Garmin, maker of wearable devices and other navigation tools that signal you are Very Serious about your outdoor activities, has just updated one of its top-of-the-line GPS watches to include more design options for women.
Yes! The world’s fifth-largest seller of wearables is marketing more to women, we who also like the outdoors. Also those with petite wrists, regardless of gender.
The new Fenix 5 multi-sport GPS watch — Garmin skipped "4" and went straight to 5 — does a lot of the same stuff as the earlier models, recording running, cycling, swimming, hiking, and golfing sessions, among other sports; with built-in GPS and GLONASS, heart rate tracking, interval modes, VO2 Max calculations, and more. But it has a slightly sleeker design, with a 47 millimeter face compared with the 51 millimeter face of the previous model.
Then there’s a 42mm model called the Fenix 5S, which at first glance looks significantly smaller than the bulky Fenix watch of years past. This is the one aimed at "female adventurers," according to Garmin. There’s also a sapphire glass version of this. And finally Garmin is rolling out the Fenix 5x, a more advanced watch in terms of its mapping capabilities. This one clocks in at 51mm, so, consistent with the sizing of the earlier models.
The Fenix 5, Fenix 5S, and Fenix 5x start selling in the first quarter of this year. The Fenix 5 and 5S will cost $600, while the 5X and Sapphire models will bump up the price another $100.
To be sure, the aesthetic of these new watches is still incredibly... Garmin. It’s kind of like the time the company made a Jonathan Adler-styled line of its Vivo wristbands in the hopes of making them look "designer." But hey: Garmin at least gets credit for trying, especially since their wearables are primarily about functionality anyway, not fashion.