Garmin just about has a smartwatch for every activity and style — including pilots and those who appreciate “aviator fashion.” Whether you are an active pilot professional or simply have airplane operation aspirations, the Garmin D2 Delta PX watch will be of interest to you. Within Garmin’s larger assortment of smartwatches, the D2 Delta series is currently its most high-featured aviator watch (along with the pilot watch version of the high-end MARQ). The D2 Delta collection includes a series of models, the largest and only titanium version being this D2 Delta PX smartwatch.
I’m not a pilot, so I can’t review the aviation features of this watch, even though I can discuss some of what the D2 Delta PX can do while in the air. Garmin refers to it as their most feature-packed GPS-based pilot smartwatch available. It also comes paired with activity tracking features thanks to its software and sensors (which include a built-in heart rate monitor) that are going to be of primary use outside the cockpit. In fact, if you never use the D2 Delta PX’s flight tracking and navigation features, you can still use it as a full-featured smartwatch when it comes to smartphone notifications, Garmin Pay, listening to music, and a host of fitness and activity tracking features.
Anyone who is accustomed to Garmin’s own smartwatch operating system will be familiar with the D2 Delta and its non-touchscreen and assortment of five operation pushers around the side of the case. This higher-end smartwatch comes with as sapphire crystal over the expansive 30.4mm-wide trans-reflective full-color screen (which also has a backlight). The Delta D2 PX has some special software that is used for the various GPS and pilot functions. The watch can even connect to relevant Garmin avionics equipment that may be installed in one’s plane for the ultimate aviation experience.
Assuming you need GPS navigation to an airport, the watch has a built-in database of global airports to help you navigate to them from anywhere you have GPS connectivity. That means if on-board navigation equipment fails, the D2 Delta will function as a legitimate backup device. This is overkill for most watch wearers, but that never stopped people from wearing the Breitling Emergency that has a rescue beacon feature allowing you to be picked up (at great expense) if you are in an emergency situation. It isn’t always that you’ll use the feature, but rather that part of the high-end wrist watch experience is to own and wear a tool whose larger utility you never actually HAVE to use to survive.
One way that Garmin connects the heart-rate monitor with the aviator features is to suggest that a wearer can use the blood oxygen saturation level meters to gauge how their body is handling increased altitude where oxygen levels are lower. Garmin calls this the watch’s Pulse OX Acclimation feature. Going back to the pilot watch features, one should really take this timepiece into the air at some point, because it would be a shame to miss out on the attractive and useful software and user interface experience that Garmin has been refining for quite some time.
A full list of the D2 Delta PX’s technical specifications are available on Garmin’s website, but I will go over the physical construction of the watch itself. Other D2 Delta watches Garmin produces are either 42mm- or 47mm-wide. The D2 Delta PX (reference 010-01989-30) is a full 51mm-wide. It is also the only D2 Delta produces from titanium, as the other models are in steel. The titanium is DLC coated in a dark carbon color. The coating adds a significant layer of surface scratch resistance, which is a very good thing. Even though the D2 Delta PX can be worn on an available silicone strap, it just looks so nice on Garmin’s large but lightweight titanium bracelet. Overall, despite the large size of this smartwatch, it is comparatively light and comfortable to wear on the wrist.
Battery life is about 18 hours in full GPS mode, though using full GPS mode is rare unless you are actively in navigation or constant tracking more. Most days you’ll have a lot more battery life than that. Garmin boasts up 20 days of battery life if the connectivity features are turned off. Rather than using Garmin’s handy clip-style charging cable, the USB-based charging cable for the D2 Delta PX attaches to the year of the watch. It is secure, but not as secure as the clip-style charging cable.
If you are looking for a serious workout and fitness watch, Garmin’s other smartwatch options might be a better choice given the cost and size of the D2 Delta PX —that is, unless you have rather stocky wrists and simply want a timepiece that has this fun, bold, and strong look to it. If you are seeking a high-end smartwatch from a well-regarded company and want the large wrist presence, then the D2 Delta PX is not a poor choice. Aviators seeking a smartwatch and keen to make use of the GPS features will certainly enjoy what Garmin offers here, and if the size and budget fits, the Garmin D2 Delta PX certainly satisfies. Price for the Garmin D2 Delta PX smartwatch reference 010-01989-30 is $1,249 USD. Learn more via the Garmin website here.