Activity trackers and fitness/GPS watches sure have come a long way in a relatively short space of time. As you can see by ioCrew member Sputnik’s own collection of Garmins, what started out as a functional, but not necessarily all that great looking ‘GPS watch’, has quickly evolved into a bona fide fashion watch.


And Garmin have just taken the game to a whole new level with the release of their new Chronos range of fenix multisport training watches. The original fenix set a new standard at the time, followed by the fenix2 which went to a new level, and then they stepped things up even further with the release of the fenix3 with various versions including the rose gold fenix3 for women  (pictured centre).

The formula has obviously been working for them because their new Chronos range now comes in three, very sexy new versions. There’s the titanium with brushed titanium band, steel with brushed stainless steel band, and the steel with vintage leather band. And, of course, they transition seamlessly from just looking damn good, to being the real deal for all of life’s adventures – whether it’s running or hiking through the mountains or training for a race.

As Garmin Australasia GM Adam Howarth says, this is “high-end design meets top-tier performance”. It’s a philosophy close to our own hearts here at ioMerino as we’re always looking to create products that not only look good, but deliver the high performance we know you expect when you’re in the outdoors.

We won’t go into the full list of features right here – you can find everything you need to know on the Garmin website – but what we will say is this is one seriously impressive ‘watch’. Even if calling it a ‘watch’ is a bit like calling The Great Wall of China a ‘fence’. We can tell you they have a 10ATM (100m) water rating, up to 25 hours of battery life in UltraTrac battery saver mode, 13 hours in GPS mode, and one week in smart watch mode. So when you’re on your next adventure, there’s every chance you’ll run out of energy long before they do!

Plus, there’s the usual full multisport and navigational tool set from the previous fenix. It’s fair to say this is a pretty serious, and seriously sexy, watch that really does add luxury and style to multisport training just like Garmin claims it does.

We asked our own ioCrew member Sputnik, for his take on the latest in GPS watches.

“I’m not going to lie, of course, like a lot of people, I’m totally sucked in by how my GPS watch looks. But there’s no question every time I’ve upgraded, I’ve done so to get some extra performance. Not out of myself, necessarily, but out of my watch!”.

While Sputnik started with a relatively modest GPS watch in the days before apps like Strava and MapMyRun were around, he was quickly lured into the world of more features, longer battery life and a watch that looked the business.

“The truth is, I still only use a fraction of the features of my fenix3, but the ones I do use, I’d be lost without. In the relatively short time I’ve had mine, I’ve run through the jungles and kayaked through the rivers of Cambodia, jumped into waterfalls and climbed an active volcano in Bali, I’ve hiked and run some of New Zealand’s best mountain trails and kayaked on the legendary Milford Sound, run the Big Sur Marathon, Tarawera Ultra and Ultra Trail Australia, hiked up to Half Dome in Yosemite, dodged lightning storms in the Canyonlands, run a few ultra marathons… and the fenix3 hasn’t missed a beat so I’m definitely a fan.”

As far as where his Garmin journey all began, he talks us through his own collection.

“On the far left is the Garmin 405 which was the GPS watch that got me through my first year or two of running including the New York Marathon” he explains. “But when I got into ultra, the battery wasn’t up to it so I moved into the 310 – which was super functional, but was a bit like wearing a small microwave oven on your wrist. Then last year, I invested in the Fenix3 Sapphire which is basically my dream watch, and now you’ll rarely see me without it on.”

While the choices for adventurous ladies are still relatively limited by comparison, mostly due to the necessarily large size of the fenix3, it’s fair to say GPS watches have come a long way in a relatively short space of time. So if you’re looking for something that looks good and gives you the performance you want, a new Garmin might just be the perfect accessory to go with your ioMerino.

Here’s a quick sample of some of the places Sputnik has worn his fenix3 in the past 18 months.

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