Last week we saw Tag Heuer’s latest take on the smartwatch. This week we meet Montblanc’s first. The Montblanc Summit Smartwatch pairs the brand’s classic design with a 400 by 400 pixel AMOLED display (that’s shielded by a domed sapphire crystal lens) and tech-heavy features that let it do a lot more than just time telling. A suite of features streamline use and include Google Assistant, Global translator, voice-to-text messaging, and Google Maps for navigation — perhaps no surprise considering the Summit runs the latest version of Android Wear. The 46mm diameter watch also tracks activity levels and boasts a surprising amount of sensors including a heart rate monitor, e-compass, and barometer. Each also comes with various analog-looking Montblanc faces to adapt to any occasion — or any outfit.
Learn more at Montblanc – $890
Smartwatches all run more or less the same operating systems, be it watchOS on the Apple side and Android Wear for just about all others. And the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 Smartwatch is no different in this respect, running the latter. Where it sets itself apart is modularity, since this latest gen model lets you swap out parts — and not just straps, either, but the buckle, lugs, bezel, or even the watch’s core module itself, when warranted. The module that’s included now though is already amongst the best in the market, boasting a 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, an Intel Atom processor, 4GB of onboard storage, and a battery of sensors and wireless radios that notably include GPS, NFC, a mic, and even WiFi alongside Bluetooth 4.1. And like any good Swiss timepiece it’s also water resistant to 50 meters despite its far techier inner workings.
Learn more at Tag Heuer – $1,650+
Any smartwatch-owning watch lover faces a dilemma that repeats itself on a near-daily basis: wear a classic timepiece or slap on a [comparatively dinky-looking] smartwatch? Fortunately, you soon won’t need to choose with the MMT E-Strap. The device’s brains are contained in a tiny buckle extension that’s nearly completely hidden by the strap itself, monitoring activity, sleep, delivering alerts and notifications, and doubling as a discreet vibrating smart alarm. Android and iOS apps provide an interface and the E-Strap’s battery lasts for a week per charge — far better than your tech-laden smartwatch — and it’s water resistant to 3ATM to boot. Several leather and finish options also match the straps to your favorite timepiece.
Available in April. Learn more at MMT – $TBA
The long awaited Dot Braille Smartwatch is finally here — or just about. The sculpted aluminum watch looks sleek, but frankly its wearers probably won’t give that much thought. What’s more important are the four dynamic braille arrays, with dots that rise and fall at different speeds to allow the visually impaired to read quickly and discreetly anywhere. It’ll also output navigation directions, notifications from the user’s Bluetooth-linked smartphone, and contains both an accelerometer and a gyroscope for, possibly, more not-yet-announced features.
So Steve Jobs is not technically a part of its name, but it may as well be. You might recognize the Seiko Chariot from one of the most iconic photographs of Jobs’ leaning on the first Macintosh (click to second image), though the angle certainly doesn’t help. A limited edition run of the simple, minimal watch is being released, with the option of the original 33mm case size as well as a more modern 37.5mm case and the choice of white or black dials. An equally spartan black leather strap complements the quartz watch. Which begs the question: had he still been with us, would Jobs’ wear a Chariot or an Apple Watch? The release is limited to the Japanese market but there’s a good chance that more than a few will trickle out onto eBay and the like.
Learn more at Seiko (Japanese site) – roughly $200
MVMT Watches launched a few years back with the mission of selling stylish watches at a price point that guarantees you can buy two and still not miss rent. And MVMT’s Chrono Series watches are no exception. Boldly sized at 45mm, these eye-catching timepieces feature minimal, monochrome two-layer faces with time, date, and chronograph functionality. Wondering how to read the time on the unmarked latter? You’ll get used to it, but if not keep in mind your phone has one too. Straps include stainless steel or genuine leather and pair with various case and face colors a dizzying array of combinations, our favorites which include Gun Metal & Sandstone (shown), White with Caramel, and Black on Tan.
Learn more at MVMT Watches – $135+
Nearly all of Grovemade’s work features wood in one way or another. Naturally so does the Grovemade Watch 02 in the form of a concave CNC-milled dial, though it sits behind the timepiece’s lens and stainless steel case in black, raw silver, or plated gold, to make it as easy to care for as a watch made of more traditional materials. This face is available in either Eastern Hardrock Maple or Oregon Claro Walnut and hides the Japanese-built quartz Miyota 5Y26 movement beneath that tracks time accurately for several years on a button cell. Coupled to vegetable-tanned leather straps the Watch 02 is an attention-grabbing wrist piece in a unique, organic sort of way.
Learn more at Grovemade – $150+
Timepieces in Victorinox’ I.N.O.X. collection are already put through the paces with well over one hundred stress tests. The only way we’d figure they can make them stronger is to use the material that protects the space shuttle from burning up during re-entry, and that’s precisely what they’ve done with the Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon series. The carbon resin composite used is strikingly unique, with a rugged matte-black appearance that’s subtly marbled and that makes the watch look as durable as it is. A triple-coated sapphire crystal lens caps the front and, along with the case, shields the watch from drops, shocks, scratches, water (to 200 meters), and probably everything else you’ll encounter. Available with or without a Naimakka paracord bracelet that can be unravelled if you’re ever in a bind and in need of some very strong rope.
Find it at Victorinox – $950