Review of SMARTWATCHES


Twenty-eight brands under review, from A to Z


Europa Star WorldWatchWeb, 1 December 2016   

 ALCATEL MOVE TIME

ALCATEL MOVE TIME
ALCATEL MOVE TIME
Alcatel Mobile proposes a smartwatch whose colourful design and wide variety of models reminds us somewhat of a connected Swatch. This ‘wifi watch’ is baptised ‘Move Time’.

 ALI & CO MYSTERALI

ALI & CO MYSTERALI
ALI & CO MYSTERALI
Mysterali is a Swiss-made watch with a mysterious quartz movement, an original development by newcomer Ali & Co. The mysterious hands appear to float around the dial… The watch is delivered with a strap containing a chip that makes a number of payment operations possible, simply by tapping the watch on a payment terminal.

 APPLE WATCH SERIES 2

APPLE WATCH SERIES 2
APPLE WATCH SERIES 2
The Apple Watch 2 makes a splash, but will it sink or swim? The second smartwatch offering from the American tech giant was introduced alongside the launch of the latest iPhone 7. Perhaps the most notable part of the launch party was that the new version would be water resistant up to 50m. From a design perspective, it’s hard to differentiate this model from the first one. The 38mm version starts at $370 and the 42mm version at $400. There’s the option of shelling out some extra cash for a sporty strap by Nike. The brand abandons its golden Edition version. A signal that Apple (and smartwatches in general) will remain ‘low-key’ and sporty above all?

 ASUS ZENWATCH 3

ASUS ZENWATCH 3
ASUS ZENWATCH 3
Serious challenger Asus introduces its ZenWatch 3, with a round case instead of the former squared one, and a look inspired by an ‘annular solar eclipse’, with the aim of more closely resembling a ‘real’ watch, at a price of slightly over $200.

 BREITLING EXOSPACE B55

BREITLING EXOSPACE B55
BREITLING EXOSPACE B55
The ‘aviation brand’ was probably among the most legitimate traditional Swiss brands to enter the connected game, with real functionalities. A done deal! In creating its first connected chronograph, Breitling has designed a highly functional timepiece for aviation professionals. Owners of the Exospace B55 can use their phone to perform certain adjustments – like time setting, time zones, alarms, display and operating parameters, night mode – helping to improve overall efficiency. Going in the other direction – from watch to phone – users can upload various measurements from the chronograph directly to the smartphone, like flight times, recorded times with split times, lap times, etc. The watch is powered by a SuperQuartz movement ten times more accurate than standard quartz.

 CASIO SMART OUTDOOR

CASIO SMART OUTDOOR
CASIO SMART OUTDOOR
Casio has been in the watch game since the 1970s. But the new WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch is far removed from the Casio digital watches you might be familiar with. The new watch incorporates Casio’s known tough performance with cutting edge sensor technologies, producing a reliable smart watch for the true outdoor enthusiast. At a price point of about $500, it is optimal for the outdoors, and not just because it is tested to military standard specifications to ensure it can withstand the toughest challenges that nature can throw at it. The WSD-F10 also delivers many new, original Casio apps for outdoor activities, like trekking, cycling, and fishing. The watch has a dual layer display, with either a monochrome or colour LCD face.

  SAMSUNG GEAR S2 BY DE GRISOGONO

SAMSUNG GEAR S2 BY DE GRISOGONO
SAMSUNG GEAR S2 BY DE GRISOGONO
Between the exclusive luxury mechanical watch company and the mass digital production giant Samsung, there was a bit of culture shock to say the least. However, the limited edition of models launched since Baselworld doesn’t seem to be a simple marketing stunt but rather something leading to a more long-term partnership. Fawaz Gruosi, founder and creative director of the luxury brand, decided to decorate the case with rose gold and black diamonds as far as the bezel, which serves to control the smartwatch’s main features.

 FITBIT BLAZE

FITBIT BLAZE
FITBIT BLAZE
The fast-growing leading activity tracker Fitbit, a serious challenger to the Apple Watch, proposes its bestselling smartwatch, the Blaze, priced at 220 euros, with a 5-day power reserve and 14 strap options.

 FOSSIL GROUP: SKAGEN CONNECTED, FOSSIL Q, MICHAEL KORS ACCESS

FOSSIL GROUP: SKAGEN CONNECTED, FOSSIL Q, MICHAEL KORS ACCESS
FOSSIL GROUP: SKAGEN CONNECTED, FOSSIL Q, MICHAEL KORS ACCESS
Fossil Group, the 4th largest watchmaker in the world (well, if you exclude Apple from the ranking), is aiming to go fully connected in the coming years after their buyout of tracking device specialist Misfit Wearables (and all of their expertise) last year. They operate their own brands but also a wide range of famous names under licence. They propose a wide range of connecting options, from the very low-profile and understated Skagen Connected, a hybrid watch that has a smart hands system to display performance (reminding us of the Horological Smartwatch by Frédérique Constant), to the next generation of the Q connected lines from Fossil and the Access by Michael Kors… Now we’re waiting for others from its portfolio brands to get connected.

 FRÉDÉRIQUE CONSTANT HOROLOGICAL SMARTWATCH

FRÉDÉRIQUE CONSTANT HOROLOGICAL SMARTWATCH
FRÉDÉRIQUE CONSTANT HOROLOGICAL SMARTWATCH
Frédérique Constant was the first in the Swiss watch industry to introduce a connected luxury piece, fittingly called the Horological Smartwatch. The ‘smart’ part of the watch comes from its engine: the MMT-285 calibre which works in tandem with Fullpower’s end-to-end MotionX technology platform.

 GARMIN FENIX CHRONOS

GARMIN FENIX CHRONOS
GARMIN FENIX CHRONOS
With the Garmin Fenix Chronos, the GPS specialist is trying, like other smartwatch producers, to get closer to the look of a ‘real watch’. So it’s a higher-end model, with a wide range of options and materials, and a higher price range (count on spending 1000 euros or more), which will be sold in the traditional watch retail network, rather than by outdoor retailers.

 HUAWEI WATCH JEWEL & ELEGANT

HUAWEI WATCH JEWEL & ELEGANT
HUAWEI WATCH JEWEL & ELEGANT
This year, Huawei Mobile are focusing on ladies’ smartwatches with pieces decorated with Swarovski crystals, named Elegant, Jewel and Topaz, in the 500-700 euros price segment.

 LG WATCH URBANE 2

LG WATCH URBANE 2
LG WATCH URBANE 2
The Watch Urbane 2 follows the first watch of the same name but now offers space for a SIM card, making it possible to make a call or navigate the internet via 3G without needing a smartphone nearby. You can receive notifications, find your location on a map, consult the calendar and monitor your workout

 MONDAINE PAYCHIP

MONDAINE PAYCHIP
MONDAINE PAYCHIP
Mondaine presented PayChip at this year’s Baselworld. Thanks to its integrated chip, you can now pay with the watch on your wrist. The PayChip easily adapts to other watches thanks to the strap loop provided. To create this innovation,  Mondaine partnered with the credit card provider Cembra Money Bank SA.

 MOTOROLA MOTO 360

MOTOROLA MOTO 360
MOTOROLA MOTO 360
Motorola (part of the Lenovo group) is targeting fitness enthusiasts with its Motorola 360 smartwatch. For 179 euros, it is equipped with a silicone strap and case with a GPS chip that makes it possible to geographically track a workout.

  HUGO BOSS SMART CLASSIC & MOVADO BOLD MOTION

HUGO BOSS SMART CLASSIC
HUGO BOSS SMART CLASSIC
Movado group, a licensing specialist (Coach, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Juicy Couture, Tommy Hilfiger and Scuderia Ferrari), has partnered with HP to produce smartwatches at attractive prices. Among them, the Smart Classic from Hugo Boss is available in rose gold or grey with a leather strap. As for Movado, in 2015 it launched one of its first smartwatches, the Movado Bold Motion, with HP.

 NIXON MISSION

NIXON MISSION
NIXON MISSION
American brand Nixon is aimed at thrill seekers looking for a tough device. Its ‘The Mission’ smartwatch is available from 400 dollars and presented as being one of the toughest on the market. Water resistant to 100 m, it has a stainless steel 48 mm case and is customisable with a choice of more than 15 colours. The silicone strap is also interchangeable, with 20 choices available.

 PEBBLE TIME 2

PEBBLE TIME 2
PEBBLE TIME 2
The American brand, which has just announced the company shutting down after a very difficult year, had slashed the price of its Pebble Time smartwatch, from $250 to $150. Having garnered attention on Kickstarter, it launched a new crowdfunding appeal and raised 12.8 million dollars to launch the Pebble 2 and the Pebble Time 2. The company had released a range of models to reach a maximum number of potential users. The Pebble Time, the Pebble Time Steel and the Pebble Time Round designed respectively for frequent travellers, fitness enthusiasts, the fashion-conscious, and those who simply enjoy new technology.

 PHILIPS HEALTH WATCH

PHILIPS HEALTH WATCH
PHILIPS HEALTH WATCH
Philips is targeting the high-potential segment of e-health with its Health Watch, which is presented as the only health watch to be ‘approved’ by doctors. The Dutch brand is also introducing fall detectors for elderly people. After all, they could end up as the prime users of connected devices, with life-or-death consequences, unlike some of the more playful applications available.

 SAMSUNG GEAR S3 CLASSIC & FRONTIER

SAMSUNG GEAR S3 CLASSIC & FRONTIER
SAMSUNG GEAR S3 CLASSIC & FRONTIER
The star of the latest IFA Berlin show was Samsung Mobile, presenting the Gear S3 designed by creative Swiss watchmaker Yvan Arpa. The challenge was really to get as close as possible to the look of a real watch. There is an interesting bezel rotation system to control the dial. Two designs are available: the Classic, and the Frontier, which features thinner push-pieces in order to be more manageable outdoors, for instance when wearing gloves.

 SONY SMARTWATCH 3

SONY SMARTWATCH 3
SONY SMARTWATCH 3
The most recent watch from Sony comes with Android 6.0. It offers new features based on detecting the user’s movement via sensors incorporated into the watch. Unlike previous versions, it has moved away from the traditional watch aesthetic, with a simple rectangular case and silicone strap. Price: 150 euros.

  SUUNTO SPARTAN ULTRA

SUUNTO SPARTAN ULTRA
SUUNTO SPARTAN ULTRA
The new GPS watch from Finnish manufacturer Suunto features a colour touchscreen that can be used for a total of 80 different sports. Heat maps show the preferred routes for running, swimming or skiing and display the route directly on the watch. Via the online platform Movecount, virtual races can be held using the database of millions of users. Available from 699 francs, the Spartan Ultra provides a battery life of up to 26 hours.

 SWATCH BELLAMY

SWATCH BELLAMY
SWATCH BELLAMY
As a point of interest, this Swatch model owes its name to the American writer Edward Bellamy, who imagined a world where virtual payment methods had replaced money in his novel ‘Looking Backward: 2000–1887’, published in 1888. First launched in China and now in Switzerland and the United States, the watch also allows for contactless payments, thanks to an embedded NFC chip, all under the aegis of Visa. The Bellamy is available for just over 100 francs.

 TAG HEUER CONNECTED

TAG HEUER CONNECTED
TAG HEUER CONNECTED
Engineered with Intel Inside and powered by Android Wear, the TAG Heuer Connected is the first fully digital smartwatch to be developed by a Swiss luxury giant, fusing Swiss heritage and modern connectivity. The watch faces faithfully reproduce the appearance and functions of a true dial, with shadows under the hands. The unique way in which its applications are displayed - through “interactive counters”- is also reminiscent of a real watch. Based on first impressions, the TAG Heuer Connected therefore does look like a true chronograph. The price of this Swiss engineered watch is set at $1,500. At the end of the watch’s two-year warranty period, customers can exchange it for a mechanical Swiss Made Carrera watch, for an extra $1,500.

 TISSOT SMART TOUCH

TISSOT SMART TOUCH
TISSOT SMART TOUCH
Tissot presented the smart version of its famous T-Touch Solar at this year’s Baselworld. It has over 30 functions such as weather, altitude, and navigation, but is not able to receive notifications such as SMS or email. Available for around 1,000 francs, it is equipped with a 45 mm titanium case, a ceramic bezel and an anti-reflection crystal sapphire glass. It is water resistant to 100 metres.

 TOMTOM SPARK 3

TOMTOM SPARK 3
TOMTOM SPARK 3
The brand presents its GPS watch TomTom Spark 3, with an easyto- remove strap and a separate control system, in order to better monitor heart rates. It doesn’t have the longest battery life, but it is a very sporty watch in the 100-300 euros price segment.

  VECTOR LUNA

VECTOR LUNA
VECTOR LUNA
This is ‘the smartwatch with a 30-day battery life’. With the use of Bluetooth low-energy technology, Vector Luna is compatible with the three major operating systems: iOS, Android and Windows.

 WITHINGS STEEL HR

WITHINGS STEEL HR
WITHINGS STEEL HR
Our favourite at Europa Star: the Withings Steel HR, the purest and most beautiful of all (in our view), less like a gadget and more like a carefully designed watch, with hands and also a tiny digital screen. An elegant device for less than 200 euros, with a 25 day-power reserve, which is almost on a par with the master of minimalist style, Nomos Glashütte. This year, Nokia has made a good bet buying the French brand.

Europa Star 5/16 Winter 2016 Magazine Issue



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