Next Triathlon / Multisport Watch for Q3 Q4 2016 – the contenders for 2016 and beyond

Spartan Ultra Collection Activity
Suunto Spartan ULTRA

Still not sure what 2016 tri watch to buy?

OK gadget fans we’re half way through the year. Polar and TomTom and maybe even Epson might still yet surprise us with something.

Following Suunto’s news this week, any surprise is now likely to be a September announcement at the earliest. Garmin might also further surprise us at the same time with a Forerunner 930XT/935XT and/or a Fenix 4.

A September announcement means that they have missed the summer purchasing rush (happening NOW) and instead going for the Christmas market.

Suunto have shown their hand with the high-end Spartan Ultra/Racer and Garmin may well have shown their full hand with the pretty-but-populist Forerunner 735XT.

In terms of my best guess for the next tri-watch here they are in order

  • Polar V850 (I have a nagging doubt that, instead, the cycling M450 v2 is next for the update rather than an updated V800 – although something is afoot for KONA with the V800)
  • Garmin Fenix 4 – Think £$£$, then you know it is WHEN not IF. Delay an F3 purchase for this likely awesomely featured watch.
  • TomTom Multisport2 (Cardio) – I think it is a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’. The Runner2/spark, whatever you might think of it, sells well. So would a great-value multisport version.
  • Garmin 930XT – The ‘proper’ AG triathletes need a watch too ie not the 735XT. I will wait for this.
  • Epson TriSense – Unlikely but they have the resources as an organisation to deliver
  • Suunto – 0.0001% chance of an AMBIT 4.

Today’s Quiz: What’s this then? First prize for closest to EXACT answer (manufacturer will do) = KUDOS points. Have a guess, it’s unlikely you will know without looking it up somehow. I have it on my wrist right now.

Samsung, Sony, Adidas, Fitbit, Apple, Basis, Timex, Magellan, MIO global, Casio and others could come all plausibly up with ‘something’ – but I doubt it. And I doubt we would call it a ‘proper’ triathlon watch even if they did. The players in this market are here and are known; now they have to fight it out for market share and hence longterm domination – unless they have a niche.

How will it pan out? You wild guess is probably better than mine.

My wild guess is: TomTom and Garmin dominate the lower end; Suunto and Garmin dominate the wider high-end adventure-multiports offerings;  Garmin dominate the Age Grouper market; Polar and Suunto develop strong niche uber-quality offerings.

That’s not necessarily what I WANT to happen. I just think it will pan out that way. R&D spend can make it happen or make it FAIL to happen.


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9 thoughts on “Next Triathlon / Multisport Watch for Q3 Q4 2016 – the contenders for 2016 and beyond

  1. I assume that it’s a new Polar watch, as it has the typical red colour in the band. Normally all Polar watches have a red button, this one has not. So I think that they took the color away from the button right into the wristband.

    1. nice one Barrie. Yu have 5 kudos points. I thought it would take longer as it’s only just a smartwatch. (although looking at the url/date of the image would have made it easier for a technically-minded person to find the answer)

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