5 versions

The third generation of the successful Garmin Descent dive computer, the Descent Mk3i has been launched and presented at the amazing Y-40 pool in Italy. The offer of the Garmin Descent series sees now two options, 51 and 43 mm diameter cases, for 5 different versions. The three 43 mm models are the Stainless Steel with Fog Gray Silicone Band (the only non “i” version), the Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Silicone Band, and the Bronze PVD Titanium with French Gray Silicone Band. The two 51 mm diameter case are the Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Silicone Band and the Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with DLC Titanium Band. Let’s see the important upgrades of the Mk3i vs Mk2i versions. The Garmin Descent offer still includes the more accessible Descent G1, Descent G1 Solar, and the new Descent G1 Solar Ocean Edition.

Design and materials

Screen, bezel and case

The two dimension cases, 51 and 43 mm are made with top quality, resistance and durability materials. The lens is made of Sapphire crystal, while the bezel is in diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated titanium, for amazing resistance to shocks and scratches. The case is in fiber-reinforced polymer with titanium rear cover


The strap is a silicone strap 26 mm wide on the 51 mm case and 20 mm on the 43 mm case. On the 51 mm the DLC coated titanium bracelet is also available. The straps fit wrists with the following circumference: Silicone band 135-230 mm, extra long silicone band 135-355 mm, Titanium bracelet 135-220 mm.

With its quick release system, the Garmin Descent Mk3i can also mount the colourful line of the Fenix straps, even though there is no extra long version available.


The weight of the 51 mm version is equal to 77.8 g with no bands, 105.6 g with silicone band and 165.9 g with titanium band. The 43 mm version is instead 49.3 g with no band and
68.3 g with silicone band.


The rechargeable battery of the Garmin Descent Mk3i has different duration depending on the 51mm and 43 mm versions, and on the use.

Garmin Descent Mk3i51 mm43 mm
SmartwatchUp to 25 days (10 days always-on)Up to 10 days (4 days always-on)
Battery Saver Watch ModeUp to 31 daysUp to 12 days
GPS OnlyUp to 76 hours (56 hours always-on)Up to 28 hours (22 hours always-on )
All Satellite SystemsUp to 55 hours (43 hours always-on)Up to 20 hours (16 hours always-on)
All Satellite Systems + Multi-bandUp to 48 hours (38 hours always-on)Up to 17 hours (14 hours always-on)
All Satellite Systems + MusicUp to 17 hoursUp to 6 hours
Max Battery GPSUp to 118 hoursUp to 44 hours
Expedition GPSUp to 24 daysUp to 10 days
Dive ModeUp to 66 hoursUp to 30 hours
Dive Mode with Air IntegrationUp to 40 hoursUp to 15 hours

Amoled touchscreen and torch

One huge upgrade of the Descent Mk3i vs Mk2i series is the new superior visibility Amoled touchscreen (not underwater).

Additionally, the difference between Mk3i 43mm vs 51mm is also the presence on the 51 mm of a very powerful torch.

Vertical Blue 2023

Lifetime buttons duration

The functioning of the 4 lateral menu buttons of the Descent Mk3i series work thanks to an induction system. This permits to have no holes in the case, with an amazing increase in watertightness and life of the buttons. All this, in fact, also leads to a 200 meters of depth resistance, by the Garmin Descent Mk3i and Mk3, a depth never reached before by this segment dive computer watches.

Safety systems

The Garmin Descent Mk3i dive watch includes an important number of safety features. In particular, in the Apnea (freediving) mode a series of sound alarms can be set. The algorithm used is very conservative, which means it works a lot on the safe side. So, keeping within the parameters indicated by the Garmin Descent Mk3i dive computer means being very safe, but with also margins. In the Apnea Hunt mode the alarms are silenced.

The information registered and shown on the screen is the classic time of immersion, real time and maximum depth, surface time and recovery time. Addtionally, the very special feature of the Garmin Descent series, present already in the Mk1 version, is the GPS system. This has been and is a very interesting feature for spearfishing, but also a great safety one for freediving and diving. In fact, the Descent MK3i dive watch registers the immersion and emersion points, which are of course also recorded on the app.

Descent Mk3i, 51mm, Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Silicone Band

World bathymetric map

Another really important feature and content of the Mk3i vs the previous version is the inclusion of a World bathymetric map based on the NOAA data. This is a huge content which permits to plan scuba dives, freediving dives and spearfishing actions.

Even though some functions like GPS and touchscreen do not work underwater, the electronic compass works, which is another great orientation tool. This, together with the constant indication on the screen of the real time depth, gives the diver outstanding orientation info.

Descent Mk3i, 51mm, Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Silicone Band

With the above functions, another key tool linked to the possibility to plan dives is the information about tides in any part of the world.

30+ sport functions and cardio sensor

As with the previous Mk2i version, the Mk3i has an “infinite” number of sports integrated in the watch and its App, with of course the basic and most used ones being running and cycling, but with the inclusion of very different sports such as Kayak, Golf, Tracking, Swimming and many more. Of course Apnea Hunt (Spearfishing), Apnea (Freediving) and Diving functions are the key ones of the Descent series.


The Heart Rate Monitor has been improved in the algorithm to be able to recognize the colour of the skin and the possible hair on the wrist for a more precise measurement.

The sport training functions are also linked to the Stress Level indication, based on the breathing, Saturation (Oxygen in the blood), Sleep Monitor. For women, even the cycle and pregnancy is monitored. All this brings also to an indication of the Dive Readiness of the diver.

Descent Mk3i, 51mm, Carbon Gray DLC Titanium with Black Silicone Band

Smart watch

The Smart watch function with the possibility to receive notifications, read messages, make payments and listen to music are the additional features of the Garmin Descent Mk3i series.

With the Garmin Dive App all diving session data can be shared together with the photos of the dive, generating a real community effect.


With the InReach Mini GPS phone, used with its Dive Case, it is also possible to send SOS messages indicating one’s position at the surface, and requesting “Vessel Emergency. Need Assistance”. This will be connected to the App of the people on the boat and permit a quick and effective rescue.

Transceiver T2

The new Transceiver T2 is used for Scuba Diving. Such activity also many freedivers and spearos might want to in beautiful seas around the world. In fact, in most areas spearfishing is, very correctly, allowed only without tanks, while other zones, are protected areas.

The Transceiver T2 improves its functionality vs the T1, connecting now up to 8 (instead of 5) Transceivers T2. Waterproof to -200 meters and the battery lasting up to 100 hours, the Transceiver T2 permits a bi-directional Sonar communication. Up to 10 meters of distance, not only can the diver check all info of its tank on the Descent Mk3i, such as depth, bars of the tank, but he/she can also check the same data of the companions diving together, including their distance and depth.

Additionally, underwater messaging is possible, still at the maximum distance though of 10 meters. A key message such as “Help me!” can be sent to all the other divers in the range of 10 meters simply pressing the light button on the left of the case. The fellow divers will receive a message with red instead of blu icon, with the message repeated every 2 minutes until it is disactivated. The message will then include pressure in the tank, distance and depth of the diver calling for help.

Descent G1 Solar Ocean Edition

With 150 Million tons of plastic left as waste in the Oceans and additional 10 Million every year, Garmin wanted at least to give a message, which we could translate in “Stop putting plastic in the Oceans, take it out instead and reuse it!” In that sense, the case is in recycled polymer.

As a more affordable version, the Descent G1 Solar and Ocean Edition have a Black and White screen. The small solar panel does not really charge the watch, but helps to improve the duration of the charge of the battery. All details of the G1 Solar series can be read at this link.