Garmin 610 Series Watch

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Garmin 610


Sun-Dial: One of the first innovations in time-keeping technology, the Sun-Dial utilized the shadow created by the sun as it crossed the sky to determine the time of day

The Garmin 610 looks like a watch, keeps time like a watch, and is worn like a watch, so it might be that the history of the Garmin 610 is best told through the history of the watch. The oldest method of recording the passage of time was watching it creep across the sky. Day-in and Day-out the sun and the stars provided the most reliable method for recording time.

It’s hard to say at exactly what point in history the first great leap forward in time-keeping technology occurred, but it very well could have been the advent of the sun-dial or water clocks that make an appearance in the historical record some 2,500 years ago; neither the sun-dial or the water clock made use of mechanical devices, but rather displayed the measurement of the sun's progress or the slow and steady drip of water. These devices held sway until approximately 1283 AD and the installation of a mechanical clock installed in Bedfordshire, England. The mechanical clock in Bedfordshire was a catalyst for the rapid expansion of time-keeping technology. Soon inventors around the world were creating smaller more accurate time pieces that overcame previous impediments of technology and the environment.

In the mid-twentieth century the advancement of time-keeping technology was enabled by the modernization of power-supplies; previously time-keeping devices relied on some form of mechanical energy, be it manually winding the clock or a swing pendulum, to propel the gears forward. With the attachment of a battery small enough to be ergonomic and powerful enough to provide a constant source of energy to a watch the path to the Forerunner series was opened.

However, the path to the Garmin 610 Series Watch is more than a review of the genealogical record of the watch. In order for the Garmin 610 to be what it is and to understand its complete history it is sufficient to say we would need to review not only the history of the watch, but the history of space exploration and the positioning of satellites, the development of medical sciences, and internet technologies that enabled the Garmin 610 to be a powerful tool of information dissemination.

Water Clock: Simply yet innovative, the Water Clock used a basin of water with a precisely cut opening as a means to measure the progress of time.

Because of the adept inclusion of some many technologies and the power that is harnessed by each, the Garmin 610 is really much more than a watch and certainly more than the creators of the sun-dial and water clock envisioned some 2,500 years previously.

Personal and Corporate Use of Technology

The Garmin 610 series watch is an extremely powerful tool. In the early aughts (2000-2010) the Forerunner series was developed primarily around the individual runner. However, in conjunction with an increased usage of media sharing devices and developments of more precise satellite to receiver capabilities the Forerunner series expanded its retinue of functions. The Garmin 610, the culminating product in the Forerunner series, still has the capabilities to track and record individual running events, but now has expanded to include cycling data, calories burned, elevation gained/lost, customization of personal work-outs, and an internet data-base that allows for instantaneous data upload and sharing across all Garmin users. The implication of these developments are that the personal use of the Garmin 610 is really only limited by the imagination of the user and its’ somewhat diminished battery life.

An example of the functions of the Garmin 610 Series watch can be seen in the video listed on this website.


Although the Garmin 610 is not designed for a specific corporate function, it is fairly easy to predict uses for the Garmin 610 in specific industries. For example, in the health care industry the ability to document the heart rate, physical activity and weight of a patient over a period of time provides health care professionals with very specific information about a patient’s history and current activities without relying on the patient to provide the data. With this information health care professionals can better determine causes of disease and illness as well as prescribe a more tailored regimen of activities to assist the patient in recovery.

The physical fitness industry is another area that Garmin 610 has applicable uses. Trainers can utilize the Garmin 610 to provide real-time feedback on different metrics used to assess physical fitness and improvement. What might have been done before with a pen, paper, scales, calipers, and measuring tapes can now be done with a watch, computer, and electronic scale. The benefit of immediately uploading and data-basing information enables trainers to have a more comprehensive and systematic view of a person’s fitness level.


It is very easy to forget the tremendous bounds and leaps technology has taken over the previous millennium. The technologies packaged in the tidy frame of a Garmin 610 would have been unimaginable 100 years ago and certainly would not have been 'man-packable' just 20 years ago. What's more, the technologies incorporated into the wrist watch would very likely have revolutionized previous generations had they been introduced and understood. And, even more remarkable, if technological development keeps pace, the Garmin 610 will seem antiquated in a few short spans of time.

Nonetheless, the Forerunner Series and the Garmin 610 have incorporated an unprecedented degree of technology and made available to the individual user and businesses alike, the ability to monitor and improve on physical health. And while the Garmin 610 Series Watch is just one device in a continuum of technological advancements, its applications have surely surpassed previous technologies and enabled the next generation of devices.