Do you think the best Garmin watches are too cheap? Do you like spending your hard-earned money on luxury smartwatches? Do you find the likes of the Apple Watch Ultra and TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 too pedestrian? I have good news for you: Garmin has just launched the second generation of its luxury MARQ smartwatches, and the most expensive model, the MARQ Aviator (Gen 2), retails for $2,400/£2,100/AU$4,100. That's three times as much as the Apple Watch Ultra costs in the US – hence why I don't think I'll be buying it anytime soon.
The truth is that Garmin aren't manufacturing MARQ watches for us; they are doing it for themselves. MARQ watches are a show of force; to show the world that Garmin are capable of producing high-end smartwatches. Who needs a $2,000 running watch (MARQ Athlete)? Do you need an even more premium adventure watch than the Garmin Epix Gen 2, that's already pretty expensive (MARQ Explorer)?
In both cases, the answer is no. While many of us struggle to justify the price of the otherwise amazing Garmin Enduro 2, MARQ smartwatches cost twice as much. Therefore, Garmin isn't worried about you or me not getting them; they want to see the MARQ Aviator (Gen 2) on the wrists of actual commercial pilots who earn $100k a year – surely they can afford a $2,4k smartwatch!
Garmin MARQ (Gen 2) – Specs and availability
For the astronomical price, the watches sport a Grade-5 titanium watch case, Grade-5 titanium/ceramic bezel, and a 1.2″ (30.4 mm) AMOLED touchscreen display (390 x 390-pixel resolution) with a 'domed' sapphire lens. There are five models to choose from: MARQ Athlete, MARQ Adventurer, MARQ Golfer, MARQ Captain, and MARQ Aviator, each offering unique features for their wearers.
For example, you can use the top-of-the-range MARQ Aviator to navigate to a location or waypoint in the worldwide aeronautical database or choose the 'Nearest' function to activate a path to a nearby airport. With aviation alerts, pilots can set a minimum crosswind and flight conditions they're comfortable with and be notified when it's a good time to go flying.
All watches have a suite of health and wellness features, including wrist-based heart rate tracking, respiration and stress monitoring, advanced sleep insights, Body-Battery energy monitoring and more. Another feature coming soon is the new Jet Lag Adviser, which helps you 'feel your best mentally and physically' by assessing your sleep history and other metrics and recommending the amount of light exposure, a sleep schedule and exercise to minimise the effects of jet lag.
The feature will suggest what to do and at what time to quickly adjust to the new time zone and even push notifications to the wrist, giving tips and reminders for things like caffeine intake, nutrition and more. Before departure, you can enter travel details in the Garmin Connect app and track how your body's internal clock is adjusting to the new destination.
New to all MARQ watches, the collection includes support for multi-band GNSS, multi-frequency GPS (L1 + L5) and Garmin SatIQ technology, which balances positioning accuracy while optimising battery life. As for battery life, the new MARQ watch range is said to last for up to 16 days in smartwatch mode (GPS turned off; 6 days always-on screen activated) and up to 21 days in battery saver mode. GPS-only battery life is up to 42 hours (30 hours with always-on screen activated).
Garmin says the new MARQ range is 'expected to be available in October 2022', although you can already check them out at Garmin US, Garmin UK and Garmin AU. Prices from $1,900/£1,600/AU$3,250 (MARQ Athlete (Gen 2) model). Check out our Garmin MARQ Athlete review and Garmin MARQ Golfer review.