Garmin Marq Athlete review. Garmin marq athlete performance edition

Garmin Marq Athlete review

The score we’ve given the Marq Athlete doesn’t reflect how it performs as a watch. It does everything you’d expect it to do well and it does look great. The problem is that it feels hard to justify paying more than the price of Garmin’s already-expensive Fenix 5 series model, just because it has a more unique design. That screen is a bit of deal breaker when Garmin is billing this as a luxury watch, but if it can find way to match up the Marq with a more impressive screen, it would make a huge difference.

  • Lovely design
  • Packed with features
  • storage for music/apps
  • Best of what Garmin watches can offer
  • That screen just doesn’t feel luxury
  • Some battery sapping features
  • unique features on other Marq watches
  • That price

The Garmin Marq is the the company’s most interesting watch series in recent years, yet there are no groundbreaking features to laud.

Instead, the Marq represents a rather ambitious move by Garmin to break into the luxury watch market, putting itself alongside the Tag Heuers and Breitlings of this world. Garmin has sort-of dabbled in, or at least explored, making more stylish watches before. The Fenix Chronos was a more luxurious take on its outdoor watch, which used high-grade materials and had a high-end price tag.

With the Marq though, things are different. Garmin has built five different versions of what it calls its ‘modern tool watch’ which all encompass high-grade watch materials and house the best of the company’s sports and smartwatch features.

for the various Marq watches range from to. The Fenix 5X Plus, Garmin’s most expensive Fenix in comparison, costs. so it’s a significant jump up in price.

We’ve been living with the Marq Athlete, the more running-focused Marq model, to find out if Garmin can justify the price of this souped-up Fenix. Here’s our full verdict.

Garmin Marq Athlete: Design

Design is an important aspect of any smartwatch or sports watch we get our hands on, but especially so with the Marq. After all, Garmin wants you to feel like you have an exceptional watch that people will cast an envious eye over.

The Marq comes in five watch models, all based on the five main divisions at the company. There’s the Aviator, Driver, Captain, Expedition and lastly the Athlete – the one we’re testing here. Garmin told us it decided not to collaborate with watchmakers to build the Marq watches, so how has it fared going it alone? We’d say pretty well on the whole.

With the Athlete you’re getting 46mm-sized watch with a titanium casing and bezel, a dome sapphire crystal lens and 22mm interchangeable straps. Those are the same kind of materials you’ll find on the Fenix 5X Plus with a casing that’s 1mm bigger than the standard Fenix 5 Plus. There are also five metallic physical buttons dotted around the watch case, with a nice yellow accent on the start button.

The Athlete’s unique design feature (which you won’t find on other Garmin and Marq watches) is the big bezel that has the added function of indicating your VO2 Max and recovery. It’s a nice addition, although it only works when paired with analogue watch faces. It makes sense, after all it has the feel of a sporty analogue watch. But if you have a preference for those digital watch faces, then the extra bezel functionality is redundant.

So that’s what it looks like, but was it actually like to wear day-to-day? We actually enjoyed wearing it a lot. Its Fenix-like stature didn’t look too bulky or weigh heavy on our skinny wrists, and we had plenty of compliments about this attractive-looking sports watch. But (it’s a big but), there is one thing that breaks the illusion that this is a really luxurious watch – the screen.

It’s the very same 1.2-inch, 240 x 240 resolution transflective display you’ll find on the Fenix 5X Plus. So you can expect the same in the way of quality and visibility. This screen technology helps preserve battery life so you’re not charging as regularly as an Apple Watch or one of Google’s Wear smartwatches. But when you look down at it, you can’t help thinking you’re just wearing a slightly fancier Fenix. It’s not a poor quality screen by any stretch of the imagination, and you do have the option to crank up the brightness, but it’s not something you’d expect to find on a watch that costs over.

It’s a shame really, because everything else about this watch screams quality. It’s just let down by a screen that doesn’t really fit the bill for us. Garmin hasn’t scrimped on the materials used to construct this watch and other Marq models. Is the Marq a watch that feels comparable to a Breitling or a Tag? In many ways, but not when it comes to the screen.

Garmin Marq Athlete: Sports tracking

The Marq sits at the very top of Garmin’s wearable range, so that means all the good stuff you’ll find on the watches below it can be found here and more. You can track sports activities like running, cycling, golf, skiing and swimming. There’s also all-day activity tracking on board, including sleep monitoring and stress tracking.

There are the same outdoor mapping and navigation features, gym modes, tactical features and safety and tracking support as the Fenix as well. You’re also getting largely the same training insights and analysis features. All of the data and tinkering with settings you can’t already do on the watch is done inside the very same Garmin Connect app that Fenix and Forerunner watches use. There’s nothing new to report in terms of that experience.

But it takes a bit of time to get used to what everything does. There are shortcut buttons to push you into all of the many menus and settings, and if you haven’t used one of Garmin’s more advanced watches before, it might feel overwhelming to take everything in.

On top of those core features, there are extras that are only available on each Marq model. So, sailing-centric features will not be available on the Marq Driver, for instance, while the Captain is able to play nice with systems built into sailing boats. Key data such as current wind speed, temperature and tide information can all be displayed in real time on the watch.

For other models, like the Marq Expedition, you’ll get TOPO mapping and extra compatibility with satellite communicators to make it a better fit for adventurers. The Marq Driver pre-loads famous race tracks and lets drivers keep track of lap times. For the Athlete though, it seems a bit more threadbare and actually, design aside, it lacks those really big software extras. These Marq model-centric features aren’t going to be massively useful to the everyday watch-wearer, but if you’re a sailor, driver or serious adventurer, you might have more reason to splash out to get them.

In typical Garmin fashion, the sports you can track are seemingly endless and we’ve managed to test a bunch to see just what they’re like.


Running compared: Marq Athlete (left) and Forerunner 945 (centre)

First up is running. Indoor and outdoor running modes are supported while advanced running metrics can be unlocked with an additional accessory, whether that’s Garmin’s own Running Dynamics Pod or something like Stryd.

We logged training runs, treadmill runs and races, and we were very happy with the Athlete’s accuracy. It’s also a nice watch to run with – not too heavy or bulky –and there’s all the satellite support you could want. The screen is a good size for digesting all that data too.

Above is a screenshot sample of a run compared with the Forerunner 935. There are some differences in the data, most notably in calories burned and elevation gain. But our running experience with the Marq was in line with what you get from its Forerunner watches. It’s going to satisfy every runner, from the most basic to the most data-hungry.

Running is where we also focused our heart rate testing, and we found Garmin’s Elevate heart rate sensor technology to be comparable to the company’s other watches. For most activities, it’s going to be fine, but for the best accuracy we’d still suggest grabbing a heart rate monitor chest strap.

Trail running

We also put the Marq to the trail running test and it was more of the same. As with the Fenix, you get that extra layer of additional outdoor data like elevation and temperature data. The main things we wanted to know were if the more luxurious design was able to withstand the tougher terrain and if the screen offered good visibility. Thankfully it passed those two tests and we’d confidently hit the trails again in the safe knowledge that this watch can withstand a few knocks.


Hiking compared: Marq Athlete (left) and Forerunner 945 (right)

Next, we slowed things down for a big long hike. We were a little less concerned about pace and more interested to see if the Athlete could deliver reliable elevation and temperature data.

We took it hiking alongside the Forerunner 945, which shares similar features to the Athlete, and we were happy to see that elevation, distance and temperature information along with mapping data was near identical. The Athlete posted a slightly different elevation data, but not enough to concern us.


Last up was swimming. We’ve generally had a very good experience swimming with Garmin watches in the past and it’s more of the same with the Marq. You’ve got a nice big screen that offers decent visibility underwater, along with those nice big, tactile physical buttons to switch data screens.

The Athlete tracks swimming in the pool, open water swimming and even swimruns, but our testing focused on swimming indoors. Compared to the Coros Vertix watch and the Form Smart swimming goggles, the Athlete had no problem tracking lengths and giving us that extra hit of swim metrics in the Connect app.

Garmin Marq Athlete: Smartwatch features

Garmin’s smartwatch powers continue to improve over time and you’re getting the best of what Garmin has to offer with the Athlete. It’s still compatible with iOS and Android phones offering Bluetooth, ANT and Wi-Fi connectivity. So you have the ability to connect external devices like heart rate monitors and Garmin’s Running Dynamics Pod for that additional hit of advanced running metrics.

There’s Smart notification support, Garmin Pay for contactless payments and on-board music storage – including the ability to store offline playlists from music streaming services like Spotify. The 32GB onboard storage is double the amount you get on the Fenix 5 Plus series, giving you space for around 1,000 more tracks. One thing you do not get is any LTE connectivity, despite Garmin rolling out the feature earlier this year on the Vivoactive 3 Connected by Verizon.

As a smartwatch, the Marq Athlete performs really well. The same improvements Garmin made to the UI on its newest Forerunner watches roll out here too to make screens and widgets easier to read. There’s a good amount of room to read a notification, see a calendar appointment and view weather forecasts. Garmin Pay was nice and easy to set up and like payment support on rival watches, is a feature we really enjoy using. There’s nothing new to report in terms of music features; it’s a very similar experience to what we’ve found on Garmin’s other music-supporting watches.

You of course have the added ability to download apps, widgets, data fields and additional watch faces from Garmin’s Connect IQ app store. Garmin has recently given its storefront a much needed revamp and now has its own standalone smartphone app. Because the Marq at its heart is a lot like the Fenix, you’ll find a decent number of apps, widgets etc will work on the pricier sports watch too.

Garmin Marq Athlete: Battery life

The Marq Athlete tends to match the Fenix 5 Plus for battery life. You can expect up to 12 days in smartwatch mode, up to 28 hours in GPS mode (10 more hours than the Fenix), up to 9 hours with GPS and music streaming in use and it matches the Fenix for offering up to 48 hours in UltraTrac mode.

In our time with it, that pretty much seems to be on the money, but there are some features that we found can really hammer that battery life in a pretty detrimental way. The SpO2 sensor for instance, which you are warned will drain battery life, really does suck power. It’s been the main culprit on many occasions we’ve noticed we’re running low on battery. And much like we found on the Forerunner 245 Music, music can also hammer the battery life.

If you’re using the core sports tracking features, you’re going to get that battery performance from the Marq. Just be wary that some features like the ones we mentioned can have an impact.

(Some of the testing for this review was carried out at this year’s Love Trails Festival)

Garmin MARQ Athlete Smartwatch In-Depth Review

It’s been just over a year since Garmin unveiled their MARQ collection and people still cannot stop talking about it! Today, we finally wanted to take a look at the Garmin MARQ Athlete smartwatch in more detail and give you a run-down of exactly why this high-end wearable is worthy of its £1,399 price tag.

The Garmin MARQ smartwatch collection currently comprises of six different designs each targeting their own wearer. Just as its name suggests, the Garmin MARQ Athlete is specifically designed for folk constantly working to beat their own high score and others simply inspired by those that do. There truly is no modern smartwatch like it to offer such a vast range of fitness features and it is the only tool watch we know of that shows recovery time and VO2 max scales on the bezel, so you always have an easy-to-reach snapshot of your performance and progress. Let’s take a look at this almighty fitness smartwatch in more detail…

garmin, marq, athlete, review


One thing we can all agree on is that a fitness smartwatch must quickly and easily display advanced training metrics so you can monitor key aspects of your running and fitness progress and get a better look at your current performance level. The Garmin MARQ Athlete certainly doesn’t let us down in this area with metrics such as running dynamics and heat and altitude-adjusted VO2 max so you can see your current fitness level and track changes over time. The race time predicator is also a real game changer for anyone training for a big-time run while the performance condition feature gives you a real-time assessment of your current ability to perform.

With bright, coloured maps on the wrist, the turn-by-turn navigation allows you to set a route to run or cycle and follow it effortlessly with indicators that let you know exactly where to turn next while the popularity routing feature finds you all the best routes to choose from wherever you choose to train. For optimal performance, the Garmin MARQ Athlete also comes with a hydration tracker where you can log your daily water intake and a respiration tracker which constantly monitors your breathing throughout the day including your breathing during sleep, breathwork and yoga activities.

garmin, marq, athlete, review

The Garmin MARQ Athlete is one of the first to feature the new PacePro function, something that many runners will benefit from. The remarkable technology allows users to enter custom start and finish points and a target competition times. This means that the watch will tell you exactly how fast you should be aiming to run, cycle, swim etc to complete each mile and ultimately reach your goal. The Pace Pro feature even takes into account hills and slopes! Similarly, the ClimbPro ascent planner gives you real-time information on your current and upcoming climbs, including gradient, distance and elevation gain. As expected, the fitness smartwatch also boasts a wrist based heart rate monitor – one that even works underwater, Stress Score feature and a PulseOx monitor for awareness of how well your body’s oxygen levels are adjusting to the thinner air at higher altitudes.


One of the biggest selling points of the Garmin MARQ collection is its use of luxury materials and the Garmin MARQ Athlete is no exception. The 46mm case is engineered from lightweight titanium and fitted with a brushed DLC bezel decorated with VO2 max and recovery time markers. The case is specifically designed to sit closely to the wrist to get the most accurate sensor readings while the sporty black rubber strap ensures an unwavering FOCUS on performance. The design also promises a 100 metre water resistant rating and features domed sapphire crystal glass to protect the touchscreen display.

garmin, marq, athlete, review


Whether you are someone who finds themselves travelling and training in new places all the time or someone who prefers to workout across more difficult terrain, the Garmin MARQ Athlete has you covered with some fantastic location features to keep you a safe route from home. With access to multiple global navigation satellite systems including GPS, GLONASS and Galileo you can venture of in more difficult environments than just relying on GPS alone. The handy ABC sensors also help you navigate your route with an altimeter for elevation data, barometer to monitor weather and 3-axis electronic compass for direction.

If you don’t want to limit your workouts to the gym, road or track, you’ll be pleased to know the Garmin MARQ Athlete provides access to over 2,000 worldwide ski resorts with preloaded TopoActive Europe maps, run names and difficulty ratings all displayed. For days off, choose from one of the 41,000 golf courses around the world with full-colour course view maps, button targeting and PlaysLike Distance feature which shows you elevation changes on the course by showing the adjusted distance to the green.

garmin, marq, athlete, review


With up to 12 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, the Garmin MARQ Athlete has one of the better battery levels we have seen in a fitness smartwatch. Even in GPS mode, the battery promises up to 28 hours of power, 48 hours in UltraTrac mode and 9 hours with GPS and music. During times when battery life becomes essential, the Power Manager function will come in use. This handy feature not only allows you to choose whether you want to display your battery power in percentage or time, but it will offer suggestions to save your battery such as turning off certain apps like music or maps.


For rest days, the Garmin MARQ Athlete remains your right-hand man with incredible Smart notifications to keep you in touch with friends and family. Receive emails, texts, and alerts right on your watch when you pair it with a compatible Android or iOS smartphone. The smartwatch also comes equipped with the Garmin Pay contactless payment solution so you can breeze through checkout lines and pay for your shopping with a simple swipe of the wrist. Lastly, the fitness tracker comes with storage for all your favourite music including access streaming apps like Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music as well as storage for up to 2,000 songs.

garmin, marq, athlete, review

When Garmin said they wanted to create a special collection of watches for their 30 th birthday, they certainly did it with the Garmin MARQ collection. It’s luxurious design and remarkable sports tracking features makes the Garmin MARQ Athlete on of our favourites and is the ultimate high-end wearable for any fitness fanatic. You can shop the entire Garmin MARQ smartwatch collection at Jura Watches with free next day delivery and interest free finance available.

Garmin MARQ Performance Edition

garmin, marq, athlete, review

Garmin renueva su colección MARQ Collection con su nueva y exclusiva línea MARQ Performance Edition. Una nueva colección compuesta por cuatro modelos exclusivos; MARQ Adventurer, MARQ Athlete, MARQ Driver y MARQ Aviator. Cuatro piezas vanguardistas fabricadas con materiales selectos y detalles únicos.

Garmin MARQ Performance Edition

La gama MARQ Performance Edition ofrece elegantes relojes con prestaciones inteligentes de primera para llevar todas tus pasiones a otro nivel. Ya seas deportista, aventurero, amante de los coches o incluso de la aviación, Garmin ha pensado en ti.

Podrás recibir cualquier tipo de notificación; e-mails, llamadas y mensajes de texto, así como diferentes métricas de seguimiento del bienestar y la actividad. Y para completar su empleo diario, un sistema de almacenamiento de música y de pago contactless Garmin Pay.

Estos nuevos relojes además de contar con distinguidas funciones, también puedes adquirirlos junto a diferentes accesorios como una distinguida correa de silicona Quickfit para adaptarse fácilmente a cualquier situación. Sin sacrificar tu estilo.

“Nuestra misión es ofrecer productos superiores que ayuden a nuestros clientes a desarrollar sus pasiones, alcanzar sus objetivos sacando el máximo rendimiento a todas las actividades y superarse día a día. En este sentido, cada uno de los relojes de la edición MARQ Performance está inspirado en los estilos de vida más exigentes para que nuestros consumidores puedan disfrutar y llevar sus pasiones al siguiente nivel, sin prescindir de estilo y sofisticación”. Explica Salvador Alcover, Director General de Garmin Iberia.

Diseño y calidad

Como anunciamos al principio los materiales empleados para su fabricación son de gran calidad. Fueron seleccionados meticulosamente para ofrecer el mejor rendimiento y durabilidad posible ante cualquier tipo de entorno.

Los cuatro modelos fueron fabricados a partir de titanio, uno de los metales más ligeros que disponemos, y de cristal de zafiro, pensando en los arañazos. Y para distinguirlos, cada uno de ellos lleva un bisel personalizado de acuerdo a sus prestaciones.

MARQ Athlete Performance Edition

Para que nos vamos a engañar. Este es el que más nos interesa a nosotros. El gran aliado de deportistas y atletas que tengan un poder adquisitivo suficiente para poder disfrutar al máximo de sus deportes favoritos siempre con estilo.

Inspirado en los atletas que exigen lo mejor de sí mismos, MARQ Athlete Performance ofrece distinguidas funciones deportivas e inteligentes. Permite conocer el tiempo de recuperación y VO2 máximo, así como todos los datos que los deportistas necesitan para poder analizar su rendimiento y su progreso. Además, este nuevo modelo añade una banda de pecho HRM Pro /strong> para mejorar la calidad y aumentar las métricas disponibles. Podrás gracias a la banda podrás conocer diferentes métricas de biometría y dinámica; cadencia, tiempo de contacto, equilibrio y longitud de zancada en todo momento. Es decir, toda la información que necesitas.

Gracias a su elegante diseño, este reloj puede usarse tanto para correr como asistir a una reunión de trabajo sin perder el estilo en ningún momento.

Especificaciones técnicas que lo convierten en un dispositivo super versátil

  • Material del bisel: Bisel de 46 mm de titanio con acabado cerámico cepillado
  • Cristal: Cristal de zafiro
  • Brazalete: Correa de silicona con mecanismo Quickfit (correas intercambiables) de 22mm
  • Peso: 95g
  • Batería: 12 días (smartwatch) 28h (modo GPS sin música) 9h (GPS con música) y UltraTrac hasta48h
  • Estanqueidad: 10 ATM

MARQ Adventurer Performance Edition

Otra propuesta que seguro que a muchos de nosotros también nos puede inspirar. El MARQ Adventurer es ese reloj pensado para exploradores. Para los más aventureros y amantes de las actividades outdoor.

Este reloj dispone de las prestaciones y funciones necesarias para llevar a cabo cualquier actividad al aire libre que te guste.

Mapas topográficos, modo expedición, altímetro, barómetro, brújula, pulsioxímetro, entre otras. No obstante, incorpora como novedad un sensor externo tempe que se conecta de forma inalámbrica al reloj para ver datos de temperatura ambiente en tiempo real mientras el usuario se encuentra en plena aventura.

Especificaciones técnicas que lo convierten en un dispositivo super versátil

  • Material del bisel: Bisel de 46 mm de titanio con acabado cerámico cepillado
  • Cristal: Cristal de zafiro
  • Brazalete: Correa de silicona con mecanismo Quickfit (correas intercambiables) de 22mm
  • Peso: 95g
  • Batería: 12 días (smartwatch) 28h (modo GPS sin música) 9h (GPS con música) y UltraTrac hasta48h
  • Estanqueidad: 10 ATM

MARQ Driver Performance Edition

Muchos de nosotros seguramente no seamos grandes expertos en el mundo de la automoción … ¿o si? Para ellos Garmin ha creado este MARQ Driver Performance Edition que dispone de más de 250 circuitos de carreras de todo el mundo.

Podrás conocer toda la información de la carrera (vuelta más rápida, vueltas totales, velocidad máxima, etc.) en cualquier momento. Y, además, gracias a la aplicación que calcula el delta del tiempo en vivo, podrás comprar cada vuelta con la más veloz.

Su función Pit Wall Virtual te permitirá recibir indicaciones de audio en cada vuelta y resumen de la competición

Especificaciones técnicas que lo convierten en un dispositivo super versátil

  • Material del bisel: Bisel de 46 mm de titanio con acabado cerámico cepillado
  • Cristal: Cristal de zafiro
  • Brazalete: Correa de silicona con mecanismo Quickfit (correas intercambiables) de 22mm
  • Peso: 95g
  • Batería: 12 dias (smartwatch) 28h (modo GPS sin música) 9h (GPS con música) y UltraTrac hasta48h
  • Estanqueidad: 10 ATM

MARQ Aviator Performance Edition

Este es el reloj más sofisticado y moderno que te guiará en todo momento. Vayas donde vayas. Sus funciones inteligentes, BBDD global de aeropuertos y navegación de emergencia de rápido acceso te lo pondrán fácil.

También dispone de un radar meteorológico Nexrad y una conexión directa con datos de aviación de Garmin que te mantendrán siempre al mando en todo momento.

También dispone de un indicador de situación horizontal (HSI) que permite visualizar el rumbo e indicar los puntos de desviación y dirección en brújula de 360º. La fiabilidad de sus prestaciones se acompaña de un diseño sofisticado y moderno.

Especificaciones técnicas que lo convierten en un dispositivo super versátil

  • Material del bisel: Bisel de 46 mm de titanio con acabado cerámico cepillado
  • Cristal: Cristal de zafiro
  • Brazalete: Correa de silicona con mecanismo Quickfit (correas intercambiables) de 22mm
  • Peso: 95g
  • Batería: 12 dias (smartwatch) 28h (modo GPS sin música) 9h (GPS con música) y UltraTrac hasta48h
  • Estanqueidad: 10 ATM

Precios de la nueva gama de relojes MARQ

  • Athlete Performance Edition paquete HRM Pro: 1.700,00 euros (IVA incluido)
  • Adventurer Performance Edition paquete tempe: 1.600,00 euros (IVA incluido)
  • Driver Performance Edition: 2.100,00 euros (IVA incluido)
  • Aviator Performance Edition: 1.600,00 euros (IVA incluido)

Para más información sobre estos relojes, visita la web de

Garmin MARQ review

While the MARQ athlete sports all the features that make Garmin watches the most comprehensive fitness tracking devices out there, its large price tag is. quite frankly. madness. There’s no denying that this is a luxurious watch packing some damn right gorgeous, high-quality materials, but we just don’t think that’s enough to justify its price. Especially since Garmin’s Fenix 6 offers pretty much the same features for almost a third of the cost.

  • Some of the best fitness-tracking tech out there
  • Luxurious
  • Extremely well made
  • No expense spared
  • – Eye-wateringly expensive
  • – Disappointing screen for a dress watch
  • – Software doesn’t quite match the design

Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

All the best features, news, tips and great deals to help you live a better life through technology

Thank you for signing up to T3. You will receive a verification email shortly.

There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.

By submitting your information you agree to the Terms Conditions and Privacy Policy and are aged 16 or over.

Garmin’s MARQ range of smartwatches is a special collection of five devices with each model focusing on a specific activity. Consisting of Driver, Aviator, Captain, Expedition and Athlete (which we’re reviewing now), the collection boasts Garmin’s best-in-class smartwatch features such as GPS, music storage, activity tracking, Smart notifications and Garmin Pay support.

These watches are made unique in that each device is crafted from titanium alongside a sapphire crystal screen to deliver a super-premium, luxury feel for users.

Is it one of the best smartwatches and is it good enough to take on the best running watches? Read our Garmin MARQ review to find out…

Garmin Marq Athlete Review: Price And Availability

The MARQ Athlete smartwatch launched in the UK on 13 March 2019 and is still available to buy at Garmin for a whopping RRP of £1,399/1,399. Gulp.

The watch is available in just one colourway – a black and silver titanium design with subtle yellow accents for an athletic touch.

You can find the best Garmin Marq below:

Garmin Marq Athlete Review: Design

There is no question that the MARQ Athlete has been beautifully put together to ensure it ticks all the boxes for design. While it is on the bulky side (measuring 14.1mm thick), it’s the type of watch that kind of suits that oversized aesthetic, if you get what we mean. Yes, it’s on the boisterous side of things, but it definitely isn’t as heavy as you’d think for a watch of this size.

Thanks to the titanium, it weighs just 94g. This, alongside a smooth silicone strap, means that the watch is perfectly comfortable to wear for long periods. Saying that, it did feel a little too big for sleeping in.

With so much beef to it, you’d think the MARQ Athlete would be a nightmare during those times when you need to be mobile. However, we didn’t feel too heavy or bulky on the wrists during workouts. even throughout a HIIT class that involve jumping onto boxes or swinging kettlebells. The placement of the buttons we weren’t in much danger of accidentally changing any settings or tracking options.

While the silicone rubber strap does a good job in keeping things comfortable during those sweaty times, we were quite disappointed that, for this price, the MARQ Athlete doesn’t come with something more premium. Where is the matching titanium wrist strap? It’s a bit of a joke that, considering the asking price, you’re lumped with a cheap-looking strap that completely cheapens the overall upmarket feel of the watch.

Garmin MARQ specs

Size: 46 x 14.1mm Display: 30.4mm sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) (240 x 240 pixels) Weight: 94g Battery life: Up to 12 days Durability: 10 ATM Memory: 32 GB

Another issue we have with the MARQ Athlete is its display. Made from a sapphire crystal material, it’s undoubtedly rugged and of great quality, but we just don’t think this type of screen fits the overall design of the watch. You’d normally find these types of screens in Garmin’s explorer or outdoor watches.

Okay, it’s named Athlete for a reason, but it is still marketed (and priced) as a luxury device and it’s ridiculous to think that someone paying that amount of money for a watch would be taking it on a hike or an ultra marathon with them.

Sure, the screen is clear and readable even in bright sunlight, but it’s nowhere near as nice to look at as the vivid OLED screens on smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Active, which would. in our opinion. be a much better fit in this watch design.

Garmin Marq Athlete Review: Performance And OS

One thing you should know about the MARQ Athlete is that it is essentially a Fenix 6 dressed up for fashion week. It has almost all the same specs and software features, but they’ve just been crammed into a much more impressive (and expensive) casing.

Just like the Fenix 6, there are more layers to the MARQ Athlete’s software offering than an onion. Besides some extremely helpful health tools, there’s an impressive range of sports tracking activities, from the more standard running, swimming and cycling to the more unexpected SUP, skiing and golf.

Everything we tested worked exceptionally well, even when doing indoor workouts such as an indoor HIIT class. Using GPS is a doddle, too, and activates almost instantly after hitting the start activity tracking button with a “GPS connected” message popping up seconds later.

Sports features are aplenty in this here smartwatch. You’ll also find stress tracking, incident detection (which sends an automated SMS and email with your name and GPS location to your emergency contacts), and the firm’s third-gen Elevate HR sensor for more accurate heart-rate monitoring.

Great for those who consider rest time just as important as the activity itself, Garmin’s Recovery tools are present, too, working in the same way as they do on the Fenix 6 to encourage rest and help prevent injury.

As with other high-end Garmin watches, the MARQ Athlete also comes integrated with a pulse oximeter, branded by Garmin as ‘Pulse Ox4’. Helping users to see how well their body is absorbing oxygen, this feature gauges how well you’re adjusting to heat or altitude.

Like many of its other sporting features, this is undoubtedly a cool tool, but we just can’t see much use for it in a watch that you’d probably be too terrified to take to the great outdoors with you.

Garmin Marq Athlete Review: Battery Life

The MARQ’s ability to soldier on for great lengths of time without dying is just as impressive as its feature set, with a battery life that is quoted by Garmin to last up to 12 days in smartwatch mode to 28 hours in GPS Mode and up to 48 hours in UltraTrac mode.

In our experience using the device, we found these estimates to be about right. Saying that, it isn’t easy to properly measure this as it largely depends on what you do. For instance, using the watch’s GPS functionality continuously on. say. an ultra marathon, total battery life is a predicted 36 hours.

However, we haven’t been doing much continuous running, especially for that amount of time. We’ll leave that sort of testing to the experts, thank you very much. Still, we found the watch was able to power through about two weeks’ worth of use, wearing it continuously and taking it with us to track a run or cycle every other day or so.

As for charging. that’s relatively fast, too. It takes less than three hours to bring the battery fully back to life.

Garmin Marq Athlete Review: Verdict

While the MARQ athlete boasts all the features that make Garmin watches the most comprehensive fitness tracking devices out there, its large price tag will be too much to swallow for most.

There’s no denying that this is a luxurious watch packing some damn right gorgeous, high-quality materials, but we just don’t think that’s enough to justify its price given what else is available. Especially since a Fenix 6 offers pretty much the same software for a third of the cost.

Don’t get us wrong, there’s definitely nothing majorly wrong with the MARQ Athlete, it’s just not a product many people are going to be genuinely interested in buying.

Still, most opinions about this watch will be split into two camps: you’ll either think it’s a ridiculous waste of money, or you think it’s a beautiful object that you just have to own. And to be honest, either is fair. If you’ve got the dosh and want to treat yourself, go ahead: you’re likely to be disappointed (well, maybe except for the display).

| Denial of responsibility | Contacts |RSS