Analog dive watches from Oris, Panerai, and IWC are great. You have to admit, though, most divers nowadays will actually rely on a dive computer instead of analog timepieces to help them out while exploring the deep. That’s why smartwatches have so much potential in the space, as they can be rigged to do the same things dive computers do while looking like any modern smartwatch when you wear it for your day-to-day affairs. If you’re in the market for one that can do just that, you’ll definitely want to check out the Garmin Descent MK2S.
Billed as a “watch-style dive computer,” it’s, basically, an underwater version of the outfit’s GPS sports watches, combining the sports tracking and sleep monitoring found in their GPS watch models with specialty diving functions. Need to see pertinent information like depth, temperature, and descent rate at a glance? It can do just that. Need it to accurately calculate how much dive time before your gas mixture runs out? Yep, it will do that, too, among a whole host of information that will prove extremely useful to divers.
The Garmin Descent MK2S does, pretty much, everything a modern dive computer does. That means, it can accurately calculate how much dive time you have left, with full support for different types of gas mixtures, closed-circuit rebreather, gauge mode, and other dive modes. There’s multi-GNSS satellite support, allowing it to show your precise entry and exit points onscreen, as well as a three-axis underwater compass to properly orient yourself in the water. Naturally, divers can view a variety of information at glance, including depth, dive time, no decompression limit, temperature, ascent and descent rates, and a whole lot more. You can easily customize the kind of information shown onscreen during dives, too, so you can adjust field layouts for multiple screens according to your liking.
It can store information up to 200 dives at a time, allowing you to review everything that happened during any dive using recorded information. You can view recordings one at a time right on the watch, with the option to review multiple recordings simultaneously from the companion smartphone app. The watch, by the way, has a 43mm case and a dive rating of 100 meters.
The Garmin Descent MK2S also has an Explore tool for planning dives based on reviews and ratings from other users, with detailed information like dive logs and prevailing weather in each specific location. Aside from the diving features, it has standard GPS sports watch capabilities, with tracking capabilities for running, swimming, cycling, indoor climbing, surfing, strength training, skiing, golf, and a host of other sports, complete with helpful advice on recovery and workout suggestions that take all your historical data into account. Basically, it can run just like most GPS sports watches out there, making it useful for regular, everyday training.
It can pair with the outfit’s inReach satellite communicators, which will allow you to send and receive messages directly from the watch, as well as trigger an interactive SOS if ever one is necessary. Other features include a 1.2-inch round MIP display, a battery rated at 30 hours of diving, respiratory tracking, advanced sleep monitoring, turn-by-turn navigation, 32GB onboard storage for offline music, and smartphone notifications.
The Garmin Descent MK2S is available now, priced at $999.99.