Wearable sports tech-specialist Garmin has announced the arrival of its new Descent Mk2 and Descent Mk2i dive computers, along with the Descent T1 air-integrated tank transmitter. As with its Descent Mk1 predecessor, the Descent Mk2/2i is designed as a feature-rich package for use both above and below the surface.
The air-integrated (AI) Mk2i version of the Descent pairs with the new T1 transmitter via Garmin’s proprietary ‘SubWave’ sonar-based communication, claimed to increase the range and reliability of tank pressure readings over traditional wireless transmitters. Up to five paired transmitters can be simultaneously monitored from a single computer, allowing divers to view the tank pressure, gas consumption rate and remaining dive time of additional tanks – and other divers – within a 10m underwater range.
Both of the new Descent Mk2 series support multiple dive modes for both single- and multiple-gas dives (including nitrox, trimix and 100 per cent O2), plus gauge, apnea, apnea hunt and closed-circuit rebreather modes. Additional features include customisable in-dive data fields, a 3-axis digital compass and a new 1.4in colour display, designed to be read in strong sunlight and 36 per cent larger than the Descent Mk1.
Dives are automatically logged in the new free Garmin Dive app, which provides a detailed analysis for each dive, including maximum depth, bottom time and a GPS map of surface entry and exit points. More than 2,700 dive sites around the world are pre-programmed into the app along with the locations of underwater features such as wrecks and reefs, and tide date where necessary.
Above the surface, the Descent Mk2 computers function as premium multisport GPS smartwatches with multi-GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) support and multiple sports profiles. The golf profile includes full-colour mapping of more than 41,000 courses around the world. The computer can be synced with a smartphone to receive notifications for calls, texts and calendar alerts, plus contactless payment with Garmin Pay, music storage and a pulse oximeter for blood oxygen monitoring.
When paired with a compatible Garmin inReach satellite communicator at the surface, users can send and receive messages from the Descent Mk2 or Mk2i watch and, if necessary, trigger an interactive SOS. A protective ‘Mini Dive Case’ (sold separately) is also available for added protection.
‘With premium features for both underwater and topside adventures, along with advanced air integration, the Descent Mk2i and Descent T1 transmitter are essential equipment,’ said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. ‘Leveraging our expertise in marine sonar equipment, we were able to develop our own SubWave sonar technology that sets the standard for extended range and reliability for the diving community.’
In terms of practicality, Garmin claims the Descent Mk2 and Mk2i have a battery life of up to 16 days in smartwatch mode and up to 80 hours in dive mode from a single charge. The Descent Mk2i has a battery life of up to 32 hours when paired with a Descent T1 transmitter, which itself has a life of up to 110 hours from a user-replaceable CR123 battery. The computers and transmitter are depth-rated to 11atm (100m).
Descent Mk2: £1,199.99 / Descent Mk2i: £1,399.99
Descent T1 transmitter: £349.99
For more information visit www.garmin.com/dive.