Your Ultimate Guide To ALL Garmin Aviation Watches - Exquisite Timepieces
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Best Garmin Aviation Watches

Your Ultimate Guide To ALL Garmin Aviation Watches

Garmin watches have gained immense popularity in the last decade. This surge in their prominence aligns with the rapid advancements in modern technology like smartphones, artificial intelligence, and more. 

Notably, Garmin watches have positioned themselves as the preferred choice for multi-sport smartwatches, putting them in direct competition with the Apple Watch. Thus, within their domain, they stand as formidable players demanding serious consideration.

In this review, our focus will be on Garmin’s aviation-oriented watches. These timepieces offer a diverse range of functions, spanning from navigation assistance to comprehensive health monitoring. If you’re intrigued by the world of Garmin watches and wish to delve into their features, join us as we explore these remarkable devices.

About Garmin Aviation Watches

Garmin, founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min H. Kao, is an American technology company. The name “Garmin” is a fusion of the first names of its founders.

Their debut offering, the GPS 100, emerged in 1990 as a panel-mounted GPS receiver tailored to the maritime market. In the following year, Garmin expanded its product range by introducing a handheld GPS device.

Shifting to 2007, Garmin began making inroads into mainstream sports, notably through sponsorships. They became sponsors of the English Premier League on multiple occasions. In 2008, the company also backed the EF Pro Cycling professional cycling team.

Through persistent investment and research, Garmin has continually progressed. Their commitment to innovation has enabled them to distinguish their products from other brands. Consequently, they’ve successfully developed a range of aviation watches across various price points. These aviation watches have redefined industry standards.

Garmin’s present lineup of aviation watches encompasses the D2 series, comprising the Air X10 and Mach 1 models, as well as the MARQ Aviator.

What are Garmin Aviation Watches used for?

Below is a list of key features of Garmin Aviation Watches.

Navigation System – Garmin aviation watches encompass the “Direct to Navigation” function, enabling wearers to navigate to specific locations or waypoints within the global aeronautical database. Additionally, these watches allow users to find the nearest airport efficiently. The premium Garmin aviation watches offer an advanced moving map feature, greatly aiding pilots in preemptively addressing potential challenges that might emerge during flight planning.

Weather Monitoring – Garmin’s aviation timepieces offer a multitude of weather-related functions, granting access to crucial aviation weather data such as METARs, TAFs, and MOS2. These features provide insights into parameters like winds, visibility, barometric pressure, and more. Given the unpredictable nature of natural elements, these capabilities prove invaluable for ensuring safety and preparedness in the face of potential changes. Thus, prioritizing safety remains paramount.

Health Monitoring – This capability is not limited to just Garmin’s aviation watches; it’s also a prominent feature in many of their non-aviation timepieces. Whether you’re running, swimming, or cycling, Garmin ensures comprehensive health monitoring across various activities. This indispensable feature is a cornerstone of your Garmin tool watch. It encompasses hydration tracking, sports apps, health statistics, respiration tracking, workout creation, and an array of other functionalities.

Altitude & Other Flying Parameters – This domain is where Garmin’s aviation watches distinctly outshine any other smartwatches currently available. In the realm of aviation, Garmin has solidified its leadership with an impressive array of flight-related functionalities. These encompass the Barometric Altimeter, allowing wearers to gauge their attained altitude. Notably, there is also a vibrational alert for when an altitude is reached that requires additional oxygen for the wearer.

Moreover, Garmin incorporates the Pulse Ox Sensor, enabling wearers to monitor their pulse oximetry to grasp how effectively their body adapts to the diminished oxygen levels at higher altitudes. Additionally, the top-tier Garmin Aviation watches incorporate an emergency mode, flight logging, and more. The features mentioned here comprehensively fulfill typical requirements in aviation, offering a robust toolkit for pilots.

Smart Connectivity – Garmin’s watches boast intelligent connectivity, facilitating seamless pairing with your smartphone through the Garmin app. This functionality empowers wearers to effortlessly synchronize data from their phones to their watches in real-time. Moreover, it ensures swift access to updates and notifications as they become available. This clever attribute equips Garmin watch wearers to stay in the loop.

Best Garmin Aviation Watches

With that said, here’s the complete lineup of Garmin aviation watches you can get your hands on today:

Garmin D2 Air X10

Garmin’s tagline for this watch series emphasizes it as the “smartwatch for pilots”. The D2 Air X10 serves as the foundational aviation watch crafted by Garmin, akin to the standard iPhone in Apple’s smartphone collection.

Much like Apple’s approach, this standard model lacks certain features, such as the moving map and certain lifestyle-related functionalities. Nevertheless, it remains equipped to automatically log in-flight data health metrics and seamlessly synchronize with the Garmin Pilot App.

The D2 Air X10 features a digital display, GPS capabilities, a pulse oximeter, an array of workout functionalities, and seamless smartphone connectivity.

The D2 Air X10 features a case crafted from fiber-reinforced polymer, complemented by a stainless-steel rear cover and bezel. It boasts a case size of 43.6mm and a thickness of 12.6mm. The lug width measures 20mm, while the watch itself weighs 51g. It holds a water resistance rating of 5ATM.

Ideal for fledgling pilots or those with an adventurous spirit, the D2 Air X10 serves as an aviation smartwatch catering to daily routines while seamlessly syncing with smartphones. In conclusion, among the three Garmin timepieces under scrutiny, the D2 Air X10 stands as the more budget-friendly choice, priced at $549.99.

Garmin D2 Mach 1

According to Garmin, the D2 Mach 1 is a watch designed to “accelerate the adventure”. Serving as Garmin’s premium aviation watch, the Mach 1 boasts a range of robust features tailored for both aviation enthusiasts and everyday use. It includes essential components like a dynamic moving map and radar overlay, features that were absent in the D2 Air X10 watch.

Beyond its aviation-focused attributes, the D2 Mach 1 is equipped with a digital display, GPS, Pulse Oximeter, comprehensive health tracking capabilities, interactive animated workouts, and an array of smartphone integration functions that facilitate updates and notifications. To draw a parallel with Apple’s iPhone lineup, the D2 Mach 1 can be likened to Garmin’s equivalent of the iPhone Pro series in the realm of Garmin’s aviation watches.

The D2 Mach 1 boasts a case crafted from fiber-reinforced polymer, complemented by a titanium rear cover and titanium bezel. Its dimensions include a case size of 47mm and a thickness of 14.5mm, with a lug width of 22mm. 

The weight of the watch head is a mere 59g, and it holds a water resistance rating of 10 ATM (100m). Safeguarding the display is a sapphire crystal. These specifications are impressive, considering the improvement of smartwatches in the last decade. 

Designed for seasoned aviators, the D2 Mach 1 serves as a comprehensive aviation smartwatch capable of serving as a dependable backup should any cockpit equipment issues arise. It stands as a trustworthy companion for experienced pilots. To top it off, the D2 Mach 1 occupies the mid-tier range with a price tag of $1,299.99.

Garmin MARQ Aviator

Garmin boldly proclaims the MARQ Aviator as “the quest for excellence has reached new heights”. Undoubtedly, this stands as the pinnacle of aviation smartwatches not only within Garmin’s repertoire but also within the entirety of the smartwatch industry today.

The MARQ Aviation transcends the boundaries of exceptional software; its high-tier hardware and impeccable build quality rival those of luxury Swiss watch brands within the same price bracket.

Encompassing all the features and functions found in both the D2 Air X10 and D2 Mach 1, the MARQ Aviation goes beyond with an array of additional capabilities. It incorporates safety and tracking features alongside enhanced mapping functions. Returning to the Apple iPhone analogy, the MARQ Aviator can be likened to Garmin’s equivalent of the iPhone Pro Max series in the realm of aviation smartwatches.

The MARQ Aviator boasts a titanium case (Grade 5) with a bezel crafted from a composite of titanium (Grade 5) and ceramic. Its dimensions encompass a case size of 46mm, with a thickness of 15mm and a lug width of 22mm. Despite its robust features, the watch head weighs a mere 47g, thus light and comfortable on the wrist. Sporting a water resistance rating of 10 ATM (100m), the watch employs a remarkable dome sapphire crystal to safeguard the display.

Designed with the seasoned pilot in mind, the MARQ Aviator caters to those with an affinity for luxury Swiss watches who seek a single timepiece that encompasses a myriad of functionalities. Serving as a notable alternative to pilot watches like the Rolex GMT Master II or the Breitling Navitimer, this timepiece stands as the epitome of aviation smartwatches in terms of both software and hardware prowess.

To complete the picture, the MARQ Aviator comes with a premium price tag of $2,400.

Alternatives to Garmin Aviation Watches

For those seeking a technical aviation watch from a well-established watch brand or simply seeking an alternative, I’ve outlined three options below.

Citizen Promaster Altichron (ref. BN5058-07E)

The Citizen Promaster Altichron is a watch brimming with practical functionalities, powered by the Eco-Drive movement that harnesses solar technology to ensure continuous operation. Crafted for adventurous spirits, this timepiece features an altimeter capable of measuring altitudes from 1,000ft to 32,000ft, alongside a compass and date display.

Sporting a substantial 47mm size, the Promaster Altichron’s dimensions are fitting, considering the array of complications and features showcased on its dial. The watch boasts a rotating compass bezel, an electronic compass, a power reserve indicator, and luminous hands and hour markers. 

With a water resistance rating of 200m, there’s no need to fret about water exposure. It’s fair to say that this watch exudes a robust and masculine aura, ready to conquer the most demanding of environments.

With a retail price of $595, the Promaster Altichron offers remarkable value. Keep in mind that Citizen frequently hosts sales throughout the year, making it possible to acquire this timepiece at a discounted rate.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto (ref. H77785733)

The Hamilton Khaki X-Wind stands as a remarkable aviation watch, and my admiration for this timepiece has endured over time. The one factor that has kept me from making a purchase is its substantial 45mm case size. Nevertheless, the Hamilton Khaki X-Wind embodies the quintessential tool watch aesthetic, and its visual appeal has consistently held my attention. Once worn, you’ll find it difficult to part with this utilitarian timepiece featuring three crowns.

The dial is graced with a day-date complication positioned at 9 o’clock. The dial’s outer periphery showcases a numbered ring designed for drift angle calculations. Additionally, an outer rotating bezel facilitates wind speed calculations, factoring in both headwind components and crosswind angles. These functionalities prove invaluable for assisting pilots in calculating angle and wind speed to ensure precise aircraft landing.

Initially priced at $1,245, the Hamilton Khaki X-Wind was eventually discontinued by the brand. However, it’s still possible to acquire a new piece through authorized Hamilton retailers or on the secondary market.

Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E79363101B1E1)

The Breitling Aerospace Evo stands as a prime example of a luxury quartz watch, renowned for its abundance of action-packed features. Originating in 1985, the Aerospace collection has seen continuous evolution under the Breitling brand.

Built from titanium, both in its case and bracelet, the Aerospace Evo combines comfort and lightweight wear on the wrist. The case measures 43mm in diameter, boasts a thickness of 10.8mm, and flaunts a lug-to-lug length of 52mm, accompanied by a lug width of 22mm.

As per Breitling’s description, the Aerospace Evo hosts an officially chronometer-certified SuperQuartz™ caliber. Its user-friendly control system, activated by the crown, encompasses an array of functions, including a 1/100th of a second chronograph, countdown timer, second timezone, alarm, audible time signal (minute repeater), and calendar display.

A rotating bezel allows for countdown timing, enhancing the timepiece’s functionality. Additionally, the Aerospace Evo features LCD digital displays positioned beneath the 12 o’clock marker and above the 6 o’clock marker, with the added convenience of backlighting.

The Aerospace Evo has genuinely piqued my interest, joining my curiosity for the Navitimer Chronograph collection within the Breitling lineup. With a premium price tag of $4,450, some might question the cost of a quartz watch. However, when considering the chronometer specifications and the plethora of advanced technology packed within, the value proposition becomes evident.


Garmin Aviation Watches offer a broad range of functions that can prove exceptionally valuable for pilots and even explorers. These timepieces present pilots with an accessible navigation system at the mere turn of a wrist, particularly handy in case the plane’s navigation features encounter malfunctions. 

The integrated weather monitoring application becomes a vital tool, enabling pilots to anticipate and assess flight path conditions. Additionally, the altitude measurement function can be vital for pilots as they must vigilantly monitor the aircraft’s height during flight, ensuring safe navigation and averting altitude conflicts with other airborne craft sharing the same airspace.

Owning a Garmin Watch could indeed simplify a pilot’s life, yet these watches might not cater to everyone’s preferences. As an avid watch collector, I’ve managed to resist the urge to own a smartwatch presently. 

Nevertheless, on occasion, I use my wife’s Apple Watch during workouts to track my heart rate and calories burned. Technological advancements continually refine Garmin Watches, mirroring the broader march of progress. Therefore, embracing these technological strides is akin to embracing the transformative evolution in the commercial aviation industry over the years.

About Exquisite Timepieces

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