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Captain, My Wrist Captain

The America’s Cup demands high standards. This sailing watch does too.

May 19, 2020
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Garmin MARQ Captain
Behind the face of the special-edition Garmin MARQ Captain: American Magic is robust list of features tailored for performance sailing and fitness to meet the demands of skipper Terry Hutchinson and his teammates on New York YC’s America’s Cup Challenger. Courtesy Garmin

American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson is now counting down the days until he and his teammates liftoff and cross the starting line of the Prada Cup in Auckland next winter as they make a run for the 36th America’s Cup Match. But he isn’t scratching off days on an old-fashioned wall calendar. No need, because the countdown is right there on his special edition Garmin MARQ Captain watch.

What does the “T-minus” countdown do when the first race day finally comes? “I guess it just rolls over to the next,” says Hutchinson who intends to defend the Cup in Newport, R.I., should the New York YC syndicate succeed in defeating two other challengers and then the defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.

There’s a lot of time between now and then, and the immediate focus as the team transitions its assets to New Zealand over the next two months is to stay fit and ready. For this, Hutchinson can also tap into his new MARQ Captain, engraved with the American Magic name on the

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bezel and the specialized watch faces featuring the team’s logo—as if he needs a reminder.

The “luxury timepiece,” which certainly does a lot more than tell time, has two exclusively designed sailing-focused watch faces. The analog watch face prominently features the “T-minus” countdown to race day in Auckland, while the digital watch face features a silhouette of

Defiant, the team’s first of two AC75s. Granted, this is all window dressing on what is an incredibly powerful wrist-top tool loaded with the core features found on Garmin’s other fitness and life-hack watches. The MARQ Captain’s sailing-specific features include a preloaded “Sail Grinding” activity, that allows Hutchinson and his mates on Defiant’s grinding pedestals to stay on top of their power output, on land and in the “Penske Gym” (the nickname for their temporary shipping-container workout space).

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function menu
Easy paging through the function menu gets you to the watch’s sail and sail-race functions, including tacking angle monitoring and GPS-based starting-line features. Courtesy Garmin

According to Garmin, the American Magic edition includes three workouts designed by team trainers. Users can select between three workouts: “Race Simulation,” “Fitness Test” and “Intervals.” The watch includes multiple sensors that monitor overall health and wellness, such as the LED heart rate monitor (on the back face of the watch) and a Pulse Oximeter1. Post-activity, you can geek out on your training metrics and it will even guide you through your workout recovery to ensure you’re getting the most efficient training and not burning yourself out for no reason.

If grinding efficiency is less of a priority (yes, it’s OK to rely on your electric winches), dive deeper into the menus and tap into a plethora of functions: it’s preloaded with topographic maps and supports Garmin’s BlueChart coastal charts and GPS navigation, maritime profiles and

weather forecasts, including storm alerts, home port conditions and more. It is compatible with Garmin’s inReach® satellite communications for two-way comms and SOS functionality. Use the “tack assist” function to track headers and lifts and the time-to-burn starting assist and make yourself the go-to tactician you’ve always wanted to be. Sync it with your autopilot and your onboard Fusion radio and everything you need for a day or more of yachting is right there on your wrist. It’s a perfect on-watch companion.

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For your land life, streaming music, contactless payments, daily activity tracking, sleep monitoring, and smart-phone notifications top the list of great functions. The rechargeable lithium battery is rated at 12 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and 28 hours in full-time GPS mode.

With a suggested retail price of $1,750.00, this special-edition watch is squarely on the top shelf of the luxury smartwatch case. But add up all its functionality and its connection to the sailors of American Magic as they enter the starting box in Auckland and you’ve got yourself the ultimate sailing watch that will be the envy of your mates at the yacht club bar.

Garmin.com/MARQ.

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