Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Whether in leisure time, swimming, jogging or on the golf course – an athlete always wants to improve. A fitness watch can help with this. Fitness watches can not only measure the athlete’s performance, but also simplify the sport and thus improve performance. One of the high quality brands that manufactures such fitness watches is Garmin. The company produces a wide variety of watches with a wide variety of options.

So that you don’t lose track of all the different functions, we will help you choose the right one with our large Garmin fitness watch test 2023. We have listed the different functions and options. We have compared the different functions and options. But looks also play an important role. We’ll show you the differences here.


  • In addition to smartwatches, Garmin also produces sports watches for sports like running, swimming, cycling and golf. But Garmin also takes into account sports like canoeing, sailing or rowing. There is a suitable function for every sport.
  • Garmin attaches great importance to quality and utility. The watches are made with high-quality materials and due to the many possibilities, you can also benefit from the watches in everyday life. Even for children there are suitable watches that can support them playfully.
  • Whether round, colourful or classic: the watches from Garmin are not only useful, but also look great. You wear this watch every day, so you should definitely like it. Garmin has designed a wide range of displays and wristbands for this purpose.

The Best Garmin Fitness Watch: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Garmin fitness watch

What are Garmin fitness watches?

Fitness watches are watches that record how active the athlete is in his or her daily routine or how much he or she is improving in terms of athletic goals. Various functions support the athlete during training and in everyday life. Most watches can also be used with a smartphone and are therefore something like smartwatches for athletes.

Garmin Fitnessuhr-1

A fitness watch from Garmin can be a good help in everyday life and in sports. It tracks the data and the athlete can use it to improve.
(Image source: / Jonathan Borba)

Garmin is a company that makes navigation devices and has been very successful in the fitness market for some time. Garmin produces very high-quality fitness watches, most of which have GPS navigation.

Did you know that the first Garmin running watch revolutionised the sports world?

When Garmin’s first tracker watch for runners was launched in 2003, the sports world changed. The world’s first wearable for runners brought together the accumulated know-how from the navigation, aviation and marine segments.

Because now everyone could do interval training without having to rely on measured routes. With the Forerunner, GPS and interval training functions, this training was now also feasible somewhere else: everywhere in the great outdoors.

Are there waterproof Garmin fitness watches?

Garmin offers both waterproof fitness watches and special swim watches.

The fitness trackers from Garmin that are waterproof have varying degrees of water resistance. The vívofit 3 fitness tracker, for example, is waterproof up to 5 ATM.

ATM represents how waterproof something is. 1 ATM corresponds to a test pressure under 10 m water depth.

Garmin’s swim watches are even more designed for use in water. The Garmin Swim 2, for example, also measures heart rate under water and has a free swim mode. This has integrated GPS for swimming in lakes, rivers or the sea.

So depending on whether you need a watch for swimming or your watch just gets wet sometimes, you should opt for swim fitness watch or a regular waterproof fitness watch.

Are there Garmin fitness watches with a colour display?

There are Garmin fitness watches with a colour display, but many do not have one. If you only use your fitness watch as a watch and a tracker, you may not need a colour display. You can also view the visualised data on your mobile phone.

How much does a Garmin fitness watch cost?

The cheapest Garmin fitness watches start at around €80. For this price, you get a watch that records your step count, distance and calories burned, and monitors your sleep. It is an entry-level model.

Garmin fitness watches in the middle price segment are around 150 – 200 €. These look much more fashionable and chic. In this price segment, you can already get fitness watches with GPS. Many of these watches are smartwatches. You can read your messages or use apps on the watch.

The most expensive fitness watches from Garmin cost from €200. Here you can get different smartwatches for sports like golf, diving or swimming. These then have relevant functions for the respective sport. As a professional athlete who depends on such functions, watches for this price are worthwhile.

What alternatives are there to Garmin fitness watches?

Garmin is not the only manufacturer of high-quality fitness watches. Companies like FitBit or TomTom also make fitness watches in the lower to high-end price range. Mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung also offer smartwatches that can track fitness.

Decision: What types of Garmin fitness watches are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy a Garmin fitness watch, there are three different types to choose from.

  • Entry-level models from Garmin
  • Garmin fitness watches for specific sports
  • Garmin GPS fitness watches

The different Garmin fitness watches come with some advantages and disadvantages for use. Depending on what you need a Garmin fitness watch for, one of the alternatives is more suitable for you. The following section will help you decide.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an entry-level Garmin model?

The entry-level models are affordable alternatives to expensive smartwatches.

If you don’t need any special functions or don’t do sports professionally, the entry-level models are best suited.

The watches offer great value for money and some great features that you need in everyday life. Again, it depends on what sport you do or what functions you need.

  • Good selection of important functions
  • Good value for money
  • Well suited for everyday use
  • Some important functions are missing
  • Not suitable for professional athletes
  • Important functions may be missing

If you want to get fitter and have never had a fitness watch before, a cheap entry-level model from Garmin might be suitable for you. Again, there is a huge range of different features that may be suitable for you.

What distinguishes a Garmin fitness watch for certain sports and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Garmin offers special fitness watches for some sports. These are particularly suitable for professional athletes. Fitness watches are available for the following sports:

  • Running: Garmin’s wearables offer very different functions for runners. Depending on the type of running or the athlete’s goal, different watches are suitable. Functions offered by Garmin running watches include the following: Running efficiency, training status, Garmin Coach, intensity minutes, heart rate monitor or GPS capability.
  • Cycling: Garmin fitness watches for cyclists offer features that improve the athlete’s performance on the one hand and those that increase safety while cycling on the other. Functions for cyclists include features such as a GPS bike computer, turn-by-turn directions, route indicators, trip comparisons or a bike coach
  • Fitness: The watches from Garmin that specialise in fitness are suitable for people who are on their way to becoming more active and healthier. Functions such as a pedometer , sleep analysis, GPS capability or heart rate measurement at the wrist are particularly suitable for people who place high value on fitness.
  • Golf: The golf watches from Garmin bring more speed to the game of golf. The watches have pre-installed data from golf courses, show the exact distances and have other functions such as manual positioning of the flags, a digital scorecard, pinpointer or course preview
  • Swimming: Garmin watches for swimmers are the faithful companion in the water. Whether in the pool or in open water, the watches can support swimmers significantly. They are especially waterproof and offer other functions such as an open water swim mode, keeping pace, recording exercises, counting moves, pull distance and much more.
  • Diving: Garmin dive watches can help divers dive longer underwater, dive deeper or for getting new certifications. Functions for divers include modes such as single and multigas dives, dive calendar, a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter and many more.
  • Water sports: Watches for water sports are suitable for various sports such as sailing, canoeing, rowing or water skiing and many others and have functions such as storm alarm, boat speed check, distance per stroke or a turn assistant

Depending on the sport, there are great functions that support the athletes.

  • Functions for almost every sport
  • Perfectly tuned for the specific sport
  • Improves the athlete’s performance
  • Not an all-rounder
  • High price

If you play a sport professionally, a good watch can help like a trainer. You get a lot of data about your training and tips on how to get better. Of course, the price is very high, but it’s worth it for athletes.

Garmin Fitnessuhr-2

A high-quality fitness tracker can help with special functions in any sport.
(Image source: / Zan)

What distinguishes a GPS fitness watch from Garmin and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Not all Garmin watches have a GPS function. They can track training data or help as navigation.

Some Garmin watches have water maps or even GPS data for golf courses or a function that shows routes for cycling. For many sports, GPS can improve performance and training.

  • Very helpful for training
  • Can be used as a navigation device
  • Can be used worldwide
  • Higher price
  • Not suitable for all users
  • GPS signal dependent

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate Garmin fitness watches

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible Garmin fitness watches.

The criteria you can use to compare Garmin fitness watches with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we explain what is important in each of the criteria.


Garmin wearables offer thousands of different functions for specific sports. If you play a specific sport, a watch for that sport can be very helpful. Above we have already introduced you to some Garmin sports watches and their functions.

But Garmin’s all-round watches also offer a wide range of functions. You have to ask yourself which functions are absolutely important for you and which are just a nice extra. These are the general functions that are not geared towards specific sports.

Function What is it?
GPS data The GPS function can record data. In this way, the data of the training can be evaluated. This way, the athlete knows how fast he or she did which training and much more. The data can also be compared with friends.
GPS navigation This function can, for example, show the way when cycling, plan routes or give turn-by-turn directions. GPS navigation can also help you find your way in the water when swimming.
Pedometer The pedometer counts the steps you take during the day. The watch can alert you when you are not moving enough or congratulate you when you are particularly active.
Smart Notifications This function can be connected to your mobile phone. Messages, for example from Whatsapp, appear on the watch. Other push notifications from apps also appear on the watch display.
Colour display Not all watches have a colour display. If you want your watch to be able to display colour, buy a watch that has a colour display.
Sleep analysis This feature tracks the quality of your sleep. It tells you when and how long your sleep lasts. It also tracks your blood oxygen and breathing data. This gives you an accurate picture of your sleep.
Music storage Some Garmin watches have the ability to store music on the watch. So you can listen to your favourite songs even when you don’t have your phone with you. When you’re exercising, you can connect the watch to your headphones and listen to your music on the go.

Garmin Fitnessuhr-3

A Garmin fitness watch can help you with great functions for all kinds of sports. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for sports or everyday life.
(Image source: / Rottonara)


Garmin makes watches for different groups of people. The watches differ in various aspects. Here is a selection:

  • Watches for ladies: Fitness watches for women not only have many functions, but also a special look. They are usually a little thinner, so they fit better on a woman’s slimmer wrist. There are also many different wristbands to choose from here. Garmin also offers watches that support the special diet.
  • Watches for men: The men’s watches are usually a little thicker and fit better on a male wrist. However, the watches for men and women rarely differ in terms of functions.
  • Watches for children: The Garmin fitness watches for children look special and have special functions for children. With functions such as challenges, fun facts and character cards, children are encouraged to exercise in a playful way.


You wear your watch every day. So it should not only have many functions, but also look good. There are some differences here. The appearance of watches is influenced by a number of factors.

Part of the clock possibilities

– Square displays

– Round displays

– Colour displays

– Black and white displays

– Display with pointers

– Fashionable appearance

– Sporty look


– Thin bracelets

– Thick bracelets

– Classic watch straps

– Colourful bracelets

– Plain bracelets

– Silicone Bracelets

– Fabric Bracelets


– Classic watch clasps (buckle)

– Pin Closure

– Multi-stage clasps

Image source: gubernat/