Garmin Marq Athlete, a modern tool watch.

Garmin Marq Athlete, a modern tool watch.

Gracing my wrist at this moment is the Garmin Marq Athlete, which is a tool watch. Now I must admit that I hadn’t heard that term before and wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. It’s quite simple though, a tool watch is just a watch that serves as a tool to accomplish specific tasks. For example a divers’ watch with a rotatable bezel and high resistance to pressure that is designed to be used underwater is a tool watch.

The Garmin Marq Athlete is one of eight watches in the Marq collection. Each one is aimed at a different user, these are; Adventurer, Athlete, Aviator, Captain, Captain-American Magic Edition, Commander, Driver and Golfer. What connects them all is a quality build and a huge range of features.

When Garmin founders – Gary Burrell and Dr. Min Kao – started they wanted to produce products that would be world leaders in GPS technology for aviation, marine, automotive, fitness and outdoor. Each of the Marq watches represents one of these fields.

The Garmin Mar Athlete: Performance Edition includes a Heart Rate Monitor
The Garmin Mar Athlete: Performance Edition includes a Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin has created these Performance Edition Marq watches to “allow athletes, explorers, aviators and drivers to comfortably pursue their passions without sacrificing style.” Obviously style is a personal thing, for me the Garmin Marq, ahem, hits the mark when it comes to looks. It’s not too clunky and you can change the watch-face to suit your needs or occasion.

Garmin Marq Athlete Specs

The body has a 46mm titanium bezel and brushed titanium case, with a domed sapphire crystal lens. The display is 30.4mm wide with 240×240 pixel display resolution. And the screen is sunlight-visible, using transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP). Battery life varies depending on how you are using it, but some claimed times are;

Smartwatch mode: Up to 12 days
GPS mode: Up to 28 hours
GPS with music: Up to 9 hours
UltraTrac mode: Up to 48 hours

The Marq is rated to 10 atmospheres, should be fine in the shower then. And it has 32GB of memory and all this in a 94g package. There’s also a large range of straps in different colours and materials, so you can customise your look.

And its not all about looks, built into the Marq are ten sensors; GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Garmin HRM, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer and pulse ox blood oxygenation saturation monitor. That’s an incredible amount of tech squeezed onto your wrist.

But what can it do?

According to Garmin the Marq Athlete has been “designed specifically for the aspiring athlete”. And looking through its huge range of training options and data recording that’s easy to believe. I was going to list all the options that are available with this watch, but there are just so many! Instead head over to Garmin and read through them.

As well as the performance options, the Garmin Marq is a smart watch. So it has heaps of functions you can use when not riding. You can download and listen to your favourite tunes – not while riding though. You can pay for your mid-ride coffee with Garmin Pay, after getting a text from your buddy telling you where to meet (Android only, sorry iPhone users). And if you’re not sure where the cafe is, the Marq will show you the way with it’s built in maps.

Available now,  the MARQ Athlete Performance Edition with HRM Pro bundle has a suggested retail price of £1,899.99. To learn more and to view Garmin’s entire MARQ collection, visit I’ll be trying the Marq out on various rides and also seeing how it pairs with Garmin’s Rally XC200 pedals that I’m also reviewing.

I also have the Forerunner 745 on review, take a look at the preview here.

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