Earlier this week Garmin unveiled a new lineup of luxury smartwatches under the Marq banner, but at the time it was unclear how much these new devices would cost. which meant we didn’t know what type of consumer the company would be targeting them to.
That changed recently, however, with the five different models of smartwatch within the Marq collection costing between $1 500 to $2 500 Stateside. At this stage there’s no local pricing or availability, but if we go strictly on current exchange rates the Marq range could start at R21 000, if not more, when they become available locally.
So why are they so much more expensive than the kinds of smartwatches and fitness watches Garmin has released in the past?
For one they feature a higher grade of material for their construction, and each of the models is tweaked slightly to offer specific features for different tasks.
Starting with the Marq Athlete, which is the cheapest of the bunch at $1 500 (RRP), it is able to track a lot of biometric and workout data, and is specifically designed for users that do a lot of running or cycling thanks to its built-in sensors.
Next is the Marq Expedition at $1 750, which is designed for hiking according to Garmin. It also has a metal bezel and leather watch strap. Internally it has several GPS-focused applications and can pull up topographical map info too.
A step up from that is the Marq Captain, which too has a specific purpose in mind – sailing. To that end it has a range of functions focused on monitoring boat data, and even has some niché elements like a regatta timer. The Captain is retailing for $1 850 in the States.
For pilots there’s the Marq Aviator. It looks most like the luxury chronograph you may get from Rolex or Tag Heuer, but throws in some flying functions like emergency navigation guides to the nearest airport, weather reports and the ability to log flights. This all costs $1 950.
Lastly there’s the Marq Driver, which is the most expensive of the lot at $2 500. Built with racing enthusiasts in mind it comes with pre-loaded data from 250 tracks from across the globe, and can also track lap times, as well as top speeds while driving.
It’s still to be seen if all five will be coming to South Africa, especially given their price tags and niché specialities, but we can certainly see a place for Athlete and Expedition locally.
It will also be interesting to see whether die-hard chronograph fans will opt for these smartwatches over the ones from other luxury brands.