Garmin MARQ Athlete Smartwatch In-Depth Review

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…


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.

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.


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.


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.

When Garmin said they wanted to create a special collection of watches for their 30th 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.

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