Racing Watch Recommendation

Thread starter #1
My trusty old Ronstan Clear Start racing countdown wristwatch finally died (leaked actually). I bought another Ronstan Clear Start but (a) it didn't work and (b) the instructions didn't match the watch and it was impossible to program (APSltd graciously allowed me to return it for a full refund.)

What I want is a simple, count-down timer in 3 or 5 minute mode with a rolling feature. A big number display (for my 74 year old eyes) is a plus and reasonably water resistant. Under $100 is another plus. I do not need exotic re-synch features - if I miss a staring signal I deserve to get a bad start!

Any recommendations or does anybody have an older Ronstan Clear Start that works that they want sell me?

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY


Active Member
Most-used is the Optimum OS3, I suppose. Various colours. My eldest wears a pink one. "That's not a colour a that's gonna be nicked in the men's dressing room!" Around 75 euros here, 85 dollars. I'm more than willing to help you obtain one from here.

(BTW, nice to see the Windesign video: Dutch brand with all familiar faces from years gone by: the youngsters in their optimist, are a way bigger nowadays!)

Hi Alan, For $20 or $30 you can get either a Timex Ironman or one of many digital Casio watches. Most but not all have a countdown timer function. Casio sells a lot of their G-Shock watches, but unless you prefer the styling of it, most ordinary Casios will get the jobs done.

As you can see in this pic, my Timex is set for 5 minutes and it is a lot easier to change from 3 to 5 minutes and back on a Casio or Timex than it is on the Ronstan!

Personally I prefer the Casio - a bit easier to reset, and usually the buttons are more recessed so you don't accidentally stop or start it. I am wearing my Timex now but have a couple Casios in the drawer.



I don't race, but I've been a Timex watch guy for many years. My word of caution... this is my 2nd Timex in a row that has gotten water inside somehow during sailing/swimming - and I've never opened the watch to change batteries or anything similar that might compromise the water seals.

Initially it will completely fog(?) over and can't see any numbers (see pic from July below). After a few days it usually dries out and is mostly back to normal. But today, some five/six months after this incident, the upper right hand corner (the date) still can't be read.

IMG_1713 timex.jpg