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The Garmin MARQ and Garmin Fenix CHRONOS represent the two top-end models from their respective Fenix lines.
The Garmin MARQ (March 2019) is the top model for the Fenix 5 and Fenix 5 Plus series whereas the Fenix Chronos (2016) was the top model for the Fenix 3 line. Remember that there was no Fenix 4 and, indeed, some argued that the Chronos represented a half-way house from the Fenix 3 to the Fenix 5. The same argument applies to the MARQ being a foreteller of tech goodness to come in next year’s Fenix 6.
Differences Between the Chronos variants
The Fenix Chronos was essentially one product variant that came in 3 available finishes: Brushed Stainless Steel Band ($999); Titanium Hybrid Band ($1499.99); and Leather Band ($899)
Differences Between the MARQs
The Garmin (Fenix) Marq is really also one product variant that comes in 5 finishes. But because of software differences they are, probably rightly, classed as 5 variants with each designed for a specific end use. So we have MARQ Expedition – $1,750, MARQ Athlete – $1,500, MARQ Driver – $2,500, MARQ Aviator – $1,950 and MARQ Captain – $1,850.
However, the 5 MARQ variants are highly similar. For example, if you look at GARMIN’S table below then the only difference in software that would distinguish the ATHLETE from the EXPEDITION would be ORIENTEERING support for the EXPEDITION mode and the weeks-long EXPEDITION battery mode. There will likely also be some niche differences in software functionality as well thus there are DRIVE, BOAT and AVIATION features for the respective models. The straps and weight of the MARQ variants all differ slightly and, indeed, the EXPEDITION and ATHLETE variants are each subtly different in size to the other 3.
MARQ compared to CHRONOS
Let’s assume that the MARQs are all ‘effectively the same’ under the hood and then compare them to the Chronos. Garmin’s table, further below, just shows the differences. Other than the lack of a Chronograph on the MARQ ATHLETE, all the key differences are extra features for the MARQ compared to the Chronos.
In more detail: The MARQ has some notable differences to the Chronos, ranging from superior screen resolutions, superior battery modes, GALILEO GNSS and Pulse Ox through to the inclusion of Garmin PAY, Music and Bluetooth SMART sensor support. Whilst the MARQ ATHLETE is a bit smaller than Chronos it is certainly a lot more expensive.
Nevertheless, the MARQ does look good and it clearly offers the Chronos user good reasons to upgrade.
We also saw in yesterday’s comparison to the Fenix 5 Plus that the MARQ has a clearly superior case as well as some updated hardware components and additional features.
Is it worth upgrading?
The Marq is worth the upgrade from the Chronos or from the Fenix 5 (non-plus). It’s not worth the upgrade from the Fenix 5 Plus. But, hey, you can afford it so why not?
|MARQ Athlete||Fenix Chronos|
|$1,500.00 USD (other variants higher)||$899.99 USD and Up|
|Lens Material||domed sapphire crystal||sapphire crystal|
|Bezel Material||titanium||stainless steel or titanium|
|Case material||titanium||stainless steel or titanium|
|QuickFit™ watch band compatible||yes (22 mm)|
|Quick Release Bands||yes (22 mm)|
|Strap material||silicone rubber||silicone, steel, titanium or leather|
|Physical size||46 Dia x 14.1 mm||49 Dia x 15 mm|
|Silicone rubber strap fits wrists with a circumference of 135-213 mm|
|Display resolution||240 x 240 pixels||218 x 218 pixels|
|Weight||94 g||96 g|
|Titanium version: 76 g|
|Battery life||Smartwatch mode: Up to 12 days||Smartwatch mode: Up to 8 days|
|GPS mode: Up to 28 hours||GPS mode: Up to 13 hours|
|GPS with Music: Up to 9 hours||UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 25 hours without wrist heart rate|
|UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 48 hours|
|Memory/History||32 GB||64 MB|
|Pulse Ox||yes (with Acclimation)|
|Daily Smart Features|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®||Bluetooth® Smart and ANT+®|
|Text response/reject phone call with text (Android™ only)||Yes|
|Plays and controls watch music||Yes|
|Music Storage||up to 2000 songs|
|Safety and Tracking Features|
|Live Event Sharing||Yes|
|Activity Tracking Features|
|Body Battery™ Energy Monitor||Yes|
|All-day Stress Tracking||Yes|
|Gym & Fitness Equipment|
|Available gym activity profiles||Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing and Yoga||Indoor Rowing|
|Automatic rep counting||Yes||Yes|
|Training, Planning and Analysis Features|
|Heat and altitude acclimation||Yes|
|Training load focus||Yes|
|Primary benefit (Training Effect labels)||Yes|
|Round-trip course creator (running/cycling)||Yes|
|Trendline™ Popularity Routing||Yes|
|Heart Rate Features|
|Respiration rate (during exercise)||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Available run profiles||Running, Treadmill Running, Trail Running, Indoor Track Running||Running, Treadmill Running, Trail Running|
|Running dynamics||yes (with compatible accessory)||? I think yes|
|Preloaded with 41,000 courses worldwide||yes|
|Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course)||Automatic||Manual|
|Full vector map||yes|
|Hazards and course targets||yes (with buttons)|
|Touch-targeting (touch target on display to see the distance to any point)||yes (with buttons)|
|Outdoor Recreation Features|
|Available outdoor recreation profiles||Hiking, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Jumpmaster, Tactical||Hiking, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Jumpmaster, Tactical|
|Around Me mode||yes|
|ClimbPro™ Ascent Planner||yes|
|Future elevation plot||yes|
|Preloaded topographical maps||yes|
|Preloaded ski resort maps||yes|
|Downloadable cartography support||yes|
|Cycle Map (routable cycling-specific street map)||yes|
|Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor)||yes (ANT+® and Bluetooth® Smart sensors)||yes (ANT™)|