Visually (and probably electronically) very similar to the last years Fenix Outdoor GPS watch, the new Garmin D2 Pilot elevates its functionality to new heights in order to serve all sorts of pilots. Yes, there is a great deal of planes equipped with state of the art navigational equipment, but if all else fails, you still need a wrist computer to rely on.
Like the aforementioned Fenix Outdoor, the new Garmin D2 is equipped with a highly sensitive GPS module that allows for very accurate positioning, which is in fact good enough not only to guide you to the airport of your interest, but also to allow you to safely land the plane.
Its built-in memory chip accepts up to 50 routes and allows you to add as many as 1000 waypoints and locations so that you can always make a perfect route without accidentally barging into a no-fly zone with all the local F-16s coming after you. To make your life even easier, the watch can be wirelessly fed a flight plan designed in their Garmin Pilot app.
As always, the watch sports a comprehensive list of functions, those including an altimeter with adjustable barometer settings, a three-axis electronic compass, as well as an ability to find a nearest landing strip in its vast worldwide airport database. It is, of course, equipped with different sorts of alarms, those including a vibrating altitude alert: a very handy feature if you happen to frequently travel in a mountainous area.
Compared to the recently revealed Garmin Forerunner 620 GPS watch, the D2’s 70×70 monochrome LCD screen doesn’t look particularly cutting edge. On the other hand, the display’s resolution is pretty much adequate for the task since it is legible enough not only to display such information as your real speed and altitude, but also to show you an easily readable map with a route to your airport of destination.
As for the battery life of the gadget, it is comparable with other GPS-equipped watches. The manufacturer guarantees that it will work up to 50 hours in GPS mode, up to two weeks in sensor mode and whole five weeks in watch mode. According to the company, the battery fully charges with a proprietary clip-on module at around two hours: just like your normal smartphone does.
As for the price, it is a pretty much standard $500 USD. While not terribly cheap, it is not merely a lot more affordable than a fancy quartz Breitling that sports a lot less functions, but comes at a much higher price, but is also designed to actually give you something in return for that hard-earned cash of yours.
WWR preliminary verdict:
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Garmin D2 Pilot watch specification
Price: $499 (MSRP)
Power reserve (on a single charge): up to 50 hours (GPS mode); 2 weeks (sensor mode); 5 weeks (watch mode)
Functions: GPS, barometric altimeter, compass, track log, timer, alarm, chronograph, vibration, multiple time zones, ZULU/UTC reference, wireless flight plan download
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 49.00 mm
Case height: 17.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: LCD, 70×70 pixels
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with pin buckle