industry innovation

Garmin’s new Luxury Smart Watches are here – with unique “atmospheres”


EXPERIENCE MAKES A FORTUNE: Garmin has been around for a long time, since 1989 to be exact, and they can pride themselves in being a tech multinational that has stretched into many different areas over the years; all the way from GPS to automotive technology. . . but it’s 2019 and they’re still here with new releases that are said to take the industry standard to another level. This time, with the new Marq range of five unique smart watches that are geared towards the more luxurious. In all fairness, it should be said that they have struck a very nice balance with this range and we could only expect other players to be on guard  – Apple Watch is the key benchmark in this case. Tick, tock. Is Father Time ready for a successor? 

Why History Matters . . .

In the Apple Watch Series 4, we know that the Hèrmes comes in at 1.549 euros, a watch that combines the leathery, slick design with the “smart” in its functionality. This price is virtually only the starting price for Garmin’s new range of connected watches. To find a great detailed look into the price range, The Verge has a great summary (link at the bottom). What’s that special about Garmin’s novelty range? If you only knew the history, you’d perhaps take a guess that there is some GPS-infused technology built into it. You’re absolutely right in that case. It should be noted that, while you may think that specialists in GPS and accomplished sports watches usually offer rather expensive models, that’s where you’re wrong. Their quality and accuracy are said to be unanimously liked among fans of the brand. Quality is matched with the price; in other words, you get what you pay for at Garmin. With this new range of five models clearly luxury-oriented, the brand takes all that fans of expensive chronographs appreciate. We thus find the materials usually used in luxury watchmaking dedicated to motorsports, such as the automobile, aviation or even boating. Thus, the 46mm-wide grade 2 titanium case. To avoid scratches, you have the sapphire crystal-covered screen but all the models also have a digital anti-glare screen permanently on.

Choose your atmosphere: Aviation, automotive, boating, sport, outdoor

Remember earlier when we wrote about remembering the history of Garmin? Well, prior to watch-making, as a reminder, Garmin built its reputation as a supplier of GPS navigation equipment in the field of boating and aviation. These highly appreciated and reliable professional materials are a guarantee of quality. This is how the brand takes up its favourite five areas of activity for each of the models in this range called Marq.
We find the Marq Aviator with its articulated titanium bracelet inspired by the world of aviation. In addition to the design of its dial embodying the idea of a navigation instrument, it offers features specific to aviation such as maps with airport details. It also displays Nexrad weather radar data and as such it has an ‘Aviator-look’, that would make anyone want to star in a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Not your style? For racing enthusiasts, the Marq Driver integrates 250 race circuits. Literally. The exterior is coated with amorphous carbon. It incorporates an automatic circuit chronometer. For the sailors among us, Marq Captain is adorned with a nylon woven bracelet in the South of France. Each bracelet is unique and combines three shades of blue. The dial displays real-time wind speed, temperature, and tide information at the home port. All aboard? For wealthy adventurers, the Marq Expedition is inspired by the shipping instruments of yesteryear. It incorporates a compass, an analog style barometer and a tanned Italian leather cowhide strap. It displays the cartography of Europe and it is compatible with the inReach Mini1 satellite communication device. This video explains it nicely, although with older types.
Finally, for the more athletic, Marq Athlete combines the luxury with one of the most high-end sports models of the brand. Under the dial of all these models, we find the features of high-end sports watches, including the GPS / Glonass / Galileo chip. The watch is also full of sensors including a wrist heart rate sensor known for its accuracy. What’s interesting about it is that this optical measurement system also records the rate of oxygenation of the blood. An NFC chip to make contactless payment via Garmin Pay is also present. On the smartwatch side, the watches display mobile notifications and many apps are available in the inbuilt, special Garmin library. They can be loaded from the dedicated application via the associated smartphone. As this watch is not strictly speaking a smartwatch like the Apple Watch or the models animated by Wear OS, its autonomy is much better. According to Garmin, models can stay powered for 12 days. A longevity that goes down to 28 hours if the GPS is operated continuously. In navigation mode (UltraTrac), the range then changes to 48 hours. Who would we deem this range suitable to? These interesting atmospheres would most likely cater to a male audience and they range from 1,500 to 2,500 euros (see The Verge rundown on the prices). These watches have, however yet to be marketed for full effect. Watch enthusiasts definitely have something to look forward to. 

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