Garmin has long been a maker of some very tempting smartwatches, aiming to take the crown from the Apple Watch. The Marq series has always been at the tipppety top of the Garmin range, bringing premium materials and features for a price to match.
The new Garmin Marq Carbon collection brings a new carbon fiber case, and some top-notch features that cost as much as what some might call ‘a proper watch.’ Taking the fight straight to Apple’s door seems to be the name of the game here — given that these watches all work seamlessly with one of the best iPhones.
It costs how much?
First thing to get out of the way, because it is a doozy — the price. All three of the Garmin Marq series are going to start at $2,950. For reference, you could get three Apple Watch Ultras, and you’d still have enough change for a new iPhone SE. And a bag of Hershies kisses. And a six-piece nugget meal. This is ‘posh watch’ money — but Garmin does pack in the features and the premium to really justify that price.
For one, the whole range is made of futuristic carbon fiber. That stuff is sturdy, light, and very, very cool. There’s a reason F1 cars are made out of it, after all. Not just that — Garmin says it is a “uniquely engineered material” in the form of “Fused Carbon Fiber.” The firm goes on to say, “To create the watch body, every single layer of carbon is rotated to a unique angle to increase the strength of the initial block. The block then undergoes a combination of heat and pressure to align with the shape of the watch housing.” It all results in a strong, light watch case, and one that has a “beautiful spiral design pattern.” So we know it will look the part.
The Marq series will come in three different options — the Marq Athlete, the Marq Golfer, and the Marq Commander, each with its own focus. The Marq Athlete, for example, is designed for those who want to track fitness and exercise, with a focus on trail running, swimming, hiking, rowing, indoor climbing, and the like. There are extra premium features for these users as well, like PacePro, Garmin Coach, Daily suggested workout, real-time stamina, and the race widget.
The Marq Golfer is fairly obvious in its focus. If you’ve a thing for golfing, then this is the smartwatch for you. It will recommend club recommendations based on wind, elevation, and swing data. It will show hazards in the way of the shot as well, depending on club choice. Link it with a Garmin Golf membership and you’ll be able to the slope direction of the green on select courses — directly from your watch.
Finally, the Marq commander is for people who think they’re James Bond. It’s got a stealthy design for what Garmin calls ‘tactical operations’. You can even use a mode that you can see with night goggles on. Somehow, this feels like it’s unlikely to be used by actual, real spies, but if you want to feel like a secret agent with a killswitch that wipes the watch in case you get caught by, I dunno, your significant other while you’re on a secret mission to steal cheese from the fridge then it’s going to be right up your alley. Enjoy the cheese, agent.