Monday, March 18, 2019

Garmin MARQ is a high-end watch, but will it sell

Garmin has released a new set of watches, the Garmin MARQ series with 5 variants The Series features, the MARQ Aviator, MARQ Driver, MARQ Captain, MARQ Expedition and MARQ Athlete.

Just a glance at the MARQ series, these are not the ordinary Garmin watches you will pick up at your fitness shop.. Where the fenix 5 plus is a reliable, durable, attractive workout tool, it pales in comparison to the MARQ Athlete with its bold colours and distinctive strap.

MARQ Series similar features

Each shares similar features, with smart notifications, built-in music storage, Garmin Pay, daily and activity tracking, as well as an upgraded wrist-based heart rate and pulse ox sensor, delivered via an always-on, sunlight-readable display.

That display is made of ultra-hard sapphire crystal, encased in a titanium case. The bezel inlay is ceramic.

Garmin promises 12 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, 28 hours when using GPS and 48 hours in a more battery-saving UltraTrac GPS mode.

The New MARQ series also features a new charging cable, really Garmin! a new charging standard.

Finally, Garmin has switched to Sony GPS chipsets and the storage has been bumped from 8-16GB found on other Garmin devices to 32GB. This will mean more storage for music and other data.

Garmin MARQ Series breakdown

Below is a breakdown of the 5 watches, yes the MARQ series has 5 watches in the range. If you want a really detailed breakdown then check out DCR detailed look at the MARQ series

The MARQ Aviator aligns closely with the D2 and has aviation maps, plus “Nexrad Weather Radar, airport information and Garmin cockpit integration.”Garmin MARQ aviator

The MARQ Driver does not really align with an existing Garmin range. The Driver sports a titanium body and silicone band come loaded with maps for 250 famous race tracks. It has “auto lap splits, live delta time and a track timer.” The casing is treated with a carbon grey DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating to stand up to daily abuse.Garmin MARQ driver

The MARQ Captain aligns closely with the Quatix. It is a nautical watch, has a regatta timer bezel, shows wind speed, tide and temperature. It also comes with a port conditions watch face, can show coastal charts and can aid in tack assist.Garmin MARQ Captain

The MARQ Expedition connects with Garmin’s separately sold satellite communicator, InReach Mini, plus “TOPO mapping, a built-in altimeter, barometer and compass, plus ClimbPro, which provides real-time information on current and upcoming climbs such as gradient, distance and elevation gain.” The strap is crafted from vegetable tanned, debossed Italian vacchetta leather. The stitching is wax sealed to protect the thread from moisture and preventing fraying over time.Garmin MARQ Expedition

The MARQ Athlete is the closest to Garmin’s Fenix 5 Plus Series, with VO2 Max readouts and recovery on the watch face, “running dynamics,” and pulse oximetry readings. The hybrid titanium and silicone strap will make for a lightweight, durable, and comfortable everyday wear.Garmin MARQ athlete

Garmin MARQ Pricing and availability

Garmin has priced the MARQ Series range

  • MARQ Driver – $2,500
  • MARQ Aviator – $1,950
  • MARQ Captain – $1,850
  • MARQ Expedition – $1,750
  • MARQ Athlete – $1,500

The MARQ series will be available between now and the end of April. You can find out more on the Garmin website.

MUST READ  Best Garmin Fenix 5 Plus watch faces from Connect IQ 2018

Garmin MARQ first impressions

Did there need to be five in the series? How do you choose which luxury MARQ smartwatch to get? The answer right now is not sure as I have not seen them yet, but the first reaction is these won’t do well.

Cast your mind back to when Apple tried it with the gold Apple Watch watch edition and then the carminic and both got ditched.

DCR over at his blog makes a reference that tech is moving on so fast and people drop 1k on a phone, but most do that over a contract and not an upfront investment. I just can’t see people dropping this kind of money on a fitness watch, when you can get similar features in a Fenix 5 Plus for a hell of a lot less.

I also like you don’t think Garmin get the high-end watch Market. People pay for a Breitling (as I did) for the design and craftsmanship. A high-end watch like a Tag or Breitling will also hold its value or in some cases increase, but I can’t see a Garmin doing that.

Then we look at the screen 240×240 pixels in a watch range of this price, come on Garmin what were you thinking? Granted, Garmin needed to balance battery life screen quality, but 240×240 is a total joke.

Is this the Garmin Fenix 6?

Very quickly the MARQ is not the Garmin Fenix 6, this will likely land in 2020 at CES

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive the latest on new Garmin MARQ Series. If you have a question or comment then leave it below.


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Jon Ratcliffe
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles and I like combining this with fitness.My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1

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