When smartwatches first entered the market, they looked hardly anything like what we would expect from a traditional watch. Take the Apple Watch for example – it was more square than round, its straps were interchangeable, and you actually had to recharge it daily. But this was okay with consumers because they didn’t expect a traditional watch. A smartwatch was designed with the technology side in mind, to be more of a mobile device than a teller of time. In recent years, however, luxury watch brands have been working hard to bridge the gap between smartwatches and an orthodox timepiece. They’ve sought to retain the classic luxury image of a solid timepiece and combine it with the functionality of a smartwatch. In the following article, we’ll take a look at three of the best luxury watch brands currently producing smartwatches.
The Tag Heuer Connected
The Tag Heuer Connected was the first move that Tag Heuer, a famously orthodox producer of Swiss timepieces, made to merge its product with technology. The result was a watch that doesn’t deviate far from the traditional stylings and nuances that the company is renowned for. And for good reason – there is still a healthy demand for traditional Tag Heuer watches, especially in online marketplaces like this one. By being conscious of sticking to the aesthetics that consumers have come to love, the Connected appealed both to traditional watch lovers as well as those looking for the latest wearable tech, broaching a market that smartwatches such as the Apple Watch skipped over.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Hands-On
While not a watchmaker in the traditional sense, Louis Vuitton is well-known as a fashion powerhouse that produces clothes and handbags. But recent years have seen a closer confluence of technology and fashion, out of which has come the next generation of innovative clothing. This is true too for the Tambour Horizon, a project that is a result of a collaboration with Google and Qualcomm. With a price tag of $3,000, you might be forgiven for thinking that this watch contains the hardware and functionality of Iron Man’s glove, but the specs are surprisingly standard. A peek under the hood shows some Snapdragon Wear 2100 gear, a 300mAH battery, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, while the operating system is the Android 2.0. But the Horizon is, above all, a fashion statement, and where it really shines through is in its customization. Wearers can choose from three case styles as well as 60 sets of interchangeable straps, making it a uniquely functional fashion statement.
At $900, Montblanc’s Summit costs considerably less than the Horizon. Mimicking the style of the traditional face that Montblanc is famous for, the Summit comes in three different case materials: black-steel finish, stainless steel as well as titanium. On looks alone the Summit scores highly. Materials aside, the 46-millimeter face is elegant and tasteful, digitally displaying the “1858” which is the standard of all Montblanc timepieces. The Summit does run into some problems when it comes to software and usability, however. The screen is never bright enough in direct sunlight, it’s not waterproof and the battery life leaves something to be desired. Still, for a more modest price than similar luxurious smartwatches, the Summit looks and performs admirably.