In general, I try and get reviews out pretty quickly (within 4-6 weeks) of a new watch, assuming I have access to the watch. For most of the major companies (Garmin, Nike, Suunto, Timex, Polar, etc…) – I get access prior to public availability. In some cases, things fall through and I only get it on public announcement or public release day. Additionally, sometimes the beta/prototype unit I have isn’t performing in a manner that allows me to make an informed decision on the product. I won’t publish a review that says “Product X sucks” based on beta firmware. Once final firmware – and if the product still sucks – it’s open season! In general, I’m trying to shy away from publishing anything more than first look on beta/prototype products because I’ve seen far too many times watches go from ‘great’ to ‘ugly’ while going from beta to final version (yup, seriously).
In general, I’d recommend you follow my Twitter or Facebook streams, where I often make note of products in testing. Additionally, I also usually offer little snippets into the product testing cycle during my normal posts each week (especially my Monday morning posts). Finally, with the new site, I’m putting up photos ‘In the Queue’ section, which is little snippets of things I’m working with but haven’t yet formulated a full opinion on.