Time Flies manual


  • Default look
  • Color themes
  • Shadow
  • Hour mark styles
  • Minute/second marks
  • Hands options
  • Analog seconds hand
  • Status icon line
  • Optional data
  • Date format
  • Side gauges
  • Digital box
  • Battery use
  • Flies


An analog face with customization options for the content and for the look. It has some unique features such as the ability to store customized color themes, flexible date format or optional ‘dynamic’ hands that reveal the information hidden underneath on wrist movement.

The customization options are accessible through the watch face settings.

There are several different hour marks and hand styles to choose from and ways to configure the display to anything ranging from a very minimalist clean look to a more complex face with four data fields, two side gauges and a ‘digital box’ that can alter its content on wrist gesture.

The optional data fields show the typical basic information – date, steps, distance and calories, sunrise/sunset times, barometric pressure, altitude and heart rate. On CIQ 2.x models there are also floors climbed (if the barometric sensor is present) and weekly active minutes counters.

The side gauges can be configured to show battery charge level, steps goal completion, move bar, or weekly active minutes goal completion (only CIQ 2.x) and floors goal completion (only CIQ 2.x with barometric sensor).

The font size is adjustable, so that the optional data fields can be easier to read in poor light conditions or without glasses.

The digital box (DBox) can display time (current or alternate time zone), date, steps, current HR, HR graph (covering last 4 hours) or steps goal completion graph (covering last week + today), or it can be disabled to disappear completely. It also allows temporary switching to alternate content on wrist gesture.

Custom Settings

To change the settings, follow these instructions: Changing Garmin Connect IQ app settings


Default look

After the initial installation the face looks like this:


NOTE: The seconds hand will be visible only if your watch supports partial screen update every second, which basically means that it is a newer model, from fenix 5 on.


Color themes

The colors can be changed easily with 6 predefined customizable color themes.

The customization applies to the theme currently displayed on your watch, and not necessarily the one currently selected in the settings. So, if let’s say you change the theme from green to red, and you want to modify the red theme, press “DONE” button first to activate the red theme on the watch, only then open the settings again to change the colors. Otherwise, all your changes will apply to the green theme instead.

The modifications are stored with each theme, so that later you can quickly switch between your customized themes.

If you want to restore the original/factory theme, select the “Reset theme” and press “DONE”.



Shadow allows to create a bit of a 3D effect and to improve the readability of screen elements that do not use contrasting colors. Shadow depth can be adjusted to five different levels, ranging from ‘Off’ to ‘XL’. Shadow is added to hour/minute marks, hour/minute hands and DBox frame. On DBox frame it only appears when shadow level is set above M.



Hour mark styles

There are several different hour marks styles that can be chosen independently for major marks (3, 6, 9, 12) and minor marks. You can create many different combinations, for example:

Major marks come in two sizes:

Numeric marks style allows different fonts:


Minute/second marks

The important point to understand is that these marks as seen after the initial installation actually represent left and right data gauges. By default, the left gauge shows daily steps goal completion, and the right gauge is a move bar. That’s why the marks might change color with time. For detailed explanation of how this works, please check the ‘Side Gauges’ topic below.


Hands options


There are several hand shapes available:




The base size ratio between the hour and the minute hand is fixed, but the size of both hands together can be adjusted with independent length and width S/M/L options:




You can choose ‘Solid’, ‘Lattice’ or ‘Dynamic’.

‘Solid’ is the regular style, while ‘Lattice’ only shows the outline.


Dynamic watch hands

This is an innovative feature meant to help reveal the information that might occasionally get obscured by the hands.

If you choose ‘Dynamic’ hand style, wrist gesture will cause the hands to switch from ‘Solid’ to ‘Lattice’ for a few seconds, which should allow you to read the information underneath.



Analog seconds hand

Analog seconds hand is only available on watches that make it possible to display it permanently (e.g. not to appear/disappear during wrist movements). If your watch supports it, after the initial installation, the seconds hand will be enabled by default and in the settings you will find the corresponding options:

Analog sec

  • Off = always off
  • Daytime = on only from your declared wake time to bed time (this is set in the user profile)
  • On = always on

Analog sec shape

  • Dot
  • Straight
  • Arrow
  • Wand
  • Wedge

Analog sec size

  • S
  • M
  • L
  • XL


Status icon line

This line shows the following icons:

  • battery level

Its presence is controlled by the ‘Battery icon hidden above charge level’ setting (see below).

  • phone connection (Bluetooth)

Shows when the phone is connected.

  • alarms

Shows when one or more clock alarms are set in the watch.

  • notifications

Shows when there is one or more active notifications on the phone. To activate/deactivate different types of notifications, please refer to the ‘Smart notifications’ setting in Garmin Connect Mobile app.

  • do not disturb

This icon is only available on watches supporting Connect IQ 2.x and it shows when the watch is in ‘do not disturb’ mode. Please note that ‘notifications’ and ‘do not disturb’ icons are mutually exclusive, i.e. ‘do not disturb’ will not appear as long as you have pending notifications. This behavior is a feature of the Garmin system and not specific to this watch face.


Icons with numbers

If set, this will show numeric battery percentage next to the battery icon on the left and notification counter next to the notifications icon on the right.



Battery icon hidden above charge level (%)

If you set it to 100% (which is the default), the icon will be visible always.

If you set it to 0%, it will always be hidden.

If you set it to any number in between, for instance 25%, the icon will appear when the battery drops below 25%.


Status icons activation

This is a setting to switch the icon line on/off, or to display it only during daytime. Please note that ‘daytime’ in this context can mean either of the two possibilities:

  • Time outside your sleep hours defined in the user profile
  • Time when Time Flies is not in power save mode

In other words, ‘daytime’ icons will be hidden during the night and when Time Flies is in power save mode.


Optional data

There are 4 optional data fields that can show any of:

  • date
  • steps counter
  • distance
  • calories / active calories (computed using Mifflin St Jeor formula)
  • altitude
  • heart rate (only on the watches with wrist HR sensor)
  • climbed floors counter (only on CIQ 2.x watches with barometric sensor)
  • weekly active minutes counter (only on CIQ 2.x)
  • next sunrise/sunset time
  • barometric pressure (only on CIQ 2.x watches with barometric sensor)

Please note that the sunrise/sunset time relies on the GPS position from your last activity. So, for correct sun times after installing this face or when traveling, you may need to switch to an activity and lock the GPS signal.

Barometric pressure option comes with an icon that shows the short term barometric trend, tracking the last 10 minutes.


Data font size

The font size in the optional fields can be adjusted. The choice ranges from ‘XS’ to ‘XL’, however for the CIQ 1.x devices the actual size may depend on the fonts built into your watch, so on some watches there may be no difference when you switch between some options.

If the font of your choice makes it too large to fit in its allowed space, the font size will be automatically reduced. Please note that even then, the date may be clipped or obscured by something else if you choose a long date format – in this case you might decide to shorten the format to make it fit, or put the date in a different place.







Option data update frequency

By default, option fields 1 to 4 are refreshed once a minute, but if you enable ‘Fast HR on gesture’, this will cause the HR field to be updated as fast as possible for about 10 seconds after you move your wrist.


Side gauges

They display daily steps progress, move bar or battery level (plus daily floor and weekly active minutes goal completion on some CIQ 2.x watches). The size can be adjusted from S to L:




There is also a ‘Dots’ option:


And a ‘Hash’ option:


If you choose ‘Dots’ or ‘Hash’ style, the size setting will apply to the diameter of the dots or to the width of the hashes.

The background and foreground colors of the gauges is adjustable:

Tip: If you don’t care about the gauges, but just want minute/second marks, you can set the gauges to ‘Marks’.


Date format

The date format is defined by a string of characters, each denoting one component of the date (day, month, week, year etc). 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 16 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. So you can decide the information you want, the order and the separating characters.

For example, you can use the following formats:

“n D N”  →  Fri 24 Aug

“n D.M”  →  Fri 24.08

“d/m W”  →  24/8 w34

“Y\M\D”  →  2018\08\24

“m-d-y”  →  8-24-18


Digital Box

You can turn it on/off and choose to display different things in it:





Here you have two choices – local time or alternate time. For the alternate time, you can set the UTC offset from -12 to +12 hours. The offset is a fractional number, so that half hour offsets can be taken care of as well. For example for India (UTC+5:30) enter 5.5. For UTC just enter 0.



The date displayed in the DBox shares the same format setting with the date option field. However, the LCD font used in DBox can only display standard Latin characters. So on the watch models before fenix 5, if the language is set to something other than English, and the day or month names use non-Latin characters, you might see rectangles instead of the non-supported characters. Also, please note that if the length of the date text according to the defined format exceeds the width of the DBox, “–” will be shown instead. If this happens, please shorten your desired date format. For example, you could use D.M format to show 15.08 or m\d to show 8\15 on the fifteenth of August.

HR filled graph


HR line graph


Steps goal completion bar graph


Steps goal completion line graph



Alternate DBox

There is an option to select alternate content for the digital box. If this is set to anything other than ‘none’, the digital box will display the alternate content for about 10 seconds on wrist gesture. This feature could be useful for example to switch between the local and alternate time zones.

It also comes handy if you prefer a clean look without any distractions and only show some additional info on wrist movement. In this case, set DBox to ‘None’ and Alt DBox to something you only want to see when you move your wrist.

Note the change – the digital seconds are now an option for the Alt DBox.

Graph labels

For the HR graph it is simple – the number on the left side of the graph is the minimum and the number on the right is the maximum recorded over the last 4 hours.

For the steps goal completion graph, this might need some more explanation: this is a graph that shows the percentage of your steps goal completion for the past 7 days and today. So, the horizontal axis has 8 points, one for each day, ordered from left to right chronologically. The numbers on the left and right side of the graph correspond to the lowest and highest value over these 8 days respectively. So for example, if you see 30 and 175 as in the picture above, this means that the lowest point on the graph is the day when you completed only 30% of your steps goal, and the highest point is the day when you completed 175% of the goal.


Power save mode

When activated, this will result in a simplified display showing only the time (without minute marks) and optionally the status icons. Please refer to Status icon line / Status icon activation topic for details how to control the presence of the icons in the power save mode.

On all watches, this can be set to On/Off/Daytime. On the newer watches supporting CIQ 2.x, it can also be set to ‘on DND’. This means you can activate or deactivate the power save mode any time by switching the ‘Do not disturb’ status of your watch.

Due to peculiar behavior of the Vivoactive HR firmware, the switch on DND will not happen immediately – to activate it, you can swipe to another screen and back.

Another point to note is that if in your watch settings the ‘Do Not Disturb’ is activated by ‘Sleep Time’, the ‘on DND’ option will also double as the ‘Daytime’ option, which means Time Flies will enter the power save mode automatically during your sleep hours, but you will also have the option to switch it manually any time.


Battery use

Battery use depends on the features configured. The single biggest battery killer is probably the analog seconds hand, so if you are concerned about the battery drain, either switch to ‘Dots’ analog seconds or disable analog seconds altogether. ‘Sticky dots’ option allows further power savings. The ‘Power save mode’ option is meant to reduce the battery drain with a simplified display. Also take note of the ‘daytime’ option for the analog seconds, in case you don’t want to go for the simplest power save option. The sleep and wake up times are declared in Garmin’s User Profile, on Garmin website or using their application (Express or Connect Mobile).


Sticky dots

When the ‘Analog sec shape’ is set to ‘Dot’, ‘Fast HR on gesture’ is disabled and ‘Alt DBox’ is off, this option will prevent redrawing the display on wrist gesture. Please note that the side effect of this is that sometimes the information displayed by the watch firmware on top of the face (e.g. the move alert) will not be cleared until the next full minute.

This option is meant to really minimize the redrawing of the face, so it is expected to also minimize the battery drain.



“Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana” – This is intended to be a fun alternative to the usual move bar.

When enabled in the settings, the flies start coming after 1 hour of inactivity, one more every 15 minutes (1 fly = 1 move bar increment).

You can chase them off for about 10 seconds by moving your wrist.

To get rid of them for one hour, you need to start walking. It seems that the longer you have been inactive, the more walking it takes to clear the move bar and the flies. Please note that the detection of the inactivity and the clearing of the move bar/flies is handled by the watch firmware, the watch face just reads the information from the system about the current inactivity level ranging from 0 (active) to 5 (inactive for 2 hours or more).