Garmin Descent MK1 Smartwatch Review

Garmin Descent MK1 Smartwatch Review

Answering every diving enthusiast’s prayers, the Garmin Descent MK1 Smartwatch brings us the brand’s famous Fenix 5X design with a whole new range of features equipped for underwater adventures. No matter what kind of diving you are into, whether you swim in oceans or freshwater, hold your breath or use oxygen tanks, this striking diving smartwatch from Garmin is the only piece of equipment you’ll need to navigate your way through the waters.

The overall design and underlying software of the Garmin Descent MK1 smartwatch is very similar to the Garmin Fenix 5X smartwatches, something we’re absolutely OK with. The Garmin Fenix range is a fine example of the brand’s ability to combine powerful aesthetic with unbeatable fitness tracking performance. However, there still some major differences between the Fenix 5X and the new Garmin Descent MK1 that make it a both a dream fitness watch and a diving companion.

Garmin Descent MK1 Stainless Steel with Black Rubber Strap (010-01760-10)

One of our favourite additions to the Garmin Descent MK1 is the heart rate monitor. Yes, the Fenix 5X also has a HRM but this one works underwater when worn against the skin. The tracker monitors your exertion levels and uploads your heart rate data straight to your Garmin Connect account where you can track and compare every dive you take.

The Garmin Descent MK1 smartwatches are also equipped with a depth gauge sensor to help monitor how deep you have gone while the waterproofing has improved to 100 metres as per the EN 13319 standards. They have also included longer straps to each Garmin Descent MK1 watch to help fit around larger wrists and bulky wetsuits. The other real differences include the addition of a DLC bezel to improve its overall scratch resistance, a change in charging point to help with the watch’s water resistance and the addition of six core diving modes.

Garmin Descent MK1 Titanium with Titanium Bracelet (010-01760-11)

Once you’ve dried off, the Garmin Descent MK1 smartwatch is fully kitted out to take on the gym, a hike up a mountain, a cycle or a round of golf. This is what makes this model such a hit; they have not only designed a fully rounded dive watch but they have refused to neglect features that an everyday fitness fanatic is also going to require. Some examples of fitness features included are: GPS with GLONASS, full colour maps for navigation, a battery life of up to 10 days, compass feature, Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi connectivity and a huge range of preloaded activity profiles. Check out the specifications below for full details.

Garmin Descent MK1 Titanium with Black Rubber Strap (010-01760-12)

There are currently three Garmin Descent MK1 smartwatches available. First is the stainless steel with a black rubber strap (010-01760-10), second is a black DLC coated titanium model with a black rubber strap (010-01760-12) and thirdly is another black DLC titanium but with a matching titanium bracelet (010-01760-11). Each of these come with the same functions and software, sapphire crystal glass and a 30.4mm digital display, just with slightly differing aesthetics.

For more information on the Garmin Descent MK1 smartwatches and where to order your own, click here.

Specifications: Garmin Descent MK1 Smartwatch (010-01760-10010-01760-12010-01760-11)

  • Case Size: 51 x 51 x 17.8 mm
  • Bezel: Stainless steel or Titanium
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal
  • Battery Life: Up to 40 hours in Dive mode and up to 12 days in smartwatch mode
  • Clock Features: Time, Date, Alarm clock, Timer, Stopwatch, GPS time sync,
  • Sensors: GPS, GLONASS, Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor, Barometric altimeter, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Thermometer, Depth sensor
  • Daily Smart Features: Bluetooth, WiFi and ANT+ Connectivity, Connect IQ, Smart notifications, Calendar, Weather, Controls smartphone music, Find My Phone, Find My Watch, VIRB camera remote, iPhone, Windows and Android compatibility, Compatible with Garmin Connect Mobile
  • Diving Features: 100 metre maximum operating depth, single and multi-gas mode, gauge mode, APNEA hunt mode, Bühlmann ZHL-16c decompression model, Nitrox support, Trimix support, customisable P02 settings, Auto start and end dive, Safety stop, Automatic altitude adjustment, Dive planner
  • Activity Tracking Features: Step counter, Move bar, Auto goal, Sleep monitoring, Calories burned, Floors climbed, Distance travelled, Intensity minutes, TrueUp, MoveIQ, Fitness Age
  • Strap: Titanium bracelet or black rubber
  • RRP: £899 (Steel with rubber strap), £1,149 (Titanium with rubber strap), £1,299 (Titanium with bracelet)



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