A few years back I brought myself a Garmin Forerunner 15 watch to track my running, little did I know that the device was extremely overpriced — at least if you consider the quality of the watch band — I am not even sure the band is replaceable.
Whether it is replaceable is besides the point — surely a watch band should not break after just a few years? I got a leather belt that has lasted just about 20 years — why not make watch bands of leather or some other robust material?
The Damage can be seen in the below picture:
Garmin not a quality product
The forerunner 15 was not the most expensive watch, but it was still too expensive — especially considering how fast it broke on me. I think I paid just around 155$ for it, which is perhaps not too much, but still unacceptable for it to break so fast.
The watch band is made of some kind of silicone or plastic material, and what is the problem with plastic? It tends to disintegrate and break down into smaller pieces as time passes! In fact. You do not even have to wear the watch or use it for this to happen, it will just grow tired similar to how some metals does, and then you will be forced to either change the band or buy a new watch. Planned obsolescence? Perhaps. I just know my Garmin watch band let me down.
It came with a heart rate monitor I had to strap around my torso and connect via Bluetooth, but I only used it a few times since it was uncomfortable to wear, and it would also slide down doing the run. Extremely bad design IMO. At some point when I wanted to use it, I just could not get it to work again, so it ended up stashed away in a drawer.
Another issue was that the watch battery barely managed to hold power on my longer runs, that is, around 15-20 km — interestingly, the watch band broke before the battery.
It would also take a very long time to connect — probably around a minute or two — I do not even think it was just a bad connection in my area, since it would behave the same way different places. On a good day it might connect almost right away.
Changing the watch band
I tried looking into whether the watch band is replaceable, and it does look like you can buy a new watch band on Garmins website; you just have to remove the old band, which is firmly attached to the watch.
There are four torx screws on the back of the watch, which needs one of those special "Torx" screwdrivers, and of course the screws are also tiny, so it has to be an equally tiny screwdriver.
A new watch band for the Forerunner 15 can be brought from a place like Amazon 10$: https://www.amazon.com/garmin-forerunner-15-band/s?k=garmin+forerunner+15+band