An electronic watch can be as smart as Einstein and still be useless to fishermen if it isn’t waterproof.
Well, Garmin’s Quatix 3 ($449.99) can be submerged to 100 meters — about 178 feet deeper than the practical limit for SCUBA divers on compressed air — so this watch should handle anything a fisherman is likely to encounter.
Watches also need to tell time accurately, and this one resets itself with the one-second-every-32,000-year accuracy of the atomic clocks in our GPS satellites.
The Quatix 3 can also navigate with Russia’s GLONASS system and, since the watch knows where it is, time zone changes are almost automatic.
GPS is turned off to save battery power while running in watch mode, but on a recent cross country road trip I found using a GPS-based feature after changing time zones instantly corrected the time.
The Quatix 3 also offers a competition timer, start line and tack-assist for sailors, an alarm clock feature, sunrise/sunset alerts, and a solar/lunar hunting and fishing calendar.
Two things that annoy me about GPS are compass direction and altitude readings: You must move in a direction before GPS knows which way you are going and altitude is the system’s least accurate measurement.
The Quatix 3 has a three-axis electronic compass that works while you’re standing still, and a barometric pressure sensor that accurately shows your altitude and helps you detect changing weather conditions.
The Quatix 3 is capable enough to serve as a backup GPS for your boat or as a self-contained navigation device on boats without electrical systems. It can save 1,000 waypoints and 30 routes, has an anchor watch to detect a dragging anchor, TracBack to return to a starting point, Sight ’N Go to pick a spot on the horizon and navigate to it, and a one-button Man Overboard feature to navigate back to retrieve anything from your blown-off hat to a clumsy fishing buddy.
A big question mark for me was battery life. and the Quatix 3 can run up to 20 hours in GPS mode, 50 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode and up to six weeks in watch mode, depending on settings.
I’ve only run the battery down to 70 percent so far, and its included automatic USB charger has recharged it in a couple of hours.
The Quatix has many capabilities I haven’t used. Its built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can control a Fusion stereo, stream data from Garmin electronics on your boat, use apps installed on your smart phone to access local tide data and provide alerts for weather, emails, texts and more.
It even has a fish counter to tick off how many you put in your cooler or livewell.
The watch comes with blue silicone and black leather bands, along with the tools to change them.
It is comfortable, surprisingly light and as easy to use as a smart phone.
Visit garmin.com for more information.