Garmin releases its first luxury smartwatch, the Fenix Chronos

Garmin has just announced the Fenix Chronos, an amazingly elegant smartwatch with all the features of their standard GPS exercise watches – the Vivoactve, for example – with a case and aesthetic that would be at home in a fine watch shop. That’s right: this is the first fancy smartwatch that you could wear in the boardroom, bedroom, and gym.

Oh, and it costs $1,499.99 for the beautiful titanium model – considerably more than your average smartwatch – but, I would argue, Garmin has put a lot of thought into this piece.

I haven’t yet tried this beast out fully yet but on first blush it’s very impressive. For the outdoor buff you’ve got an altimeter, barometer, and compass as well as a system that can get you back to your starting point if you’re lost. You can connect it to your phone, as well, and get weather data and notifications. Finally it also supports multiple sports but for runners you have:

Vertical oscillation and ratio — the degree of ‘bounce’ in your running motion and the benefit ratio to stride length
Ground contact and balance — shows how much time, in the running motion, your foot is on the ground rather than in flight and lets you check your running symmetry
Cadence — number of steps per minute
Stride length — determines a responsive current pace

This, along with heart rate and VO2 readings, make it a worthy replacement for your boring health watch.

I’ve long been against the “expensive” smartwatch. However what Garmin has done is pretty special. They know how to build an amazing sports watch, that much is clear, and they stuck that sport watch into a case that is light, attractive, and usable. While the luxury makers futz around with Android Wear, Garmin has basically thrown down the gauntlet and said “We can’t beat the low end smart watch but we can do exactly what we do best – health – and win.”

I’m actually excited for the company for the first time in a long time and I can’t wait to wear this on my next James Bondian SCUBA dinner party triathlon.

fenix Chronos family

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