Garmin Tactix Delta: The Ultimate Tactical GPS Smartwatch

May 27, 2022
Garmin Tactix Delta: The Ultimate Tactical GPS Smartwatch

Those familiar with the watch industry all know that Garmin is an exceptional choice for smartwatches, especially if we are talking about timepieces that prioritise utility over design. With much-lauded offerings like the Garmin Fenix and the Garmin Instinct, the brand is famous for taking into careful account all the uses and conditions that outdoor enthusiasts have to consider. This is what makes Garmin watches so popular with adventurers and professionals alike.


One great watch from the brand that promises to give wearers an enjoyable outdoor experience is the Garmin Tactix Delta. With its prestigious brand name, sleek design, and highly-practical utility, the Garmin Tactix Delta is an all-in-one smartwatch package that is sure to fulfil all your needs. Without further ado, let us delve deeper into the Garmin Tactix Delta and everything it can do. 

First Impressions

Garmin Delta Tactix Solar

Unlike most smartwatches, the Garmin Tactix Delta is unique in that it is actually meant to cater to military use rather than daily utility. As such, this watch is exceptionally reliable, with a set of adaptable functions meant to help it survive the extreme conditions during a mission.


The Garmin Tactix Delta’s sleek black theme is the result of its military heritage too, as it gives the watch a stealthy, understated look that most army men would favour. Thanks to all these reasons, it is easy to see why the Garmin Tactix Delta has become one of the most reliable tactical watches currently on the market.



As we mentioned, the Garmin Tactix Delta was originally designed as a utility watch for military personnel. As such, it comes with an incredibly durable structure built to survive all kinds of outdoor challenges. With a chunky 51mm black carbon fibre case that is reinforced with a stainless steel caseback, this watch maintains a careful balance between robust durability and a lightweight build. The Garmin Tactix Delta’s subtle all-black look and classic, round case shape give it a very versatile style, allowing it to pair well with virtually any outfit.


The watch’s sturdy stainless steel caseback is also carefully screwed down, which keeps the watch’s inner mechanisms tightly secured from the outside. This screwed-down caseback gives the watch a solid depth rating of 100 metres, meeting the ISO 6425 standard for dive watches. While it is not as good as some dive watches like the Rolex Sea-Dweller, this is still quite a good water resistance capacity for a smartwatch that is more focused on land-based activities.


Affixed to the top of the Garmin Tactix Delta’s case is a black bezel, which is in keeping with the watch’s all-black look. This bezel is made of carbon fibre, coated in black diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating that gives it its colour and bolsters its resistance to scratches, allowing it to protect the watch face more successfully. Despite the sleek look of the case, durability is not a thing you ever have to worry about with the Garmin Tactix Delta, although that is not too surprising, since hardy smartwatches meant to last are a trademark of Garmin’s.


Garmin Delta Tactix

The dial of the Garmin Tactix Delta is quite straightforward. As a smartwatch, the Garmin Tactix Delta has a touchscreen dial that is extremely intuitive, which makes it easy to navigate through the various applications and features. Its high-contrast LED screen also has a very clear display which is very legible, even when cast under bright light outdoors. In addition, this LED screen is also anti-reflective, preventing any light glares or distortions from impeding your view of the dial. This ensures that you will be able to read the dial clearly even on a hot summer day when the glare of the sun is inescapable.


Since the Garmin Tactix Delta is lauded for being a highly practical smartwatch, its array of useful features and modes for both outdoor activities as well as tactical uses is only to be expected. This watch comes with a night vision mode, a stealth mode, and a kill switch function which completely resets and wipes out the data stored in the watch. The Garmin Tactix Delta’s GPS function is also worth noting, since almost all of Garmin’s smartwatches contain highly accurate GPS and GLONASS systems, along with federal, topographical and ski maps.


Some other features of the Garmin Tactix Delta include health monitoring, which allows the wearer to keep track of their heart rate, stress levels, hydration levels, sleep monitoring, and more. This function is especially useful to adventurers who frequently go hiking and exploring the great outdoors. On top of that, the Garmin Tactix Delta also comes with sports apps, animated workouts, and fitness tracking abilities, so wearers can monitor their workout regiment and calculate the number of calories that each activity burns. These make the Garmin Tactix Delta perfect for sports enthusiasts.


Some more niche abilities the Garmin Tactix Delta is capable of include Surfline Sessions and ClimbPro. Surfline Sessions creates a video of the waves you ride while surfing, so you can check back and review how you did. The ClimbPro application, on the other hand, gives you real-time information on your climbs, including gradient, elevation gain, and more. These apps optimise the Garmin Tactix Delta for climbing and surfing, making this a truly versatile timepiece that you can use for all kinds of activities.


Certain Garmin Tactix Delta models are also equipped with solar charging and AB Elite software. Its solar charging technology allows you to charge the Garmin Tactix Delta with either artificial or natural light sources. This is especially useful if you do not have a charging port or power bank on you. Meanwhile, the AB Elite software assists the Garmin Tactix Delta in calculating long-range shooting while in the field, which hunters will find extremely handy.


All in all, the Garmin Tactix Delta is fitted with a litany of features that greatly improve the wearer’s user experience, whether they are enjoying the wilderness or engaging in strenuous sports activities.

Watch Strap

The Garmin Tactix Delta comes with a black nylon strap that completes its subtle all-black aesthetic. This nylon strap ensures that the Garmin Tactix Delta rests comfortably on your wrist at all times.


If you are not a fan of nylon bracelets, however, you can also opt for Garmin’s QuickFit silicone straps, which are also compatible with the Tactix Delta. These silicone bands are completely waterproof, so they are a great choice for those who want to wear the Garmin Tactix Delta while engaging in underwater activities like swimming or scuba diving.


There are three variants of the Garmin Tactix Delta offered, each with different features. The price of the watch also differs depending on which model of the Tactix Delta you are looking at. Firstly, we have the cheapest version, the Garmin Tactix Delta Sapphire Edition, which retails at just $899 USD. The main thing that differentiates this model is its lack of solar-charging capabilities. It can only be charged using an external power source such as a power outlet or a power bank. 


Next, we have the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar Edition. This is a slightly more expensive version that sells at $1,099 USD. Unlike the Sapphire Edition, this watch comes with solar charging technology.


Finally, we have the Tactix Delta Solar Edition with Ballistics, which is especially aimed at tactical and hunting use. This model is equipped with AB Elite software which helps calculate long-range shooting and windage solutions — ideal for hunting or military use. The Tactix Delta Solar Edition with Ballistics costs around $1,399 USD, making this the most exorbitant Garmin Tactix Delta model. 

Alternatives to the Garmin Tactix Delta

1. Garmin MARQ Athlete Performance Edition Ref. 010-02567-21

Garmin Marq Athlete Performance Edition

In terms of alternatives to the Garmin Tactix Delta, the Garmin MARQ Athlete Performance Edition Ref. 010-02567-21 is another Garmin watch worth mentioning. Garmin chose a more straightforward approach with this watch to better appeal to casual sports fans and health nuts. As such, the Garmin MARQ Athlete Performance Edition’s features are not quite as extensive as the Tactix Delta. Nevertheless, if you plan on using this Garmin MARQ watch as an everyday sports watch, it is still a very competent pick. 


This Garmin watch is presented in a 46mm stainless steel case and chunky fixed bezel, coupled with a black silicone strap. This bezel bears VO2 max and recovery time markers, which are quite useful when engaging in sports activities. As a smartwatch, this timepiece has a LED touchscreen dial with an always-on display. This screen is made of anti-glare sapphire crystal, which optimises the legibility of the dial while also ensuring that it is able to withstand scratches and impacts.


As with most Garmin watches, this Garmin MARQ piece is also equipped with global satellite tracking systems like GLONASS and GPS. It has extensive fitness tracking capabilities which help you monitor your hydration levels, heart rate, respiration, stress levels, and more, along with training guidance systems that come in handy during your workouts. Finally, this watch also possesses a 100-metre water resistance capacity.


The Garmin MARQ Athlete Performance Edition Ref. 010-02567-21 is worth approximately $1,355 USD. 

2. Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000

Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black

If you want something a little more stylish, then the Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000 is a wonderful pick. Suunto is another brand that is a master at designing fashionable, high-utility smartwatches, and the Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000 is a testament to that.


This Suunto 9 watch utilises a 50mm fibre-reinforced polyamide case in black, paired with a smooth, black-tone stainless steel bezel and matching black silicone strap. Its sleek all-black theme is completed by a black LED screen, which showcases a vibrant and colourful matrix display. This watch has a series of impressive and versatile functions meant to make your life easier, including a variety of sports modes, GPS, phone connectivity, multiple battery modes, and much more. 


Priced at just $550 USD, the Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000 is a great option for those seeking an affordable and handsome smartwatch.

3. Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire Edition Ref. 010-02157-24  

Garmin Fenix 6

For a smartwatch that leans more towards hiking and sports rather than military use, take a look at the Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire edition Ref. 010-02158-17. This watch uses a 51mm fibre-reinforced polyamide case with a metallic rear case that keeps the back of the watch firmly sealed from the external environment. Affixed to the top of the case is a highly scratch-resistant, DLC-coated stainless steel bezel which adds greater protection to the watch face. 


Like the Garmin Tactix Delta, this Garmin Fenix watch comes with a variety of functions useful for sports. This includes different sports modes, animated workouts, fitness tracking abilities that allow you to monitor your heart rate and oxygen levels, and more. It is also equipped with Bluetooth and phone connectivity capabilities, various music applications, preloaded ski maps, and a 100-metre depth rating, all of which are meant to make your everyday life more convenient.


The Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire edition Ref. 010-02158-17 costs around $999 USD.  

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that the Tactix Delta is an extremely reliable watch to have, especially if you are in the military. With its stealthy design and highly practical features, navigating through unknown regions and terrains during a reconnaissance mission would surely be far safer. Sports enthusiasts or health aficionados are also sure to enjoy the extensive capabilities of this watch. Indeed, the Garmin Tactix Delta is a highly-capable outdoor smartwatch that you simply cannot go wrong with. 


All images courtesy of The Watch Company, unless stated otherwise.

If you are still on the hunt for the right outdoor companion, have a look at our review on the Montblanc Summit 2—it might be the one for you!

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