The History of Garmin Fenix Watches

The Garmin Fenix is easily the smartwatch manufacturer’s best-known and best-selling design. A premium multisport GPS watch, the Fenix has satisfied adventurers of all kinds for over a decade, gratifying those who need a trusted timepiece with advanced training apps, everyday utility and a rugged exterior. The history of the Garmin Fenix watch is not a short one, with the collection evolving every few years, so let’s begin…

The first Garmin Fenix smartwatch came to be in 2012 when Garmin’s design team realised they had fulfilled the needs of almost every kind of smartwatch wearer, from golfers to runner and divers, but they had yet to create a luxury wearable dedicated entirely to hikers. And so, incorporating their already well-loved outdoor technology into an outdoor watch, they launched the first-generation Garmin Fenix. The design was entirely focused on the outdoors, offering a robust battery life, metal rear case and decent water resistance. The Garmin Fenix became their most functional outdoor watch at that time.

Two years later, taking on board consumer’s reactions to the original Fenix, the Garmin Fenix 2 watch launched. Described as the ultimate multisport adventure watch from Garmin, the Fenix 2 remained dedicated to outdoorsmen but included some added fitness features such as running dynamics, heart rate compatibility and cycling features. It was the first time Garmin had brought so much together in one single smartwatch. It was another three years until the next evolution was unveiled, with the Garmin Fenix 3 hitting the market in 2015. This design saw the Garmin Fenix with its first the EXO™antenna and colour display. This was a significant technological jump in the GPS watch market and having a sunlight-visible, low-power display is still a key part of the Garmin Fenix collection to this day. The Garmin Fenix 3 also debuted the wrist-based heart rate monitor as well as a white/rose gold colourway.

Interestingly, no Garmin Fenix 4 was ever launched because according to the smartwatch giant, it created phonetic pronunciation issues related to the combination of Fenix and 4 in certain dialects of Mandarin. So skipping ahead, the Garmin Fenix 5 was released in 2017 and yet again trumped all those that had come before. For the first time, the Garmin Fenix was launched in several sizes to tailor to different wrists. There was the Garmin Fenix 5S at 42mm, the Fenix 5 at 47mm and the Fenix 5X at 51mm. Before this, all Garmin Fenix watches boasted the larger 51mm diameter. Additional apps were included on these models too including maps, mobile payments and music.

The Garmin Fenix 6 arrived in 2019, introducing larger displays, innovative performance features and an even longer battery life. Most importantly however, the Garmin Fenix 6 made history as Garmin’s first solar-powered smartwatch. The innovative Power Lens allowed you to charge your battery life while out in the sun, extending your reserve for those unexpected long trips away from a charging point. The Garmin Fenix had never been such a worthy outdoor GPS smartwatch.

The solar-powered technology of the Fenix 6 was also utilised on the Garmin Fenix 7 which launched in 2022. The Garmin Fenix 7X is one of the brand’s most remarkable instruments, pairing its 51mm case with sapphire crystal-protected solar displays allowing for a battery life of up to 37 days. This model also comes with Garmin’s first integrated flashlight feature which extends a strong beam of light out in front of you with a simple push of a button. The Garmin Fenix 7 smartwatches also come with a touchscreen display for the first time which makes spanning across the full-colour maps, adding real life stats and setting your customised widgets all the easier.

If you’d like to learn more about the Garmin Fenix watch collection and shop the latest models for yourself, head over to the Jura Watches website here. Alternatively, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at