Garmin’s high-end MARQ watch goes dark

Garmin’s MARQ collection is designed to be a highly specialized high-end version of the company’s GPS and smart watches. Now, thanks to its new Commander line, it’s getting a dark makeover.

Why Commander, you ask? I think Garmin is trying to make this a spy watch and James Bond was a Royal Naval Reserve Commander. Make sense?

MARQ watches come in multiple styles – Aviator, Athlete – and feature various designs and complications. The round-faced devices run Garmin’s own highly-customized OS but can connect to Android and iOS phones.

The new Commander series features diamond-like coating on the case and bezel and “low light” screen allows you to “move undetected in the shadows.” It comes with a black jacquard-weave strap and includes a button for dumping all the data on your watch in case you’re kidnapped by Le Chiffre.

The watch is pricey. $1,950 gets you the watch and a strap and you still need a smartphone to access some of the features. It’s a great idea for Garmin to expand into the “tool watch” category – you can only sell so many GPS watches, especially after the rise of the Apple Watch – but I worry that with the MI6 budget being what it is in these confusing times that James might not be able to afford it. Maybe Q can put it on his card?

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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