Garmin MARQ 2nd Gen
The cream of Garmin’s crop has landed. The 2nd generation MARQ range of watches represents the pinnacle of sports watch luxury a-la-Garmin, although a cynic would say that they are merely the Garmin Epix 2 (Fenix 7 AMOLED) inside a superior shell. That’s mostly true but there are a few extra features also thrown in for good measure, albeit they are somewhat trivial features.
MARQ 2nd Generation – the range
The six subtle variations to the various MARQ 2 models are these
- MARQ 2 Adventurer (Outdoor version – the top-end Fenix/Epix with orienteering options)
- MARQ 2 Aviator (Top-end D2 Mach 1)
- MARQ 2 Athlete (Sports version – I guess it’s the top-end Enduro)
- MARQ 2 Golfer (Top-end Approach)
- MARQ 2 Captain (Marine version, the top-end Quatix)
MARQ 2 Driver (Automotive/racing version…not launching today, maybe never!)
Prices range from $/£/Eu1,900 to $/£/Eu2,400
What to watch out for
The superior quality materials are generally heavier than the cheaper Fenix/Epix/Forerunner equivalents. A few 10s of grams are no big shakes in the grand scheme of things unless you are working out, then the extra weight will impact the quality of the optical heart rate readings and possibly slightly so on the GPS as well.
Be mindful that even Grade 5 Titanium can scratch as can the Sapphire Crystal lens. These watches are not bullet proof but they are more adventure-proof than some of the ‘lesser’ Garmin models, although even the Fenix 7 Sapphire has, err, a sapphire screen and also a Titanium shell (Grade 2?).
You will get new feature updates for 2-3 years and continuous bug fixes as and when they are found but in 18-24 months’ time there will probably be a new, more feature-superior Fenix 8 which will have hardware components and new features than your fancy MARQ 2 can never have. That’s the problem with ‘digital’ watches compared to the lifetime investment you make in some analogue watches.
Other things of interest
There is a new USB-C charger from Garmin. I have to say I welcome innovation on this front as the existing (old?!) chargers cause me no end of grief. Let’s hope it works properly.
Whichever model you are interested in will get all the features of the cheaper base model plus those announced since it was launched – so the MARQ2 Adventurer will get everything the Epix 2 has plus everything in the latest tranche of features currently pending release.
For £/$/Eu2000 give or take a few thousand you get the best that Garmin offers in your area of sport.
If you want to read a detailed review of the Garmin MARQ 2 Adventurer then it’s best to head over to my Garmin Epix 2 Review and just read MARQ instead of Epix and imagine that the shell is better. However, if you do check out that review you will be pleased to learn that I rate it as the best sports watch...ever. Simply put Garmin has nailed the battery life conundrum for watches with pretty AMOLED screens. Garmin nailed the volume of features years ago and is now actively working on improving how the Marq/Epix/Fenix look, feel and work on your wrist as you interact with them…that’s very much still a work in progress but not too bad.
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