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Garmin Marq series offers stylish performance for those willing to pay for it

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Garmin had been around for 30 years and is celebrating its anniversary with a big announcement: The Marq, a new series of adventure watches designed for consumers who want stylish performance — and are willing to pay for it. The Marq series takes the best features of the company’s existing lineup of smartwatches and bumps it up a notch to create what the company calls the “ultimate timepiece.” Encompassing a variety of outdoor pursuits, the Marq series includes the Marq Aviator, Marq Driver, Marq Captain, Marq Expedition, and Marq Athlete.

All watches in the Marq series are constructed with premium materials and advanced features tailor-made to the activity for which it was designed. Each watch has a lightweight, yet robust titanium casing with a sapphire crystal lens that is stronger than glass. The sapphire layer safeguards the device’s always-on, sunlight readable display. Garmin also added a ceramic bezel inlay to provide extra protection from everyday bumps and scratches. The Marq watches are compatible with Garin’s QuickFit strap system that allows the user to go from brute to beautiful with a simple swap of the bands.

Each Marq watch is equally as feature-packed on the inside as it is on the outside. GPS is included on all the smartwatches in series along with contactless payments via Garmin Pay. There’s room for music storage and a suite of sensors, including an optical heart rate sensor and a wrist-based pulse oximeter, to track the user’s daily activities. Battery life is on par with Garmin’s existing Fenix watches offering up to 12 days of smartwatch usage, 28 hours with GPS and 48 hours in the energy-saving UltraTrac mode.

Each watch in the Marq series is custom-designed for its particular pursuit. The Marq Aviator is rich with aerial-focused features that allow a pilot to access to Nexrad weather information, aviation maps, and airport codes. It ships with a multilink titanium bracelet with security clasp.

The Marq Driver is for the car enthusiast who wants wrist-based access to over 250 of the best race tracks in the world. Users can time cars at each of these tracks and calculate their average speed. It features a breathable titanium metal bracelet that is lined with a soft inner silicone layer.

As its name implies, the Marq Captain is customized for piloting a boat with a regatta timer, coastal charts, and current weather conditions so mariners can decide if they want to spend the day on the water. Woven in southern France, a classic jacquard weave strap offers both salt-water resistance and comfort.

The last two smartwatches in the Marq series are the outdoors adventure-oriented Marq Expedition and performance-focused Marq Athlete. With topo maps, InReach Mini integration and real-time climb information, the Expedition is ideal for backcountry treks that are far off the grid. A vegetable-tanned Italian vacchetta strap is paired with waxed stitching for added protection from moisture and fraying. The Marq Athlete, on the other hand, is all about performance with V02 max, recovery time and other biometrics front and center on the wrist. It offers a simple silicone strap that is lightweight and comfortable in high-sweat activities.

The Marq series of high-performance smartwatches will be available starting in Q2 2019 with prices that range from $1,500 to $2,500. Details are available in the Marq section of Garmin’s website.

Kelly Hodgkins
Kelly's been writing online for ten years, working at Gizmodo, TUAW, and BGR among others. Living near the White Mountains of…
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