If you don't have a pilot watch and haven't used a Garmin before this is a great watch at a entry level price to get someone that is active, flies, and would appreciate a Pilots watch in 2022. This review is based on my own personal use of the Garmin D2 pilot watch which I recently received and would like to share my personal experience using the watch for everyday use.
There and no doubt Garmin has great pilot watches including the Garmin D2 AIR X10 for purchase in 2022. The reasons I love this watch is due to its; its simplicity, active tracking for my running, music, and the functionality and capability of this relatively cheap watch compared to others. I don't use the watch for much of my daily flying as it's not required but it would definitely be helpful for small things like weather tracking and getting the frequencies of airports. I personally would rather just use my Ipad/ACARS and FMC database to get information on airports and weather. If you had a small cheap GPS and were just flying locally then this watch could help with basic navigation and ETA functions by tracking DCT.
Garmin AIR X10 price:
$499USD or $823AUD
The Garmin D2 Air X10 has amazing features including a touchscreen AMOLED crisp clear screen and many other features including wireless, Bluetooth, and great activity tracking through Garmin Connect. The watch is capable of providing basic Direct To function as a navigation device flying to multiple airports while providing cross-track distance, and estimated time of arrival (ETA) and can provide METAR (aviation forecast updates) information if connected to your phone. The D2 Garmin pilot watch weighs very little at 50.9 grams and has a gorilla glass front screen that provides simple navigation and a beautiful crisp screen that allows you to select from many different Garmin watch faces.
To start using the Garmin D2 pilot watch you must first connect it to your smart device using the Garmin Connect app. Once connected you will be asked to go through and set up nearest/favorite airports, personal data, and notifications. I have personally used Garmin connect before and track my physical activity through it to STRAVA for running, walking, and hiking. I now use this watch as my main watch for casual day activities, flying and running.
Can the Garmin D2 connect to Fore-Flight?
To navigate using the Garmin D2 when flying you must either use its internal navigation database or connect to Garmin Pilot, you can not use Foreflight or OzRunways to navigate using this Garmin watch. When you purchase the watch it will come with 3 months free Garmin Pilot, however; I only use the watch for time-zones, running, and daily use.
Can the Garmin D2 be used underwater and for running?
You can use the Garmin D2 X10 as it has an ATM of 5, This means the watch can be used to a depth of pressure of 5 atmospheres or 50M (164ft) before the watch is damaged. Using any smart swatch in water would not be advised as salt water is corrosive and the smartwatch charging points can be affected.
Garmin pilot GPS and flying features:
The Garmin D2 pilot watch uses GPS only or, GPS+GLONASS or GPS+GALILEO which allows it to track, speed, time, and distance to a waypoint or airport. The watch will provide navigation information relevant to your destination or point. The Garmin D2 AIR X10 will provide a magenta line, track, and deviation bar plus updates on distance, course, and time to arrival depending on the current speed.
The weather is provided by the internet when connected to your phone and will include the latest and past METAR, TAF and will decode and give you simple wind data on the face of your watch including the weather for example BR, FG, and RA.
Music and memory:
The Garmin can be connected to your smartphone to download music or you may use a third-party music provider such as Spotify or apple music.
Battery Life and charging the Garmin D2
The actual battery life depends on the features enabled on your watch, such as activity tracking, wrist-based heart rate, phone notifications, GPS, and connected sensors.
Smartwatch mode with activity tracking and 24/7 wrist-based heart rate monitoring: up to 7 days,
Smartwatch mode with battery saver: up to 8 days,
GPS mode with music playback: up to 8hrs,
GPS mode with pulse oximeter: up to 20 hours.
Other Pilot Watches
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Top Gun