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Garmin’s MARQ collection is designed to be a highly specialized high-end version of the company’s GPS and smart watches. Now, thanks to its new Commander line, it’s getting a dark makeover.

Why Commander, you ask? I think Garmin is trying to make this a spy watch and James Bond was a Royal Naval Reserve Commander. Make sense?

MARQ watches come in multiple styles – Aviator, Athlete – and feature various designs and complications. The round-faced devices run Garmin’s own highly-customized OS but can connect to Android and iOS phones.

The new Commander series features diamond-like coating on the case and bezel and “low light” screen allows you to “move undetected in the shadows.” It comes with a black jacquard-weave strap and includes a button for dumping all the data on your watch in case you’re kidnapped by Le Chiffre.

The watch is pricey. $1,950 gets you the watch and a strap and you still need a smartphone to access some of the features. It’s a great idea for Garmin to expand into the “tool watch” category – you can only sell so many GPS watches, especially after the rise of the Apple Watch – but I worry that with the MI6 budget being what it is in these confusing times that James might not be able to afford it. Maybe Q can put it on his card?


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By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.