Smart watches have been something of a phenomenon in the past 5 years, and have taken the traditional watchmaking industry by storm. Although, as will all markets like this, we are now seeing a slight swing back to traditional manufacture and engineering expertise with Swiss craftsmanship, the rise in tech watches is undeniable. Brands that used to deck out cheap mass produced analogue watches with their logo are now moving to cheap smart watches, and the offerings seem to be endless. But, as with any newish technology, is it actually any good, and are there any decent alternatives?
Well, yes and no. The technology has obviously become a lot better in the past 5 years since the first slew of smart watches were released, to the point that offerings like the Apple watch are actually very usable and useful pieces of technology. So are many of the other high end offerings, but as usual the cheaper ones are not, and as always you pay for what you get.
There is also now another alternative to the full blown smart watch, the hybrid. For watch lovers that don’t want to look at a digital version of the beautiful dial and hands they love, several manufacturers now make a half-way house, the hybrid. Fossil watches are a great example of this, and the latest ‘Q Neely’ women’s version is a fantastic example. Whilst it looks like a lovely analogue timepiece, it contains digital elements that can track your steps, your sleep, calories, offer vibrating alerts and also move the hands around the dial to point to various pre-set markers, indicating different things.
It’s a slightly strange concept to seemingly shoehorn digital technology into an analogue watch, but for younger generations brought up in the digital age, who have a bit of style, a watch that looks like a watch but adds in seemingly ‘hidden’ digital tech, is a fantastic idea. While keeping the face and hands limits what you can add, it begs the question ‘why wouldn’t you buy one’, if you were looking for a traditional style watch.