing entails the initial connection between the transmitter and watch, so the watch knows the signal it’s supposed to pick-up.  The syncing process must be performed if you’re using the heart rate monitor for the first time, and the process varies with each watch brand.  Refer to your heart rate monitor’s manual for syncing instructions.
  • Dead or Low Battery: Most heart rate transmitters require a battery, which is usually the size of a common watch battery.  In many cases, the battery is dead or too weak to enable the transmitter to emit a strong enough signal to the watch.  Simply replace the battery with a new one.  If you do, make sure you replace the battery cover and any other accessories (such as rubber “o-ring”) exactly as you originally found it on the transmitter.  If not, the transmitter may no longer be waterproof and you may permanently damage it.
  • Improper Wear: Perhaps you’re wearing the transmitter improperly.  The transmitter is attached to a strap that must be worn around your chest.  Specific instructions for proper wear vary with each brand, but generally require you to wear the strap across you chest, right below your breasts and above your abdomen.  (For those of you with bra issues, consider purchasing the Polar Heart Bra.)  As Garmin puts it, the [Forerunner] heart-rate monitor is to be worn with the logo right-side up, directly on the skin just beneath the breastplate.  Direct contact to skin and moisture is necessary to establish an electrical connection between your body and the heart-rate monitor.”  Also, make sure that the strap is tight enough so it is constantly in contact with your skin, even while you’re moving.  (For those of you with very hairy chests, consider shaving – seriously.)  In addition, wet the sensors on your strap.  The sensors read the electricity emitted from your heartbeats, and the water essentially serves as an electrical agent that helps the sensor better recognize the electricity.  Electrode gel also helps.  As Garmin states, “it may be necessary to wet the contacts on the monitor or use electrode gel to get a reliable connection established at the beginning of a workout.  The ActiveWatcher knows this last point from firsthand experience; on several occasions, the ActiveWatcher’s heart rate monitor stopped going haywire only after sweat accumulated under the strap.
  • Signal Interference: This is perhaps one of the more common sources of heart rate monitor frustration.  Because your heart rate monitor relies on a signal from the transmitter, almost any other nearby electrical signal may interfere with the transmitter’s signal.  The result: your watch unit can’t recive the transmitter’s signal.  Common sources of signal interference include treadmills, MP3 players, bike computers, and cellular phones.  In fact, if others around you are also using a heart rate monitor, you may be picking up the signal from another monitor.  (In Polar parlance, this is called “crosstalk” and can be avoided by watches with coded transmission signals.)  Believe it or not, signal interference may even be caused by static electricity from synthetic shirts.  If any of this occurs, try moving away from potential sources of interference.
  • Dirt: For all of you hard core athletes out there, dirt may partially block the signal.  Simply clean the transmitter.  Wash by hand, use a mild soap, and dry as much as possible with a towel.  (And if your transmitter is indeed dirty, kudos to you!)

If all else fails, call the manufacturer.  Its contact information can be found in the watch’s instruction manual or on-line.  The ActiveWatcher can tell you from first-hand experience that the watch companies are eager to help, even if your heart rate monitor is no longer under warranty.  If your heart rate monitor still doesn’t work after consulting with the manufacturer, consider buying a refurbished version of the same heart rate monitor you currently have.  Finally, you may have to resort to buying a brand new heart rate monitor.  But if you’re anything like the ActiveWatcher, you’ll be excited about that prospect.  Click here to check out ActiveWatches’ broad selection of cutting-edge heart rate monitors.

The ActiveWatcher


When to Wear a Heart Rate Monitor or GPS Watch

October 14, 2010

The ActiveWatcher has always been extolling the virtues of heart rate monitor (“HRM”) and GPS watches.  But one question it commonly comes across is: “When should I wear a HRM or GPS watch?”  In an old post, the ActiveWatcher discusses extensively about the benefits of a HRM watch.  You can find that post here.  Although it hasn’t done so yet for GPS watches, stay tuned!  But to quickly answer that question for both HRM and GPS watches with one stone, check out a recent article from Runner’s World Magazine that provides a quick explanation on when HRM and GPS watches should be used.  You can find that article here.   To summarize, HRM watches should be worn to “serve a specific purpose (such a tempo run) when you need to maintain a certain effort.”  In other words, wear it if you want to monitor your level of exertion.  GPS watches should be worn when “you’re running in unfamiliar area and want to know exactly how far you’ve gone.”

To be sure, you can achieve either of the above goals without a HRM or GPS watch.  But wouldn’t it be great to let the watch do those things for you so you can enjoy the scenery?!?!  So purchase a HRM or GPS watch from ActiveWatches today.  Come visit us at

The ActiveWatcher

ActiveWatches Profiled in Self Magazine

September 1, 2010

Yet another great endorsement from a great publication for a great website (in our humble opinion)!  This time the endorsement is from Self Magazine, the leading fitness magazine for females.  (Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, has an entire category devoted to watches specifically for women.  Who said GPS watches were just for the male athlete?!?!)  So check us out on page 134 of the magazine.  Hey, we’re identified as SELF editor’s’ fave — a distinction you can’t beat.  Sorry we can’t point you to an electronic version of the magazine page.  But trust the ActiveWatcher when he says it’s worth paying $3.99 to see an image of one or our Polar watches on the wrist of the very fit woman on page 76!

The ActiveWatcher

Recommended On-Line Watch Resources (other than the ActiveWatcher of course)

August 10, 2010

The ActiveWatcher isn’t narcissistic when it comes to watch blogs.  I may refer to myself in the third person, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other great blogs and websites out there about sports watches.  As much as the ActiveWatcher wishes it’s the only watch authority in town, the dawn of the information age changed all that — a bit of double-edged sword: we’re in business thanks to the Internet, but so are a ton of others.

With that said, the ActiveWatcher presents…(insert drum roll here)…its list of favorite watch websites and blogs, other than the ActiveWatcher of course (no bias there):

DC Rainmaker ( This blog is perhaps the next best thing to having the ActiveWatcher in your living room.  Don’t let his post about just recently getting engaged fool you.  The author is a hard-core triathlete and trust me when I say that this guy knows his s$*!   Just check out his reviews on almost every Garmin watch imaginable.  Perhaps the most in-depth and detailed reviews on the face of this Earth.  In addition to his reviews, he gives useful guidance on watch operation in his many articles on just about anything related to triathlons.  But if you’re looking for reviews for watches besides Garmin, this may not be best the place.  Nevertheless, the site gets four out of four sports watches in my book.

Running Watch Review ( Another good on-line source for watch reviews.  And unlike DC Rainmaker, this website’s breadth reaches beyond just Garmin watches, but includes Timex, Nike, and Polar.  Like other websites and blogs worth their salt, the Running Watch Review also provides useful articles on watches, whether it’s about how to use a watch or what to look for when buying a watch.  On the negative side, the watch reviews come off as a bit sterile, with nowhere near the amount of detail and experience reflected in DC Rainmaker’s reviews.

The Sports Watch Informant ( This site is cool not only because it uses “The” in front of its name like the ActiveWatcher, but also because it lives up to its name of informing watch connoisseurs on the latest developments in the sports watch industry.  Just check out the site and you’ll see articles and reviews on the some of the most cutting-edge watches and associated technology.  If I’m not mistaken, The Sports Watch Informant even broke the news on the Timex Global Trainer watch, the best thing since GPS technology and chocolate cookie dough.  One potential criticism is that the articles can be overly technical, although that’s great for the watch and tech geeks like the ActiveWatcher.  In addition, some of the reviews can come off as the latest advertisement from your local Ford dealer, but are nonetheless substantive and useful.

That’s it for now folks.  Let the ActiveWatcher know if you come across any other websites or blogs that are ActiveWatcher-worthy.

The ActiveWatcher