Garmin has unveiled its second-generation Marq watch lineup. An ultra-premium collection, even more so than the finest Garmin watches such as its high-end Fenix and Epix sports watches, this ‘luxury’ watch collection is tailor-made for specific sports in mind, with five watches with resources for athletes, golfers, sailors, aviators and adventurers.
As you can tell from the ‘luxury’ price of the line, these watches are not cheap, starting at $1,900 in the US (opens in new tab), £1,600 in the UK (opens in new tab) and $3,250 (opens in new tab)in Australia for the slightly cheaper Athlete model. The watches are made with a Titanium Grade5 case, domed sapphire glass lenses, premium straps depending on the model chosen containing materials such as more titanium, hybrid leather and woven nylon, a battery life of 16 days and (a new addition to the lineup) an AMOLED touchscreen.
All watches offer wrist-based heart rate, breathing and stress monitoring, advanced sleep insights and Garmin’s excellent Body-Battery energy monitoring widget. We should hope so: for these prices, you should do everything but make coffee in the morning. Garmin’s new Jet Lag Advisor widget will also roll out to Marq watches, which helps minimize the effects of Jet Lag if, say, you’re traveling internationally before a big race.
Garmin says its new Jet Lag Adviser “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 your next single- or multi-destination long-distance trip.
Let’s examine each watch in turn:
Analysis: Different but the same
Of course, the watches are aimed at big spenders and frequent travelers who want all the data of a smartwatch with the trappings of a luxury brand like Patek Phillipe or Omega. The different materials and functionality are tailor-made for people whose lives revolve around specific sports, hobbies or disciplines. However, aside from the cosmetics, the innards of all watches are basically the same.
Looking at the spec lists and comparing them, it’s clear that most, if not all, of the golf stuff is available on the other four watches. The on-site spec list shows 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 this will be rolled out to the rest of Garmin’s sports watch lineup, as this sounds like a great feature.
But aside from a few extremely specialized widgets, the differences are in the bezel engravings, band materials, watch color schemes, and of course marketing.
This second-gen Marq is an excellent fitness and wellness watch packed with all of Garmin’s latest tools, but we can’t imagine that the Athlete, for example, is much better than the Forerunner 955 Solar when it comes to tracking. Also missing is the Solar Power Glass battery extension technology on Garmin’s much cheaper Enduro and Forerunner watches.
What you’re paying for is the deluxe package, an eye-catching piece of wrist candy that looks like it belongs in a smart suit rather than sportswear.