New Garmin Tactix Charlie

garmin tactix charlieGarmin have just announced a new TACTIX CHARLIE model for April 2018 release. At a list price of US$645 it’s $100 more than the Fenix 5X. After the Chronos, this must make it Garmin’s (second) most expensive endurance watch.

Q: But is it really an endurance watch?

A: Yes.

The TACTIX CHARLIE is pretty much exactly the same as the Fenix 5X with some regional TOPO map differences (see comments).

The only differences shown on Garmin’s official comparison with the Fenix 5X (link to: are in build quality.

Specifically and officially, the TACTIX CHARLIE:

  • Weighs 90g (Fenix 5 is 98g)
  • Has a bezel is “Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated titanium” whereas the Fenix 5X is stainless steel. The bezel is scratch resistant and has UTC markers.
  • Has case material comprising a titanium rear cover, whereas the Fenix 5X has stainless steel. Although the CHARLIE has stainless steel buttons

Presumably the change of metal from stainless steel to titanium accounts for the weight difference.

Garmin Fenix 5 Review including | 5x | 5s | Forerunner 935 |

But wait. There’s more.

The TACTIX CHARLIE has “night vision“. Well, more specifically a night vision mode which, when activated, will reduce the backlight settings of the screen to a level that won’t interfere with the function of night vision goggles. As you can see from the images, above, this can be enabled through a shortcut.


It’s a more expensive Fenix 5X with slightly different materials and an optionally dimmer screen.

If you regularly, or even occasionally, use night vision goggles then this is your watch. For the multi-sport, endurance athlete then, perhaps, only those who want a slightly more rugged version will be interested.

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12 thoughts on “New Garmin Tactix Charlie

    • grrr. it’s those facts getting in the way of a good story again. although technically it’s not for an endurance sport (diving), at least not by my definition 😉

  1. My observations regarding the price.

    I don’t honestly think it’s much of a jump in the UK for the improved mapping. The Fenix 5x only included recreational mapping, whereas the Tactix includes Europe topo mapping. That alone for hiking, adventure types is a great “upgrade”

    But if you are in the USA then the added price is not worth it really as it ships with the same maps as the Fenix 5X

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