New watch offers live tracking without the need to carry a phone

Timex are launching a new Ironman One GPS+ 3G-connected smartwatch that you don’t need to pair up with a phone.

As the name suggests, the Ironman One GPS+ uses satellite navigtion to provide you with your real-time pace and distance on your wrist.

It’s compatible with fitness apps like Strava and MapMyFitness and can provide live tracking so that friends and family can follow your training session or race. There’s also a button that allows you to send an SOS that gives your location if you run into trouble. It can do this without the need to connect the device to a phone. It’ll also notify you when you achieve a personal best.

The Ironman One GPS+ uses Bluetooth communication so you can link it to a Bluetooth heart rate monitor (a bundle that includes a heart rate strap is available). It’ll also allow you to send and receive messages via a built-in messaging app and an email address, even when you don’t have your phone with you.

It has 4GB of music storage that you can listen to via Bluetooth headphones (or a Bluetooth speaker) and a Mirasol colour touchscreen display that reacts automatically to the level of light so that it’s readable in all conditions.

Power comes from a rechargeable Li-Ion battery. Timex say that it has an eight hour life in full GPS and phone connected mode, or three days in regular use.

All of Timex’s material supporting the launch of the Ironman One GPS+ references running rather than cycling, but we can’t see any reason why the GPS-based pace and distance functions wouldn’t work equally well on the bike. It’s water resistant up to 50 metres too, so you can swim with it, as you’d expect of an Ironman branded watch, although you won’t get GPS reception in the water.

The case is 50mm wide and the display is 1 1/2in (3.8cm). It’s 15.7mm thick and weighs 71g.

The watch isn’t shown on Timex’s UK website yet but you can pre-order it on www.timex.com for US$399 (about £237) or US$450 (about £267) with a heart rate monitor strap. Delivery is scheduled for November.

In the US, you get one year of AT&T (a major telecommunications provider) mobile data service included with the watch, but there’s no indication what happens after that time period. Details of a UK launch have yet to be released.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.