Watches have come a long way since the days of simply telling the time.
Garmin watches, in particular, can keep track of your fitness and coordinate your location via GPS.
If you’re in the market for a fitness or adventure watch from Garmin, however, then you can expect to pay a pretty price.
Why Are Garmin Watches So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of a Garmin watch is around $500 with some models costing more than $1,000.
Garmin watches are expensive due to the costs of offering certain special features, satellite costs, and paying for a real-life professional trainer to help clients.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Solar Charging
A problem some people have when using an adventure or fitness watch is that it runs out of battery.
You might be out on the trail and discover that your watch died a long time ago.
You might finish running a marathon and expect to see results on your watch.
Instead, you see that it died before you reached the finish line, which completely misses any of your stats.
Garmin wanted to solve that problem.
It did so by introducing solar charging.
Some of its watches have a unique lens that can capture energy from the sun and use it to charge the watch.
As a result, you don’t have to worry about bringing along a charger or a cable.
You simply ensure your watch has access to the sun, and you can rely on steady charging over time.
This ensures that, even if you forget your cable at home, you have a way of charging your watch.
That makes it ideal for anyone who needs immediate access to their watch’s information.
Of course, putting a solar panel in a watch isn’t cheap.
It requires expensive materials that are also minuscule to fit inside the watch.
Since it’s expensive to make such a lens, the company must put an expensive price tag on the product to offset the cost.
Garmin watches are expensive because many of them feature solar charging which is expensive to make.
2. Sapphire Glass
When shopping for a watch at Garmin, you have a few options for your lens.
The cheapest option is the acrylic lens.
You typically won’t find acrylic lenses since they’re primarily used for low-end watches, but Garmin does have a few earlier models that contained acrylic.
Another option is mineral glass.
This type of lens is installed in their mid-range watches.
Garmin has an even more expensive type of lens, however.
It’s called sapphire glass.
Sapphire glass is more similar to ceramic than glass, however.
It’s also incredibly hard.
It’s only a few steps below the hardness of a diamond.
In fact, it requires diamond-encrusted tools to cut it.
This makes manufacturing sapphire glass extremely expensive.
On the one hand, it’s expensive to make.
On the other, since tools wear down over time, Garmin has to replace its diamond-encrusted tools from time to time.
That’s a hefty expense as well.
The advantage of sapphire glass is that it’s extremely hard to scratch.
While it isn’t scratchproof, it is far harder to scratch than standard glass.
That makes it ideal for hiking and sports watches.
Since production costs are high, the price of the watch is also high.
Garmin watches are expensive because some of them have sapphire glass lenses which are expensive to make.
3. PacePro Coaching Costs
Garmin has a few different methods that you can use to better your fitness performance.
One of those methods is PacePro.
It’s a feature that some of Garmin’s sports and adventure watches offer.
PacePro has the capability of grading your activity and helping you stay on pace based on your preferences.
For example, if you’re looking for a fast and intense workout, then PacePro will provide you with the pace that you need to keep to accomplish that goal.
If your environment suddenly changes, then it will change, too.
If you start running up a hill, for example, then PacePro will consider that and give you a new pace to keep.
Besides PacePro, Garmin also has real-life coaches who can help you improve your running.
Each coach comes with high qualifications and can provide custom plans to help you meet your goals.
The coaches include the following:
- Olympian Jeff Galloway
- Physiologist Greg McMillan
- Physical therapist Amy Parkerson-Mitchell
Obviously, having these titans of running on call requires Garmin to spend a little money.
It also needs to spend money on its PacePro feature.
With higher costs come higher prices.
Garmin watches are expensive because of the costs associated with PacePro and having expert coaches on hand.
4. Heart Rate And Fitness Monitor
One of the most important fitness trackers for any athlete or individual looking to reach certain fitness goals is a heart rate monitor.
Knowing your heart rate is helpful because it can help you determine how many calories you’ve burned during the workout.
Generally, the more your heart is pumping, the more work your body is doing.
That translates into calorie loss and fat burning.
A problem with some cheap heart rate monitors, however, is that they don’t provide accurate information.
The monitor might give you a false reading.
It might under or overestimate how fast your heart is beating.
That can then influence your results.
You might think that you burned a lot of calories when, in fact, you didn’t.
When you’re not reaching certain goals, you may not understand why.
Garmin provides accurate heart rate information.
It uses some of the best tools and materials to ensure the watch is accurately reading your heart rate.
The watch can then take that information and provide you with more stats and even suggestions.
Because of the cost it takes to produce accurate heart rate monitoring, Garmin sells its watches at high prices.
Garmin watches are expensive because of the cost of producing accurate heart rate monitoring results.
5. Pre-Loaded Profile For Accurate Fitness Information
Garmin wants to make working out as easy, efficient, and effective as possible for you.
To that end, one of the features that its watches provide is accurate fitness information generated by a profile that comes pre-loaded for you.
For example, it has many different types of activities pre-loaded on the watch.
If you plan on running, then you can tap that option on your watch.
Your watch will then sync your performance to the activity and help you determine how fast or long you need to run to reach your goals.
It has several pre-loaded profiles like swimming, hiking, and even some sports.
This makes Garmin watches expensive for a few reasons.
For one, it takes a lot of time, research, and costs to come up with each profile.
Since Garmin wants to provide accurate fitness information, it needs to perform deep research.
That costs money.
Then Garmin needs to continue to update that information as trends change.
It does so without charging you anything extra.
To pay for itself, it needs to come at a high price initially.
Garmin watches are expensive because they come with pre-loaded activity profiles that provide accurate fitness information.
6. Workout Suggestions
A problem you might have is coming up with workouts that actually work for you.
Garmin watches have your back.
Once you upload certain goals that you have through your smartphone, you can then have your Garmin watch suggest workouts for you.
The workouts can vary based on the different goals that you set for yourself.
The benefit is having customized workouts that help deliver the results that you want to see.
Of course, those workouts don’t come cheap.
Garmin has to produce sophisticated software and syncing technology to take the information you input, then devise a custom workout plan based on your specific profile.
It costs money to provide that feature.
Since this is something Garmin consistently does, you’re basically receiving that service for free.
To ensure it’s able to sustain itself, Garmin has to put high prices on its watches initially.
Being able to have a watch that suggests a workout for you also brings value to the watch.
Some people are simply willing to pay more for a watch that acts as a personal trainer for them.
That allows Garmin to keep the price expensive, too.
Garmin watches are expensive because of the software required to make personalized custom workout plans for users.
7. Satellite Imagery For Navigation
A lot of people know Garmin for its GPS and satellite maps.
Garmin brought that technology to its watches, too.
You can have a satellite map loaded on your watch no matter where you are.
It’s particularly useful for hiking.
Garmin is able to tell you about certain aspects of a hiking trail thanks to its satellite imagery.
For example, it can let you know how steep certain parts of the trail are ahead of you.
If you’re a runner, then you can use satellite imagery to determine the best running route around you.
Satellite imagery is extremely helpful to some users, but it doesn’t come cheap.
For one, Garmin has to either launch its own satellites or use another company’s satellites.
Either way, the company faces high costs.
Since the whole business is focused on providing accurate information, it also needs the very best in satellite imagery.
That comes at high expenses, too.
To cover those costs, Garmin places high prices on its watches.
Garmin is expensive because of the cost of providing high-quality, informative, satellite imagery.
8. Sleep Monitoring Features
Garmin doesn’t just monitor your fitness levels, either.
Its watches can also help you become aware of your sleeping habits.
It can track how long you slept at night and whether you had any disturbances.
Having sleep information is helpful because it can help you determine whether you need to change something about your bedroom.
Sleep is vital for both high-quality mental and physical production.
If you work out, it’s also important for recovering from your workouts.
Monitoring sleep is an expensive venture as well.
It requires Garmin to install sensitive parts in the watch that can detect your breathing patterns.
This drives up the cost of production which also drives up the price.
Garmin watches are expensive because of the cost of producing accurate sleep monitors.
9. Hydration Tracking
Another important element that Garmin watches can track is your hydration levels.
Anyone who works out knows that getting enough water is essential.
It can help reduce muscle fatigue and keep you from injuring yourself.
Garmin watches can help you keep track of how much water you’ve drank and how much more you need to drink to complement your workout.
Like its other features, it costs the company money to produce and maintain such a feature.
Garmin watches are expensive because of the costs of offering hydration tracking.
10. Stainless Steel Bezel
A final reason Garmin watches are expensive is the cost of their bezel.
The bezel is part of the watch that houses the lens and face.
Garmin uses an array of different materials for its bezels.
Its more expensive watches tend to contain stainless steel bezels.
Stainless steel is ideal because it resists corrosion and is extremely strong.
It won’t break if you accidentally whack your watch on a tree or workout equipment, for example.
Stainless steel is an expensive material, however, since it’s in such high demand across many industries.
Garmin also tends to use high-quality stainless steel, so it has an excellent finish.
Since the material is expensive, it adds to the cost of production, which makes the price more expensive.
Garmin watches are expensive because they contain stainless steel.