Are Garmin Watches Waterproof? Let’s Dive Into The Specs…

by | 09/11/2021 9:05 pm
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Whether you plan on buying a Garmin watch to monitor your swimming progress, or you’ve just accidentally spilt your coffee on one, let’s take a look at whether or not these devices are waterproof…


Having been incorporated all the way back in 1989, Garmin has been around for a little longer than you may have thought. This is because they were formally known as ProNav, which is a little hint at what they were doing back in the beginning.

Satellite navigation has always been their speciality, and today, they’re incorporating it into their own fitness devices and competing with the likes of FitBit and Xiaomi.

garmin fenix 6
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Other features that go into their devices include maps, contactless payment through NFC, pulse-oximetry and Bluetooth music playback with Spotify integration, which places them in a nice little space between FitBit and the Apple Watch.

Garmin has a selection of fitness trackers out there that are worn on the wrist, but if your preferred exercises involve taking a dip, water resistance is likely quite high up your priority list when it comes to that device’s features.

Are Garmin Watches Waterproof?

If you’ve been eyeing up the latest Garmin watches, great news, as they all come with a water resistance rating to help you make the right selection.

Garmin adds a water rating to all of its newest devices, whether it’s for weekly swim sessions or heading in the sea for some deepwater activity. These ratings determine how water-resistant or waterproof they are, as well as what types of activities they are best suited to.

What Do Garmin’s Water-Resistance Ratings Mean?

Garmin claims on its website that it thoroughly evaluates its products to ensure that they are suited for the kind of water-based activities for which they are intended. It also explains what each water rating entails and what activities it can tolerate, ensuring that your wearable stays completely functional after being submerged.

Garmin’s water ratings include an Ingress Protection (IP) rating, or an ATM rating in the case of most Garmin devices these days. When we talk about IP ratings we are in fact referring to the International Electrotechnical Commission’s standard. This commission assesses how well electrical equipment is secured against moisture and other contaminants.

The following are the three different ratings that Garmin applies to each of their devices:

  • 5ATM Rating – If you notice a 5ATM or ‘Swim’ certification on a Garmin watch or tracker, it means it can resist pressures corresponding to a depth of 50 metres. It doesn’t indicate it’s acceptable for diving at such depths; rather, it means it’s good for shallow water sports. Splashes, rain, snow, showering, swimming, diving into water, and even snorkelling are all examples of this.
  • 10ATM Rating – A Garmin with a 10ATM water rating can resist pressure to a depth of 100 metres, making it ideal for all of the same conditions that a 5ATM rated device does, as well as being a perfect candidate for high-speed water sports and deeper diving.

The Garmin Watch Range

If you’re searching for a Garmin watch that can go the distance (or depths), we’ve broken a small selection of their extensive range and what each is capable of in the drink:

Garmin Fenix 6 Series

The Garmin Fenix 6 is the company’s signature ‘adventure’ watch, and each model in the series is appropriate for both pool and open water swimming. All Fenix 6 models have specialised modes for pool, open water, and swimming activities, as well as unique pool-based programmes to give your swim sessions an added training edge.

  • Water-resistance rating: 10ATM
  • Price: Around $550.00

Garmin Forerunner 945

Because the Garmin Forerunner 945 is made for triathletes, it’s no surprise that it can survive in water up to 50 metres deep. It has specific swim tracking modes for the pool and open water, as well as a number of metrics and the possibility to combine it with an external heart rate monitor for more accurate activity data.

  • Water-resistance rating: 5ATM
  • Price: Around $600.00

Garmin Approach S62

The Approach S62 is a golf watch that is suitable for both water hazards and putting greens. It’s waterproof up to 50 metres and comes with a pool swim monitoring profile with stats like average pace and stroke count.

  • Water-resistance rating: 5ATM
  • Price: Around $500.00

Garmin Marq Collection

Garmin’s luxury line of watches has all have the same water resistance certification, allowing them to be worn in water up to 100 metres deep. In terms of swimming features, it’s comparable to Garmin’s Fenix line, and the Marq Captain comes with a variety of settings that make it a wonderful sailing accompaniment as well.

  • Water-resistance rating: 10ATM
  • Price: Between $1,500.00 and $2,500.00

Garmin Forerunner 245

The 245 (with or without audio storage) is the follow-up to the highly popular 235. It has the same water resistance rating as the 235 but adds a pool swimming mode that gives you a greater dose of swim tracking data including pace, stroke count, and the option to follow swim-based programmes.

  • Water-resistance rating: 5ATM
  • Price: Around $350.00

Garmin Vivomove

The Vivomove is Garmin’s hybrid analogue/digital wristwatch, and all variants in the series are waterproof. Although the statistics on what you do in the pool is less detailed than on other Garmin watches, it still provides you something to measure your progress with.

  • Water-resistance rating: 5ATM
  • Price: From around $200.00

Garmin Vivosport

The Vivosport is the only Garmin fitness band, similar to the original FitBits, with both built-in GPS and a water resistance rating of 50 metres. It doesn’t have a specific swim tracking profile, but there’s no need to take it off to jump in the shower or pool after a land-based workout.

  • Water-resistance rating: 5ATM
  • Price: Around $115.00

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