Garmin’s MARQ line was designed to bridge the gap between highly functional smartwatches and luxury timepieces made with high-end materials. And for those who’ve struggled with choosing which design to splurge $2,000+ on, Garmin has now packaged almost the entire line in a fancy wooden box that will set you back $US10,000 ($14,400) for the entire lot.
At first glance, it seems like a bargain, as companies will often bundle multiple products together and sell them at a cheaper price to consumers. But that’s not the case here. Pricing for the MARQ line still sits at $US2,500 ($3,600) for the Driver, $US1,950 ($2,808) for the Aviator, $US1,850 ($2,664) for the Captain, $US1,750 ($2,520) for the Adventurer, and $US1,500 ($2,160)+ ($2,160) for the Athlete. Buy all five separately and you’ll be paying $US9,550 ($13,752), which means that somehow the wooden box for the Limited-edition Signature Set adds $US450 ($648) to the price tag.
Even if you factor in that each set comes individually numbered with a signed letter from Garmin CEO Cliff Pemble congratulating you on your investment, and that just 100 of these sets are being made, that extra $US450 ($648) surcharge is hard to swallow. Let’s be frank here, you’re probably not going to hand any of these watches over to your grandkids one day like a Rolex or a Tag Heuer, even in a fancy wooden box they’re not going to appreciate in value over the years. In fact, five years from now the technology will feel so outdated that even selling these on eBay is going to be a challenge.
Making that price tag even harder to stomach was Garmin’s decision to go with an always-on reflective LCD screen for the MARQ line that, based on our testing, is almost impossible to see anywhere other than in direct sunlight. And while Garmin has certainly built expertise when it comes to packing functionality into a smartwatch, its software and user experience isn’t as polished as what you’d get from Apple or Google. You’d be better off buying yourself an Apple Watch for one wrist, and a Rolex Oyster Date for the other, if you’ve got $US10,000 ($14,400) to blow on some fancy wearables.