Finally: The Garmin Descent Dive watch


Yes, finally after appearing more than a year ago, Garmin released their first dive watch based on the Fenix.
This again shows it’s no secret to know which products are coming or even spot them in the wild, but the timeframe of announcement is much more difficult. Even functions and features tested and working on prototypes can be turned off and hold back for future versions.

The post from last year: Descent, Garmin’s next Fenix4 model?


More information (Garmin): Garmin Descent Mk1

Press release

Garmin® debuts its first dive computer, the Descent Mk1, featuring surface GPS in a sleek, everyday wearable design


 Tuesday, October 31, 2017 6:00 am CDT
“The Descent Mk1 was built by divers, for divers and we are so excited that our passion for engineering purpose-built devices, now supports the passion of underwater explorers.”

OLATHE, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the Descent™ Mk1, a dive computer housed in a watch-style design offering surface GPS navigation with rich color mapping. Designed for recreational, technical and free divers, the Descent Mk1 allows divers to plan their underwater adventure right on the watch and use GPS waypoints to automatically mark dive entry and exit points. The Descent Mk1 also offers multiple dive modes, 3-axis compass, in-dive data, as well as multi-sport functions like wrist-based heart rate, activity profiles and automatic dive log uploads via the Garmin Connect Mobile app to Garmin’s online dive community. The Descent Mk1 is being launched in conjunction with DEMA in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 1-4, booth #2234.

“No matter what kind of diver you are, the Descent Mk1 is the intuitive dive computer you won’t want to take off. And with features built for in and out of the water, packed into a watch form factor, you don’t have to,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “The Descent Mk1 was built by divers, for divers and we are so excited that our passion for engineering purpose-built devices, now supports the passion of underwater explorers.”

The Descent Mk1 includes an Apnea mode for recreational and competitive free divers, and Apnea Hunt mode for spear fishers. When the diver submerges, the device will automatically start the dive, and when the diver surfaces from the water, it will automatically stop the dive. The Descent Mk1 supports up to six gases including air, nitrox and trimix. While enjoying their dive under the water, useful information such as depth, dive time, temperature, NDL/TTS, ascent/descent rates, gas mix, PO2, N2 loading, decompression/safety stop information, time-of-day, and more can be viewed on a crisp 1.2-inch color display. The diver can switch to the dive compass and additional data pages with the push of a button, or with a quick double tap on the screen.

The dive computer utilizes the Bühlmann ZHL-16c algorithm with configurable conservatism settings. Choose from three pre-set conservatism settings, or enter custom Gradient Factors. Selectable tone and vibration alerts help keep divers informed throughout their dive. When worn over a divers bare wrist, the Garmin Elevate™ wrist-based heart rate technology1 will monitor pulse and track exertion levels. The Descent Mk1 will automatically upload dive logs to Garmin Connect™ for post-dive analysis. Divers can name their dive, and go back in app to review dive data such as type of dive, temperature, entry and exit points and more.

Topside, the Descent Mk1 features a high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite tracking for map-based surface navigation including ABC (altimeter, barometer and compass) sensors. Beyond the full range of diving functions, the Descent Mk1 offers a complete feature set of sports/training, fitness and outdoor navigation tools. Preloaded with activity profiles for swimming, running, biking, hiking, skiing, rowing, paddle boarding and more. The Descent Mk1, when paired with a compatible smartphone2, allows a user to receive and view text messages, emails and smart notifications right on the watch. Users can customize the watch display with free watch faces, apps and data fields from our Connect IQ  store.

Crafted with premium materials, the Descent Mk1 dive computer will be available in two styles. A stainless-steel bezel with silicone watch band or a premium version with titanium bezel and greater scratch-resistant brushed DLC titanium bracelet. Using QuickFit bands, the diver can easily change between regular and longer QuickFit bands, for use over thick wetsuits or dry suits. QuickFit bands also allow the diver to tailor their wrist-worn style for any daily activity or special occasion — no tools required. Both models feature a domed sapphire lens for scratch resistance, and a bright, high-resolution full color 1.2-inch display with LED backlighting, assuring readability in all lighting conditions, above or below the water. Dive rated up to 100 meters3 (EN13319) the Descent Mk1 has a battery life of up to 40 hours in dive mode, 19 days in watch mode, 10 days in smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS/HR activity mode, and up to 30 hours in UltraTrac™ mode.

The Descent Mk1 is expected to be available in Q4 2017 for a suggested retail price of $999.99 for the stainless-steel and $1,499.99 for the premium version. To learn more, visit

The Descent Mk1 is the latest solution from Garmin’s expanding outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users’ outdoor experiences. Whether hiking, hunting, geocaching, golfing or using satellite communication, Garmin outdoor devices are becoming essential tools for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. For more information about Garmin’s other outdoor products and services, go to

For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at,, or

1 See

2 When paired with a compatible smartphone; see


FCC Notice: The Descent Mk1 has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.


Garmin trademark: QUICKFIT


Yesterday Garmin showed the world their press renders of the new Fenix 5 product series  The missing part was the text of the press release announcement which of course won’t be available until Garmin’s own full  press release has taken place.


One of the new developments we did see in the new watches was the watch strap.
Not the strap itself but the method of connection and release is new.
Garmin calls this QUICKFIT which is now a trademark of Garmin.

Garmin got their Notice Of Allowance on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, the status on the QUICKFIT trademark changed to “Notice Of Allowance – issued”.
About 6 months earlier a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed.
The trademark is filed in the category of Jewelry Products . The description provided for this trademark is watchbands; watch straps; parts and fittings therefor.

Garmin’s quick release

There are quick release systems around the world in many variations


Apple Watch slide in strap mechanism


Huawei (and others) quick release pins, these have a tiny handle that allows you to press the spring bar with your fingers without the need of any tool.

Another type is the screw type bar pin. With this type of release the bar is screwed on. Garmins QUICKFIT also uses this in the new Fenix 5 series. As you can see in the top picture.

What we can see is that the screw bar pin can be removed (on the Fenix5) (with a screwdriver) but this is not the quick release method trademarked.
The Garmin quick release has a latch which can be lifted and the strap can be removed. The mechanical latch part seems to be  screwed on the band and could be replaced if needed. The mechanical part is scalable to the needed strap width as we saw on the Fenix 5, 20mm, 22mm and 26mm are already available.

My guess is QUICKFIT straps will be included on every new Garmin watch released from now on.




The Garmin Fenix 5, Fenix 5S and Fenix 5X


latest update: 1 jan 2017: Hires pictures added to new CES2017 post.
15 nov 2016: Garmin (verified) responded this weekend with two questions, A) where did you find this information? (short version of the answer: another sports watch fan page, multiple sources available (among Garmin forums!). B) Can you remove this content? (short version of answer: Yes, no problem, please  tell which part has to be changed (added/removed). Silence from Garmin since then?
update: 9-nov-2016 (QUICKFIT & strap sizes added)

Fenix 5 Plus pictures

! New Post on Fenix 5 at CES 2017 added in January 2017 with new images!

4 januari 2017: Garmin site update with Garmin 5 series.

Fenix 5S – $599

Fenix 5 – $599

Fenix 5X – $699

As wrote earlier the new Fenix is ready to launch.

Not the Fenix 4 but the Fenix 5, Fenix5S and Fenix5X it seems to be. We could give them names like the Fenix 5 casual, Fenix 5 Sport/Slim and Fenix 5 Xtreme but lets wait until we receive the full text of the press release.
The three series have no less than  11 13 different versions, not counting the bundles.


What about the “Fenix 4”?

Number 4 is considered an unlucky number in Chinese because it is nearly homophonous to the word “death”. Due to that, many numbered product lines skip the “4”  ( wikipedia: Tetraphobia). And it looks Garmin is one of them.

Fenix 5S

While the Fenix 5S has similarities with the recent launched Chronos they are not the same. On the back you will seen the again rotated optical HR and the charging connector has been reduced in size.


  • White fenix 5S with Carrara White Band
  • Silver fenix 5S with Tourquoise Band
  • Silver fenix 5S with Black Band
  • Black fenix 5S Sapphire with Black Band
  • Champagne fenix 5S Sapphire with Gray
  • Champagne fenix 5S Sapphire with Metal Band

Quickfit strap size: 20mm

Text on the back is depending on model “Fenix 5s – 100 meters – Sapphire crystal – Stainless steel – Fiber reinforced polymer – Taiwan –  S/N 123456789”  or “Fenix 5s – 100 meters – GPS/Glonass – Stainless steel – Fiber reinforced polymer – Taiwan –  S/N 123456789”

Fenix 5

The Fenix 5 has similarities with the “old” Fenix 3 HR but on the back you will notice the same changed position of the optical HR and smaller charging connector.


  • Black fenix 5 Sapphire with Black Band
  • Slate Gray fenix 5 Sapphire with Metal Band
  • Slate Gray fenix 5 with Black Band
  • Slate Gray fenix 5 with Amp Yellow Band
  • Silver fenix 5 with Granite Blue Band

Quickfit strap size: 22mm

Text on the back is depending on model “Fenix 5 – 100 meters – Sapphire crystal – Stainless steel – Fiber reinforced polymer – Taiwan –  S/N 123456789”  or “Fenix 5 – 100 meters – GPS/Glonass – Stainless steel – Fiber reinforced polymer – Taiwan –  S/N 123456789”

Fenix 5X


The Fenix 5X has similarities with the “old” Fenix 3 HR but on the back you will notice the same changed position of the optical HR and the missing? charging connector. Could it be wireless charging or is the connector just hidden behind the (wide) band?

  • Slate Gray fenix 5X Sapphire with Black Band
  • Slate Gray fenix 5X Sapphire with Metal Band

Quickfit strap size: 26mm

Text on the back is ” S/N 123456789 – Taiwan – Fiber reinforced polymer – Stainless steel – Sapphire crystal – 100 meters – ???”

All Fenix 5 models seem to have a new type of strap quick release button system.
This new quick release system is called QUICKFIT, Garmin’s latest trademark.


Garmin press-release

Original source of most information has vanished i was to late in copying the (pre) “press release” text . More information and specifications will be added in a new post when available.

Fenix 4, Alphabet


When i was writing about the Fenix Descent, i noticed with the other Fenix 3 models in my mind many of them had an unique name.
I looked at the variants of the Fenix 3 released and came to a nice ABC of the Fenix 4 models Garmin could launch during the product live-cycle of the Fenix 4.

Approach – The Golf series currently exists of series G & ? (handheld) and  S & X (wearable/wrist)

Bravo – Bravo series, current models are the Tactix Bravo and D2 Bravo pilot watch

Chronos – The first one in the Fenix 4 series, a “premium” watch

Descent – A diving watch

Epix -a relaunch of the buggy classic “first-of-its-kind” Epix mapping watch with maps and touch?

Fenix 4 – The classic

Quatix – Designed for Water

While most of them would just need a different or more rugged housing (Descent). One of the units didn’t fit in the row.

The Epix!

I don’t know the sales of the current Epix but they could have been higher if Garmin stood behind the product. Better marketing and real firmware support with bug fixes would lead to more sales. The Fenix has a real good toolkit so using this for the Epix would give much easier maintenance and much better support.

Two big differences between the current Epix and a Fenix:

  1. Touchscreen

    While a touchscreen is no new feature for a Garmin watch, no version of the Fenix has received one, adding one is a relative easy job (see FR230 vs FR630).

  2. Memory

    Second is the memory, maps on a device need a fair amount of memory (Epix 8GB), semiconductors are getting smaller and smaller every year and with the current reduction of other components Garmin might squeeze in one of the latest ultra small eMMC memory IC’s which are available at much smaller sizes than the type used in the current Epix.
    A updated version of the current Chronos PCB is needed but this is a not a thing that would stop Garmin from doing so. They could save this for the major update planned after a year (like Fenix 3 vs Fenix 3HR) but it would no problem using the new same PCB in all the Fenix 4 versions, just with minimal or no hardware mounting changes (FR230 vs FR 630 and FR235 vs FR735)

Fenix M (Music Maestro)

When writing about the Fenix Epix i realized that once a Fenix with a large amount of flash would exist, it had tot sell.
Garmin would not be Garmin if they wouldn’t use the same hardware in a “different” product. A nice use for the gigabytes of space would be music storage, so to increase sales they would release the Fenix M. Add the audio player part (MP3 decoder) and let it stream to your Bluetooth headset.

Chronos, GPS finally done right?


The biggest fault in the Fenix 3 in my eyes is the medium accuracy of the GPS. After the timing part of a sports watch, GPS is the second item which has to be perfect. Most watches nowadays have no problems with timing anymore. However GPS reception remains a big issue for most companies. Results from the past give no clue on how the quality and speed is in new or updated devices.

Garmin is no exception. Announced with big marketing slogans like “Omni-directional EXO™ stainless steel antenna” one would expect the best reception ever. This was the opposite, having had watches with better reception in the past the Fenix 3 clearly missed the boat. Garmin tried to improve reception by implementing various firmware updates to increase accuracy but updates like averaging and path prediction remain palliatives. Some tracks got better while other got worse, the real cause was not addressed.

After the Fenix came the Fenix 3 HR and all it’s offspring’s but the GPS remains unchanged.

Bringing out the Chronos first looked like yet another Fenix 3 but nothing is less true. Two years after the first Fenix 3, Garmin has made changes to the GPS reception part.
Not just small changes, no every item which has to do with the reception of GPS signals has been evaluated over and over again. The result is that every single item has been modified. Starting from the  EXO™ antenna al the way down to the micro controller.

I don’t know where the EXO™ antenna official starts and stops but the next list describes the mayor changes made in simple language.

  1. Redesigned EXO™ stainless steel bezel, screws moved to the bottom leaving a nice round bezel on top.
  2. Redesigned EXO™ “spacer” / real antenna. Inside the Chronos is the antenna which has the shape of a smile which someone once called the “spacer”
  3.  Antenna mounted on main PCB board. No big springs to make contact with the antenna, everything has made smaller which better controlled connections.
  4. Redesign of “1st stage” electronics to better match the antenna and receiver IC.
  5. Redesign of “2nd stage” electronics, receiver IC (MTK) with corresponding passives.
  6. EMC shielded compartment for “2nd stage” electronics. In the previous Fenix models this part was in the same shielded room as all the remaining electronics (processor, power supply, memory and other digital I/O chips)
  7. Second shielded main room for all the other electronics.
  8. Redesigned ANT+ / Bluetooth antenna which is on the other far end of the PCB so the influence on the GPS is minimal.

With al these changes (some of them back to the Fenix1/ 2 style)  it hope the real cause of the problem has been addressed and the Chronos will have a GPS performance which matches the expectations of the product, which is high end after all.

After all if the Chronos is perfect so will the Fenix 4 be.

Descent, Garmin’s next Fenix4 model?


Descent, Garmin’s Dive watch ready to launch?

Edit 2017-10-31: Garmin released the Descent: Finally: The Garmin Descent Dive watch

Short version

As seen in the Chronos there are changes which could be designed with a dive watch in mind. Reliability under water, water-tightness and accuracy needed to be changed.
In the Chronos the following diving related items have been changed compared with the Fenix 3.

  • Opening on the back side with 4 evenly placed screws (increased ATM)
  • New barometric module (increased accuracy )

Until launch you can decide which version will fit you best. The Descent or the Descent Titanium (But maybe they can already be found in your local WalMart near the Xiaomi Mi Box :-)) Bands: 26mm posts, the screws use a torx t6.

Long version

The information that Garmin was going to release a diving watch is not a big secret. Plans have been around for a long time. The development team “diving” worked close with the Fenix team and tests where made with the Fenix 3.

In the mean time (April-2015) divers discovered the Fenix 3 and its possibility to use Garmin Connect IQ to create a nice app. To be sure it was allowed they even asked Garmin for permission: “I talked to the ConnectIQ team, and a depth measurement app will be approved, they are quite relaxed on approving apps.”

A year later,  July 2016 the app was taken offline by the Garmin Connect IQ Team with the following reason:

“Thank you for submitting IQ Dive Computer to the Connect IQ store. Your app has generated a lot of interest at Garmin, but there are also concerns.

The fenix 3 series of devices were not designed as dive watches. For example the altimeter is not a suitable replacement for a true depth sensor and may relay inaccurate depths, and the buttons are not rated for high pressure button presses and may fail at depth. Because these can present safety-of-life issues, we have decided to remove your app from the store.

We typically try to encourage as much creativity and innovation in Connect IQ apps, and are reluctant to remove apps unless they contain offensive material or are subject to DMCA takedown. In addition, we know that you have time and effort invested in this app, so it is with our apologies that your app is removed.”

Strange but i sounds plausible.

October 2016,  On the Connect IQ forums there is a sticky topic with the next title:

Diving-related Apps

Garmin has been as permissive as possible when approving apps for inclusion on the Connect IQ app store. Aside from apps that contain offensive material or are subject to DMCA take-down requests, we’re happy to allow pretty much anything else that our app developers would like to share with the Garmin community.

Late last week, however, we decided that apps designed for scuba diving or free diving activities will no longer be approved on the app store (any existing apps supporting these activities will be removed).

The reason is straight-forward: we do not currently have any watches or devices that are designed for expressly for these purposes. While some of our devices have water ratings that allow for water sports activities, scuba diving and free diving are not currently suitable activities for our devices (see Garmin designs and tests its products for their intended use to ensure safe operation and a positive customer experience.

If you have developed or are currently developing apps to support these activities, we apologize and do not want to be a source of discouragement. You may still continue to build and distribute these apps as you wish outside of the Connect IQ app store, but until Garmin produces a device which explicitly supports scuba diving and free diving, we cannot allow diving apps to be placed on any Garmin affiliated app resource.

The original app

IQ Dive Computer

IQ Dive Computer is a Garmin IQ App for compatible Garmin watches that provides real-time decompression information. It computes and displays no-decompression time limits in real time, along with current depth and total immersion time. It also supports decompression dives. When no decompression times are exceeded, the app will begin to display and compute the decompression depth ceiling in real-time. The decompression algorithm is Buhlmann’s ZH-L16. A dive planning feature allows the diver to determine allowable bottom times at different depths based on current saturation levels.

Download it from

Garmin, Chronos the first Fenix4


It looks like the recently released Garmin Fenix Chronos is NOT just another Fenix 3.

Looking at all information available on the Chronos, it seems they rebuilded the complete watch. In fact everything points to the direction of the Chronos being the first Fenix 4 to see the light.

What has changed:

Outer parts:

  • 180 degree rotated placement of USB connector. (left to right)
  • Reduced height of optical HR.
  • Reduced height of total unit. (due oHR and smaller battery)
  • No more screws on front, Accessibility of unit now from back.

Inner parts::

  • New optical HR. (taken from FR735)
  • New Rotated optical HR placement. (compared to Fenix3HR and FR735)
  • New (smaller) battery, only 180mAh. (taken from FR630)(previous 290mAh/300mAh)
  • New Faster uController with more memory, support Connect IQ 2.1.
  • New Display, 64  colors. (RGB222) (previous 16)
  • New EXO™ antenna.
  • New communication antenna (BT,ANT, (Wifi?))
  • New barometric module/PCB.
  • No Wifi. (Chronos only?)

Two versions of the Fenix 4 will be available at launch:

  1. the regular version (“plastic shell”)
  2. the steel version.