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iBeam 20.20 Sport Digital Watch Review

on April 27, 2009 5:00 am

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A wrist watch that only tells the time is not something that a gadgeteer would probably take much notice of – right? Of course I’m right :) That’s why I want to show you the 20.20 Sport Digital Watch from iBeam. This watch tells the time and a whole lot more.

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I reviewed an iBeam watch several years ago and thought it was a pretty nice timepiece. I’m glad to tell you that they’ve updated that original watch to be more sporty, less expensive and with more features.

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The 20.20 is available with Black and Clear watch bands and two sizes: Medium and Large. Both versions of this watch have the same features – but I’ll be photographing the Large sized version for this review.

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The face of this digital watch is large, with easily visible Black segments on a light background. The time of day is in the center, with the seconds counting down above it. Below the time is the day of the week and date.

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One feature of this watch is the ability to view dual times. In this mode, the 2nd time is displayed at the bottom. This is great for travelers.

Other display modes include a stopwatch and a countdown timer. The 20.20 watch also has the ability to set 4 different daily alarms.

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The watch has a built in LED flash light that is surprisingly bright. What I like best about this feature is that you don’t have to hold the button in to shine the beam. You just press it once and it will stay lit for 30 seconds before it automatically shuts off.

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It’s definitely bright enough to find your way around in a dark house or to read a map in a dark car.

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There’s also a pop-up 3x magnifying lens.

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If you have 40+ year old eyes like I do, a magnifying lens can come in handy once in awhile!

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There’s even a removable compass built into the wrist strap. I am not sure I’d trust the compass to help me find my way out of the woods though as the compass in the Large sized watch didn’t display correctly. The one in the Medium watch did seem accurate though.

The 20.20 is water resistant up to 150 ft.

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The 20.20 has an EL backlight that shows the time in bright Blue and the date (or dual time) in Green for 5 seconds when you press the button. The only annoyance is that when you press the backlight button (or any button for that matter), the watch beeps. I would like the ability to turn off button beeps.

The watch movement takes a standard quartz battery that lasts 3-5 years.  The flashlight takes two batteries that last 2.5 years.  That is based on using the light 4x a day for 20 seconds.  The light bulb itself lasts 70K hours. The Medium size version uses CR1616 battery and the Large version uses CR2016. If you register the watch with iBeam, you’ll receive free batteries for the life of the watch (you will have to pay $6.50 shipping and handling if you send the watch to iBeam for a battery replacement though).

The 20.20 Sport digital watches from iBeam feels rugged enough to withstand everyday wear and tear. They are relatively inexpensive watches with a nice set of unique features. I especially like the dual time and built-in LED flashlight.

You can find iBeam watches at REI.

 

Product Information

Price:$59.00
Manufacturer:iBeam
Pros:
  • Built in magnifying glass
  • Built in LED flashlight
  • Built in compass
  • Dual time display
Cons:
  • Compass wasn't accurate

Comments

  1. 1
    Lex says:

    The lens seems very exposed and maybe at risk of scratching. Wonder how soon?

  2. 2
    Julie says:

    @Lex The magnifying lens is glass and if it’s made of the same material as the original iBeam watch, it’s scratch resistant.

  3. 3
    Ryan says:

    Great..another watch to lust over…i thought I was done with watches..but I guess one can never be done with anything.

    Nice review. Btw, I assume the caseback is easy to remove since they provide you with free batteries? Also, is there a way to get a wrist shot of this watch, just to see what the size is relative to a wrist?

  4. 4
    Julie says:

    @Ryan There are 4 screws to remove the stainless steel back. I can get a picture of the medium size on my wrist later today.

  5. 5
    Mark says:

    It seems I have a watch fetish. My wife has her shoes…I have my watches. (I have some catching up to do)
    I can see the LED and the magnifying lens coming in handy and I love the blue LED lighting (I actually love the dual blue an green lighting)

    I think I NEED one of these…ooOOoo…and fathers day is fast approaching. :-D

  6. 6
    David Lection says:

    Hi Julie,

    Most watches like this with an LED light come with a charger, and need to be recharged. Is this watch rechargeable, and if not, were you able to get any impression of how long the battery lasts?

  7. 7
    Julie says:

    @David The watch has 2 batteries just for the LED light. AS mentioned in the review, the batteries will last for 2.5 years. That is based on using the light 4x a day for 20 seconds. The light bulb itself lasts 70K hours.

  8. 8
    Mark says:

    Update:
    I got one of these for Fathers Day! I absolutely LOVE the flip up magnifying lens!! Working in engineering, I am always trying to look at tiny details on parts and this lens is the perfect “on hand” device for that quick look. I also like the LED light…very bright and can be shut off quickly with another tap of the button so as not to waste its battery. One other thing…it has to be one of the most comfortable watches I have ever owned.

  9. 9
    Julie says:

    @Mark Thanks for the endorsement! :)

  10. 10
    Mark Adkins says:

    Curse my thick wrists that prevent me from buying most watches! This one sounds so cool!

    (And no, the XL straps often sold don’t help either. Even XXL watches from big men’s catalogs rarely fit right. Sigh.)

  11. 11
    Mark says:

    Watch update:
    The battery for my LED light have died already. I don’t use it very often but I will say that I probably used it more often then I had to just because of the novelty of it.
    The problem with it is that the location of the light button lends itself to turn on by itself when I use my left hand to open doors. The angle of my wrist and the twisting motion is enough to create a fold of skin that presses the light button in when I open doors.
    I guess I could try switching it to my right hand but thats gonna feel awkward. Its too bad the light button wasn’t left/right optional on the side of the watch.

  12. 12
    Julie says:

    @Mark Thanks for posting that information. How long have you had the watch?

  13. 13
    Mark says:

    @Julie
    I got the watch for Fathers day…so, about 3 weeks ago…yikes! That doesn’t say much about the batteries now, does it? :-)
    Though, maybe they were already slightly run down when I got it? (yeah…keep telling yourself that Mark)
    I’ll keep you posted on the next battery I put in there (I need to get around to opening it up and loading it in though)

  14. 14
    Julie says:

    @Mark Yes, do keep us posted. I think in the review somewhere, I mention approximately how long the batteries should last according to the folks at iBeam.

  15. 15
    Mark says:

    another battery update:

    I installed a new “light” battery last week and it is dead already.
    :-(

    I have been wearing the battery on my right wrist to avoid any accidental bumping of the light switch. (see previous posts) In fact, I think I only turned the light on 2 or 3 times in the past week…mainly to see if it is still working.

    I’ll need to contact ibeam and figure out whats causing the drainage. Most likely a short somewhere.

    I actually only wanted the watch for its magnifying glass but the led light was a bonus.

  16. 16
    Julie says:

    @Mark It sure sounds like there’s a defect…

  17. 17
    Charles Payne says:

    I need reading glasses. Can the magnifer be used to see the time and date on the watch?

  18. 18
    Dan DEWERD says:

    I have the I Beam watch and the light batteries have gone dead twice in one month. I use the light very little. I Beam has no solution other than sending it in for more batteries.

  19. 19
    Robin Lidstone says:

    I’ve had an old style IBeam for many years (5,6,7 ?) now , use the light constantly and it lasts about two years.

  20. 20
    Andrew says:

    I have been looking all over for these. I wanted to buy a bunch for family and friends, as well as myself. I have one that’s lasted 3 years with the same light! I just found them for sale at the website,
    http://WWW.SHOPDFI.COM.

    They have a few models there for sale enjoy!
    Andrew

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    got this watch 2 years ago and have had a love hate relationshipo. Love all the features, especially the light which was great for night time overseas flights and camping. And the magnifying lense was definitely cool. Unfortunately, it had a tendency to reset itself. I’d put it on my dresser for the night and the next day I’d notice it had reset to midnight. Or, I could just be wearing it and hit the mode button to go from stopwatch to time and it would reset. In the two years I had it, this happened at lease 10 times. Also didn’t like that the buttons always beep. Never found a way to turn them off so they don’t beep. And finally, the crown broke the other day. No major trauma. I was wearing it and doing normal stuff when I noticed it sliding off my wrist. I doubt it’s reparable.

  22. 22
    Grant says:

    I received this watch as a gift, but it did not come with an owner’s manual. I have no idea how to set the date and time. Is there an operator’s manual online I could download?

  23. 23
    Julie says:

    @Grant, Here’s the link toa PDF of the manual. http://ibeamtime.com/pdf/20.20-SPORT-MANUAL.pdf

  24. 24
    William Marr says:

    I need a new battery – the last time it happened, I was given a shipping address and instructed to mail the watch with a check for $15 – could I have that address again and to whom to make the check payable – thanks, Bill Marr

  25. 25
    James says:

    This watch takes 3 2016 batteries that are easy to replace yourself. The trick is -++-+- on top. With three batteries, it’s easy to change the order and the LED wont work. I like that the LED will automaticaly turn off after 30 seconds.

  26. 26
    Paul Teague says:

    I have owned an I-beam 20.20 digital watch for 3 years. I have been through a few batteries and a few malfunctioning watches. This would usually turn someone off to buying a watch that might have issues or defets. I can tell you I have nothing but respet for the I-beam group, they have repaired my watches and taken the better customer care of me than I could have asked for. I love the watch and all its feaures and I will tell you, as long as I-beam stays the way they are, I will never hesitate to recommend or purchase a watch with their logo on it, I know they will stand behind it.

  27. 27
    Doug K says:

    James, thank you very much for your advice about the battery placement. The +– order is indeed correct. I just came back from a jeweller, who couldn’t get the LED light to work when he replaced the batteries for me. He gave up and suggest I try it myself. I tried the battery order you listed and it does work. The only problem now is that when I replace the cover it stops working – somehow the pressure stops the little contacts from remaining on that last battery. Frustrating, but at least I know it’s possible, now that I know the proper ordering of the batteries.

  28. 28
    Sam Reynard says:

    I bought my 2 or so years ago, before the business was sold.
    Where would I direct repair inquiries now?
    Thank you.
    Sam Reynard

  29. 29
    Scott Davis says:

    The link provided in April to the 20.20 sport manual does not work. There is also no link I can find on the Carbon 14 website. I do not have a copy of the manual and am having a difficult time figuring out the settings.

  30. 30
    Julie says:

    You might check to see if any of these manuals work: http://www.c14time.com/manuals
    Otherwise, send an email to their contact address on their site.

  31. 31
    Leon says:

    My strap broke.
    Anyone know how I can get a new strap?

  32. 32
    Jon Elliott says:

    My wife and I have had the IBeam watches pictured on this site for 4 or 5 years and they are the best. I use mine every day. The light and the magnifier come in handy for so many uses that I become a little concerned that when the batteries die I have to give up my watch for a while to send back to iBeam to change the batteries which they do very well. They need a battery change again. Is there a guide on how to change the batteries yourself without ruining the watch? The battery hold downs seem to be very delicate.
    Thank you
    Jon

  33. 33
    Dave B. says:

    Profuse thanks to James. Just now I finaly sat down to replace the batteries (sans manual, but looking at the above they don’t say anything about user replacement of batteries in it anyway)
    I had watch & 1- pack of two 2016 batteries and $38.20 screwdriver set I bought for the 2 aphid size screwdrivers in it (the larger one fit). Major downforce & turning force needed to start screws out without buggering them. uppermost battery when starting dissasembly had thin plastic waffer glued to it (no doubt as an electrical insulator. I get that off, then one battery out, AND THEN I SEE IT HAS TWO MORE batteries, I get the next battery out, AND I FIND OUT THE THIRD BATTERY IS UPSIDE DOWN!. I’m thinking HOW DID THIS THING WORK FOR SO MANY YEARS with two more batteries than I thought it had, and ONE OF THEM UPSIDE DOWN. Is this the Twilight Zone, have I gone completely nuts? Apparently not, and much thanks to James for that, and CURSE THE IDIOTS OF THE WATCH COMPANY THAT DECIDED EVERYONE BUT THEM SHOULD BE TOTALY BAMBOOZLED CHANGING THE fFfFfFf BATTERIES!!!

  34. 34
    Antea says:

    I so need one of these anyone know where I can get one from?

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Fox says:

    I’ve had this watch for about 4 years and just replaced the batteries today. Remarkably the 2 light batteries still had some life. Replacement was tricky with the tiny little screws. Once you get the back off, there is a little silver hold down attached with one screw which you remove and then gently pry the batteries out (I used a very small jewelers screwdriver). Notice how the batteries are installed; writing up on the bottom battery while the other two are writing down. I put it back together just as I took it apart (including the round white sticky thing which I forgot to mention) and it works fine.

  37. 37
    john peton says:

    Carefully remove back,remove tiny fork prong,remove 2 top batt + up,replace,then prong,cut 1 or 2 circles from a matchbook cover,place on top of battery assembly,this will give correct pressure on batteries to fuction properly after 3 or for changes change all three.

  38. 38
    john peton says:

    Newer style has a thin cover plate. To correct the issue.

  39. 39
    Ivy says:

    I want one. Where can I order one? Is there a particular link? & I live in Canada.

  40. 40
    Fox says:

    Check out Ebay.

  41. 41
    john says:

    I’m having trouble with finding a replacement watch band. Any suggestions are welcome.

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