As watch enthusiasts, we tend to frown upon smart watches. After all, it was quartz watches that nearly destroyed many Swiss brands in the 70’s and 80’s. With the Apple Watch currently outselling the entire Swiss watch industry, should we as consumers as well as watch brands start embracing this technology? We’re not exactly sure about that, but we do know that if you hate the look of the Apple Watch and want something with a little more horological significance, there are several really great options out there.
Read more about our thoughts on the Apple Watch, here.
Hublot Big Bang e
Hublot’s Big Bang has been around since about 2005 and since then, it has become a monster hit with celebrities and athletes wearing this incredibly sporty piece. Now Hublot isn’t a brand that we would call “conservative” or “behind the times”. They are known for pushing barriers and have phenomenal tourbillon movements that are not meant to be “pretty” but to be put to the test, whether it's playing golf, tennis, or football. With Hublot wanting of course to stay with modern times and market to the younger generation, they released the Big Bang e. A watch that keeps the essence of the Big Bang but has several technological upgrades.
Coming in a pretty modest 42mm case, the smart watch is available in a titanium or ceramic case. The touchscreen is of course sapphire and the crown and pusher are controlled by the dial. If you prefer for the screen to display time only and look less busy, no problem, the Big Bang e has a function that will only display the time in analogue. Or, you can have it display its amazing perpetual calendar with the moon phase or maybe you’re traveling and want a GMT World Timer to look at, or maybe...you’re on a racetrack and need a chrono. You kind of get all these amazing watches in one big package. Now just be sure you don’t go diving as the watch is only water resistant to about 30 meters (enough for sweat and quick washes, but not so much the depths of the ocean).
Some of the other cool features are: Google Play accessibility, customized dials by “friends of the brand”, quick changing strap, health tracker. The watch comes in at just over $5,000 (depending on model) and has a 1 day power reserve. That price, one that mimics the starting price of a Rolex seems obscenely high for a smart watch, but we love to see the confidence.
Tag Heuer Connected
Perhaps one of the most popular connected watches from a luxury brand is the Tag Heuer Connected Watch. Perhaps due to the advertising of one Tom Brady, but we think it’s mostly due to the fact this digital piece looks very much like an everyday watch. The Heuer Connected is shaped in a circular 45mm watch case and is available on not only a strap but bracelet too!
The design is inspired by their historical chronographs and features a crown and two chrono pushers on the side of the case. You can use those pushers to control the screen or use the touch screen sapphire display. The watch keeps track of speed, pace, heart rate, and distance. The battery here is said to last a full day along with a 1 hour sport session. Slightly more water resistant to the Hublot at 50 meters, the watch does feature a similar ceramic bezel. Priced at just over $1800, this connected watch is on the more affordable side of the luxury market. What’s great about Tag is that they offer plenty of strap options so that you can really personalize the watch to your style.
If you love to play golf, check out their Connected Golf Edition which is made out of Titanium for a lightweight feel on the wrist. It also comes equipped with 40,000 golf courses downloaded on it and the bezel counts to 18 to keep track of golf holes.
Throw this connected watch into your Golf bag with one of our Everest Watch Pouches.
Montblanc Summit 2
If you’re tempted to buy a smartwatch but really don’t want to give up the look of a traditional watch, then perhaps the Montblanc Summit 2 is the perfect fit for you. With one of the most realistic displays we’ve seen, this connected piece could certainly pass for a mechanical watch. This chronograph looking smartwatch is sized at 43.5mm and has a water resistance of IPX8 which means it can be underwater for a bit but could possibly still be damaged by incoming water to the sides of the case. Like many connected watches, the Montblanc Summit 2 uses Wear OS by Google.
The Summit 2+ (its newest edition) starts at $1,170 and comes in Stainless Steel, Rose Gold, Bronze, and Black DLC. You also have the option to upgrade a pay for service on your Summit 2+ if you’d like LTE connectivity. The Montblanc would be a great connected piece for those who want a smartwatch in the more professional setting vs active and sport. While this is certainly a smartwatch by today’s standards, it's a great option if you want to fly under the radar with your watch enthusiast friends and colleagues.
Keep your Connected Watch charged on your bedside table inside one of our Everest Watch Rolls.