Rails manual


  • Description
  • Changing settings
  • Common Problems / Frequently asked questions
  • HR
  • Barometer & Thermometer
  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Color themes
  • Status icons
  • Date format
  • BMR fix for active calories
  • Power save options
  • Have a say


A simple configurable digital face that attempts to be battery friendly, with:

  • 6 customizable color themes (14 base colors + 2 custom colors on supporting models, applicable to different screen elements)
  • 4 data fields and 2 rail gauges (options depend on what your watch supports)
  • ‘live’ HR on some watch models
  • flexible date format (for date format definition, see the note below)
  • ‘time only’ battery saving mode that can automatically kick in for the night

Changing settings

If you are not familiar with adjusting Connect IQ app settings, please have a look at: https://vgfsyhcxft.wordpress.com/changing-garmin-connect-iq-app-settings/

Common Problems / Frequently asked questions

For advice on frequently asked questions please have a look at https://vgfsyhcxft.wordpress.com/common-problems/


On watches with a wrist HR sensor, HR reading can be displayed on the left side of the face. By default it is activated by gesture, but on the newer models it can be set to permanent. The frequency at which the reading is refreshed depends on the watch, generally lower on older models, higher on newer ones.

Barometer & Thermometer

Barometric pressure and thermometer readings (available on some watch models only) come from internal watch sensors and not from any weather forecast web service. So you can’t expect that the temperature shown will match your ambient or outdoor temperature, unless you take the watch off and place it where you want the temperature measured.

Barometric pressure is ‘mean sea level pressure’ according to Garmin’s technical documentation – “This returns barometric pressure calibrated to sea level. Since pressure varies dues to several factors, a GPS-based altitude must first be obtained, then the ambient (local) pressure is measured by the pressure sensor before conversion to a calibrated barometric pressure value.”

The icon shows the short term barometric trend, tracking the last 10 minutes.

Sunrise and sunset times

After a fresh installation of this watch face, you need to refresh your GPS coordinates which are necessary for the sunrise/sunset calculation. To do this, just switch to an activity such as run or cycle and wait until ‘GPS ready’ message appears or the GPS indicator turns green. Then you can cancel the activity and return to the face. The sun times should now be shown. Note that you may need to repeat this procedure after you have changed your location for the sun times to be updated accordingly.

Color themes

This face features 6 color themes that you can easily switch and customize.  In each theme you can modify the colors of all screen elements. Your modifications will be kept until you choose to restore the factory theme.

The available colors depend on your watch model. There is a base set of 14 colors, and on some watches there are two additional custom colors that can be set to any of these values:


Please note that this color map is a rough guide and the colors that appear on your watch might not exactly match the colors shown above.

If you change the color theme, press ‘Done’ first to activate it on your watch before you start customizing it. Otherwise your customization will modify the previous theme. But if it happens, don’t worry – you can easily reset the theme back to the factory setting with the ‘Reset theme’ option.

Status icons

There are 3 status icons at the top of the face that have numbers/counters associated with them:

    • battery level
    • notifications
  • alarms

and 3 status icons at the bottom that indicate the On/Off status of the respective feature:

    • phone connected
    • activity tracking
  • do not disturb (this one is not available on older watches running Connect IQ 1.x)

The On/Off status of the bottom icons is reflected by their color.

In normal operation, icons are updated every full minute, so you won’t see the changes in phone connection status or notifications counter immediately. This is meant to minimize the battery consumption. If you need to see the update immediately, you can switch to another screen and back.

Date format

The date format is very flexible. It may require some effort to understand how it works, but it allows you to make it almost any way you like.

To customize the date, enter a string of characters up to 12 in length, with this coding:

D = day number with leading zero

d = day number without leading zero

M = month number with leading zero

m = month number without leading zero

Y = 4-digit year

y = 2-digit year

N = month name

n = day name

W = ISO week number with ‘w’ in front

w = ISO week number without ‘w’

Any other character (e.g. – / : . ) will be displayed if it is available in the current character set.

BMR fix for active calories

As of today, Garmin only provides ‘total calories’ reading to CIQ developers. To get ‘active calories’, this watch face uses Mifllin St Jeor formula for Basal Metabolic Rate to deduct ‘inactive calories’ from ‘total calories’ given by the watch. Apparently Garmin’s widget tends to show a lower number of active calories than that derived from Mifflin St Jeor formula.

You can try to use this setting to adjust the generic Mifflin St Jeor calculation by a factor ranging from -50% to 50% to make the active calories shown by this watch face match the value shown by the widget.

Experimental data from some users shows that BMR fix value of 22% makes the active calories shown by this watch face roughly consistent with Garmin’s widget, but I can’t tell whether the same value would work for everyone. So please provide your feedback on this, if everybody is happy with 22%, I will make this a default in a future release.

Power save options

The ‘Power save’ option allows you to reduce the battery drain at times when you don’t need to see every detail of the information that this face can display, and a plain HOURS:MINUTES time is enough. If you set it to ‘Night’, it will activate automatically for the ‘bed time’ declared in Garmin’s user profile settings.

If you want more fine tuning for the options most affecting battery drain, you can choose when you want the seconds and HR displayed. Depending on the watch model, you may see some of these options:

  • Off (the feature is not shown)
  • Daytime (the feature is shown during your wake hours)
  • On (the feature is shown always)
  • On gesture (the feature is shown for about 10 seconds on wrist gesture)

Please note that this fine tuning takes effect only when power save mode is inactive.

Have a say

I’m wondering if online polling could be of any use for planning the future evolution of this face. The first trial poll is here: Rails polling corner

If/When you feel like it, please cast your vote! Thanks 🙂