- Custom settings
- Locked features
- Venu support
- Default look
- Color themes
- Hour mark styles
- Minute/second marks
- Hands options
- Analog seconds hand
- Status icon line
- Optional data
- Date format
- Setting up alternate time zone
- Side gauges
- Digital box
- Power save modes
- Battery use
- Fast screen switch
- Double gesture
This user manual is meant to give the general idea how different options of this watch face work. The pictures shown may not exactly correspond to the current look of the face. The look continues evolving, and updating all the graphical contents of this manual to exactly match it is a lot of work, so it may happen only from time to time.
Also, please note that the availability of particular features described in this manual depends on the watch model. If you don’t find some options in your settings, it means these options are not supported on your watch.
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.
To change the settings, follow these instructions: Changing Garmin Connect IQ app settings
Depending on the watch model, some of the available features may require an unlock key. These options are marked by a key icon 🔑 in the settings.
Note that there are two ways of marking the locked options in drop down lists:
-if changing the option is not possible without the key, the icon is shown next to the list title,
-if only some of the options can be selected from the list, the icon is shown next to each option that requires the key.
If you select any option that requires a key, but you don’t have a valid key, the selected option either will not be activated, or it will default to the nearest option in the list that does not need the key. In addition, a key icon will appear in the icon list on top of the face, or in the DBox.
For instructions how to obtain the unlock key, please refer to this page: https://vgfsyhcxft.com/time-flies-unlock/
When you receive the key, you need to enter it in the settings in the ‘Unlock key’ field, and press ‘DONE’ button. Then the ‘Key status’ field will be updated to show the status and the expiry date of your key. Please note that for the key status to be updated, a good connection between your watch, your phone and the internet is required. Sometimes it may take some time for the key status to be updated, and if you are sure that your key is correct, you might try to restart the Connect App on your phone – this has been reported to help in some difficult cases.
IMPORTANT: The 12-digit unlock key is created for a 6-digit token that is unique to your watch. So, if you enter incorrect 6-digit token on the unlock page, you will receive an incorrect key that will not work. Please be careful and make sure you enter the correct token!
Venu operates in two distinct modes – short ‘wake up’ after gesture, button press or double screen tap, and ‘sleep’ otherwise. Wake up mode allows bright full screen updated every second, but in sleep mode the screen is only refreshed once a minute and the display has to be reduced/dimmed to conserve power and prevent burn-in.
Because of this, some of the features present on other models do not make much sense on Venu and so are not available:
-Switch by gesture features (dynamic hands, alternate DBox),
-Power save modes.
However, Time Flies provides several different options for the ‘sleep’ mode display:
-Off (blank screen)
-Dimmed hands only
-Reduced (dimmed marks, hands and icons)
-Full (dimmed complete information except seconds)
-Moving screen saver (lattice style hands moving around the screen)
Please note that the more information you decide to display in ‘sleep’ mode, the faster it will drain the battery.
After the initial installation the face looks similar to 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.
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 edit 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:
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.
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.
NOTE: The dynamic hand style is not available on Venu, but you can use the lattice style for the same effect.
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). Currently Venu is the only exception from this rule. 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 shape
- Off (seconds hand disabled)
Analog sec size
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.
Shows when one or more clock alarms are set in the watch.
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.
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 when not in power save mode.
There are 4 optional data fields that can show any of:
- steps counter
- calories / active calories (computed using Mifflin St Jeor formula)
- 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. After a fresh installation, the watch face needs to retrieve from the watch system the current GPS coordinates which are necessary for the sunrise/sunset calculation. To update GPS coordinates, 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.
NOTE: It appears that on some new watch models this procedure may not be sufficient. If you can’t get the sun times to appear correctly after locking the GPS, please try to use the ‘Time Sync’ with GPS (not mobile phone) from the watch system settings.
Barometric pressure option comes with an icon that shows barometric trend.
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. The actual frequency of the HR reading update depends on the watch model, generally faster for the newer watches, slower for the older ones.
Barometer option shows the mean sea level barometric pressure. If the readings appear incorrect, please use the calibration function of the watch.
In addition to the current reading, the barometer also tracks the pressure trend over the period defined with the ‘Baro trend minutes’ setting, up to 1440 minutes which corresponds to 24 hours. The trend is marked by the changing barometer arrow icon.
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.
Tip: If you don’t care about the gauges, but just want minute/second marks, you can set the gauges to ‘Marks’.
The date format is defined by a sequence 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. Note that a space/blank is also considered a character in this case, so you can add spaces to separate the components.
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
Setting up alternate time zone
For alternate time, you can set the UTC offset from -14 to +14 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.
NOTE: Garmin apps tend to have problems with accepting special character input (for example minus ‘-‘ or decimal point ‘.’). To get around this problem, you can try to:
-start from the default value “-5.0” and edit it as you need, without deleting the characters that you want to keep, or
-use another app to write the offset, then copy and paste into the Garmin app.
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 and on Venu, 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
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: This option is not available on Venu
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.
In addition, the steps goal completion graph shows a horizontal line corresponding to 100% goal completion, so that you can easily see on which days you were above or below the goal.
Power save options
There are several options that control power saving behavior of this watch face. ‘Power save activation’ decides when power saving modes should be active (‘Off’, ‘On’, ‘Night’ and ‘On DND’ on some watches). ‘Power save mode’ (only available on Connect IQ 3.x watches) allows to choose blank screen or reduced display in power save state, and full display on wrist gesture. It is also possible to enable or disable status icons while in power save state.
NOTE: Powes save mode options are available on some watch models only.
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.
If you want to minimize the battery drain, you can try several other things:
– set the ‘shadow’ to off
– use ‘solid’ side gauges or disable the gauges if you don’t need them
– use simple hand shapes (e.g. straight or tapered)
In general, the more complex display configuration you choose in the settings, the more battery it will drain.
The power save options will reduce the battery drain significantly, so if you want to extend your use on a single charge, it is a good idea to activate power save for the night (or on DND if you have automatic DND activated at your bed time). Further savings can be achieved by using ‘Reduced/full on gesture’ or ‘Blank/full on gesture’ power save modes during the day.
Fast screen switch
This option is only available on some watch models. When activated, it attempts to refresh the display as little as possible, so it is expected to speed up switching to/from another screen and also to reduce the battery drain. The downside is that on some occasions, the watch face might not fully refresh immediately when switching from another screen, or after some alert like ‘move alert’ or ‘storm alert’. If this happens, you can either wait until the next full minute, or simply move your wrist.
Time Flies uses wrist gesture to temporarily change the display. The gesture activated features include dynamic hands, alternate DBox, fast HR updates, and now also the transition to full display in some power save modes. The problem with activation by gesture is that sometimes it happens when you don’t really want it. The double gesture feature is an attempt to address this problem. When it is activated, if you move your wrist once, deliberately or not, Time Flies will not react. Only if you repeat the gesture within the adjustable ‘Double gesture time’ (expressed in milliseconds), it will switch from the regular display to the gesture activated display. The gesture time setting allows you to control the activation of the gesture enabled features. If you make it shorter, it will reduce the unintentional switches, but it may also make it harder to make it switch. You may play with this parameter to see what works for your watch and your natural wrist movement.
NOTE: This option is not available on Venu
“Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana” – This is intended to be a fun alternative or addition 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).