If you're looking for the best watch for swimming laps, this is a good place to start. There are a lot of brands but not all of them are equal. Learn what to look for and read a few reviews here.
Holding one's breath can be intimidating and very uncomfortable at first. With better understanding and the right technique you can reach two minutes easily. Follow the instructions given in this hub.
Natalie du Toit lost her leg in an accident at 17. She is the first amputee to swim in the Olympics when she qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.