Garmin has unveiled its second-generation Marq line of watches. An ultra-premium collection, even more so than Garmin’s best watches, such as the flagship Fenix and Epix sports watches, this “luxury” collection of watches is specifically designed with specific sports in mind, with five watches featuring features for athletes. golfers, sailors, aviators and adventurers.
As you can probably tell from the line’s “luxury” price tag, these watches don’t come cheap, starting at $1,900 in the US (opens in new tab)£1,600 in the UK (opens in new tab) and AU$3,250 (opens in new tab)in Australia for the slightly cheaper Athlete model. The watches are built with a Grade5 Titanium case, domed Sapphire lenses, premium straps depending on the model you choose, and feature materials like more titanium, hybrid leather and woven nylon, 16-day battery life, and (a new addition to the lineup) a AMOLED touch screen.
All watches offer wrist-based heart rate, breathing and stress monitoring, advanced sleep information and Garmin’s excellent Body-Battery energy monitoring widget. We should hope so, too: for these prices, it should go out of its way to make you coffee in the morning. Garmin’s new Jet Lag Advisor widget will also debut on Marq watches, helping you minimize the effects of Jet Lag if, say, you’re traveling internationally before a big race.
Garmin says its new Jet Lag Advisor “helps users feel better mentally and physically. Using the user’s sleep history and other metrics, the advisor recommends the amount of light exposure, a sleep schedule, and exercise to minimize the effects of jet lag for the next long-haul single or multi-destination trip.”
Let’s examine each watch in turn:
Analysis: Different but the same
It’s clear that the watches are aimed at big spenders and travelers who want all the data from a smartwatch with the hallmarks of a luxury brand like Patek Phillipe or Omega. The different materials and functions are specially designed for people whose lives revolve around specific sports, hobbies or disciplines. However, beyond the cosmetics, the interior of all the watches is largely the same.
Looking at the spec lists and comparing them to each other, it’s clear that most, if not all, of the Golf is available on the other four watches. The on-course spec list ticks all the golf features on the other four watches. Jet Lag Advisor, the province of the Aviator watch, will also be available on all devices, and we sincerely hope it rolls out to the rest of Garmin’s sports watch lineup, as it sounds like a great feature.
But beyond some highly specialized graphic elements, the differences lie in bezel engravings, strap materials, watch color schemes, and of course, marketing.
This second-generation Marq is a great fitness and wellness watch packed with all the latest Garmin tools, but we can’t imagine the Athlete, for example, being much better than the Forerunner 955 Solar when it comes to tracking. Also missing is the Power Glass solar battery extension technology on Garmin’s much cheaper Enduro and Forerunner watches.
What you’re paying for is the luxury package, a stunning piece of wrist candy that looks like it belongs in a smart suit rather than sportswear.