Garmin’s new fēnix Chronos Smartwatch combines sports with luxury, resulting in a surprisingly well-balanced end product
Garmin International Inc. introduced the fēnix Chronos, a beautiful premium multisport smartwatch, yesterday. Available in three different luxurious styles, the smartwatch was crafted using premium jeweler’s grade materials. The luxury smartwatch requires a compatible smartphone, and features activity tracking, fitness training, and adventure technology.
The new Garmin smartwatch is available in the titanium color with a brushed titanium band for 1,499.99. A steel variant with a brushed stainless steel band (featuring solid 316L stainless steel links) has a suggested retail price of $999.99, while the steel variant with a vintage leather band (with hand-sewn contrast stitching and a nubuck inner lining) will cost $899.99. The titanium version arguably features the best look of the three iterations of the luxury smartwatch, and is hence the most expensive variant.
In the press release, VP of worldwide sales, Dan Bartel praised the combination of sports and luxury. He believes that this makes the fēnix Chronos “a necessary timepiece for anyone who wants to remain stylish through all of life’s adventures – whether it’s hiking through mountains, training for a race, or heading to a formal event.”
The fēnix Chronos features a 1.2-inch Chroma Display (with LED backlighting), ensuring that the output is even visible in direct sunlight. The smartwatch has a high-strength and scratch-resistant sapphire lens, and a 10ATM water rating which allows it to withstand depths of 100 meters.
On the software side, the Chronos predictably works with Garmin’s Connect IQ platform, ensuring wireless connectivity throughout multiple platforms. Users can, hence, beef up their smartwatch with free watch faces, widgets, data fields, and apps from the Connect IQ store. The FaceIt app allows users to put their own photos as a watch face, which might be ideal for executives who want to keep a picture of their family close. Users can also automatically upload their data to Garmin Connect mobile, while they can also share fitness data on social media and initiate a LiveTrack session. The device can pair up with compatible smartphones to provide notifications for incoming calls, messages, and emails on their smartwatch.
The fēnix Chronos takes after the fēnix 3 line in providing expansive navigational and multisport support. The device features a GPS-enabled EXO antenna as well as GLONASS satellite reception to provide better reception in environments such as mountainous areas. The altimeter, barometer, and compass help users track their bearings.
The daily activity tracking feature somewhat mirrors that found in the latest smartphones, keeping track of the number of steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, and a sleep mode. The wearer’s heart rate can be constantly tracked at all times of the day from the wrist itself. Users can also combine the device with the Garmin HRM-Run to get advanced running stats. The device already sports Garmin’s standard activity profiles such as run, lap swim, bike, open water, row, and golf.
When the GPS is activated, the Chronos lasts for 13 hours before running out of charge. Use the UltraTrac battery saver mode to extend battery life to 25 hours, or use the device in “smart watch mode” to get one week’s worth of uptime. For a device that costs between $900 and $1,500, these are not bad specifications at all.
Combining luxury with sport is always a risk, given that a compromise has to be made in one department or the other. However, each variant of the fēnix Chronos watch will be shipped out with an interchangeable silicone sport band. This ensures that users can put on the sports band for exercise without the risk of getting sweat on their steel, titanium or leather bands. It remains to be seen whether the bands are strong enough to withstand the constant interchanging that is likely to occur, especially for individuals who exercise regularly.
Regardless of anything, the luxury smartwatches are a good competition for the Apple Watch Edition. Garmin knows what it is doing when it comes to sports smartwatches, and the company’s expertise in that department is likely to show as it penetrates the luxury segment.