October 8, 2013
By Ian J. Twombly
Pilot watches have always been big, gaudy, and a little bit nerdy. Garmin has taken those endearing traits and mixed them with recent advances in consumer electronics with its new D2 pilot watch.
The D2 begins a completely new era in aviation—the wearable GPS. Calling it a watch is sort of like calling a the Space Shuttle an airplane. It resembles a watch only it that its worn on the wrist and can tell time. It’s more accurate to call it a wearable navigator. The D2 can navigate on a flight plan, there are altitude alerts, it can interact with the Garmin Pilot iOS application, and Garmin’s new VIRB camera. The user can operate it like a standard GPS and customize the data fields for time to destination, time to next waypoint, groundspeed, track, bearing, and so on.
If your portable Garmin GPS has gotten a little too big for you, there’s no need to link the D2 with another device. It will navigate all its own, and even includes a basic moving map, and a compass with a horizontal situation indicator (HSI). Garmin claims an accurate altitude readout, as well. So accurate, in fact, that you can set the watch to vibrate when you’ve wandered off the assigned altitude.
The watch is anticipated to be released in November and is priced at $449.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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