It’s time watches need to be smart but with­out los­ing its time­less de­sign -By Neil Shah

“If time is of rel­e­vance to you, al­ways wear a watch”

The Luxury Collection - - Contents - -By Neil Shah

Time­pieces over the last hun­dred years have in­creas­ingly im­proved at telling time and adding to the “style eq­uity” quo­tient. The lux­u­ri­ous watches worn by many are bought as in­vest­ments with a sense of jew­ellery ap­peal and sub­tle dis­play of wealth. How­ever, in this dig­i­tal age, the time­keep­ing wrist jewelry prom­ises to do even more, adding sig­nif­i­cant mean­ing­ful value for their own­ers. This has given birth to the new cat­e­gory of dig­i­tal smart­watches, from Sam­sung Gear S se­ries to Ap­ple Watch se­ries.

How­ever, these new age ‘smart­phone like watches’ are on com­pletely op­po­site ends of the “ana­log ar­ti­san-made” watches spec­trum which many of us are in love with. These full-blown dig­i­tal smart­watches bring al­most a new form of user in­ter­ac­tion, with fea­tures such as ac­tiv­ity track­ing, smart no­ti­fi­ca­tions, thus, adding a geeky look to our wrist (and per­son­al­ity). But these smart­watches are power hun­gry and need to be charged ev­ery night which is the big­gest pain point apart from ab­sence of the clas­sic lux­u­ri­ous feel. Lux­ury watch­mak­ers from Switzer­land to Nordics to Amer­i­cas, all have been keep­ing an eye on this seg­ment. They have seen some po­ten­tial pre­mium users churn away or de­mand­ing sim­i­lar ad­vanced fea­tures in their care­fully crafted lux­u­ri­ous ana­log watches. This has prompted lux­ury watch brands to in­vest in next gen­er­a­tion watch­mak­ing, strik­ing a bal­ance be­tween the best of both worlds. They are suc­cess­fully fus­ing a num­ber of sen­sors into the clas­sic ana­log form-fac­tors with­out com­pro­mis­ing much on the de­sign, aes­thet­ics and bat­tery life of these wrist jewelry pieces. We can call this unique smart time­pieces cat­e­gory as hy­brid watches.

Fred­erique Con­stant Clas­sics Smart­watch - FB285/281/282 Se­ries

This horo­log­i­cal smart­watch from Fred­erique Con­stant strikes a per­fect bal­ance be­tween the tra­di­tional clas­sic Swiss de­signed watch and dig­i­tal smart fea­tures. The beau­ti­fully rose-gold plated stain­less steel case with con­vex sap­phire hosts a con­nected move­ment promis­ing 25 months of bat­tery life for the 285-clas­sic ver­sion and 48 months for the 281/282-no­tify ver­sion.

The smart­watch pairs with the brand’s app on your smart­phone via Blue­tooth adding mul­ti­ple lev­els of smart func­tion­al­i­ties be­tween your watch and the phone. This hy­brid smart­watch to start with, keeps track of your daily ac­tiv­ity from steps count, calo­ries burned to to­tal dis­tance trav­elled. Fur­ther­more, the sen­sors in the watch can mon­i­tor your sleep pat­terns – light deep or awake. It can thus act as a “dy­namic coach” with all the sen­sor in­for­ma­tion about phys­i­cal and sleep ac­tiv­ity of­fer­ing sug­ges­tions, tips and rel­e­vant fit­ness in­for­ma­tion to help you achieve your daily goals.

This hy­brid watch also is de­signed to re­ceive cus­tom ac­tive alerts on your wrist re­mind­ing you to keep mov­ing to meet your ac­tiv­ity goals. Ad­di­tion­ally, the “no­tify” ver­sion of the hy­brid watch can re­ceive dis­crete vi­bra­tions in­di­cat­ing on the dial if you missed a call or re­ceived a text mes­sage or an email or have a meet­ing.

With all these mean­ing­ful smart­watch fea­tures in a clas­sic hand­crafted con­fig­urable (band and di­als) Swiss horol­ogy, it is the best in­te­gra­tion of style and smart. The Fred­erique Con­stant is avail­able for both men and women and comes in con­fig­urable vari­ants to match your taste and style. The base ver­sion of this highly de­sir­able hy­brid watch starts at US$860 and can go up to US$1350.

Mo­vado Mu­seum Sport Mo­tion Mo­vado, one of the clean­est ana­log dial sport­ing watch­mak­ers, has en­tered the hy­brid space with its iconic Mu­seum Sport hy­brid watch which mar­ries the iconic Mo­vado Swiss me­chan­i­cal de­sign with smart dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy. The clean, black de­sign is what we think of when we hear the word “Mo­vado” and this smart­watch de­sign ab­so­lutely keeps that po­si­tion­ing in mind.

The Mu­seum Sport pairs with the app in the smart­phone via Blue­tooth track­ing daily ac­tiv­ity, au­to­mat­i­cally sync­ing day, date and time­zone, and acts as a coach. The watch crown but­ton dou­bles to check the daily goals and switch be­tween dif­fer­ent track­ing modes. Mo­vado prom­ises more than two years of bat­tery life which is a boon com­pared to the full­blown dig­i­tal smart­watches where bat­tery lasts max­i­mum 24 to 36 hours.

The 44mm stain­less steel case and black bezel equipped Mu­seum Sport Mo­tion sports a clean ana­log main dial with an or­ange ac­cent sub-dial fea­tur­ing in­di­ca­tors for date and track­ing the daily ac­tiv­ity. The in­ner round black dial is bor­dered with match­ing re­flec­tor ring, iconic Mo­vado sil­ver dot at 12’o’clock

and con­trast lend­ing el­e­gant hands. The watch has a Swiss quartz move­ment and 30m wa­ter re­sis­tance ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The Mu­seum Sport Mo­tion edi­tion re­tails around USD 1200 and is a great buy es­pe­cially for men who love black and steel.

Alpina Smart­watch

Alpina, the Geneva, Switzer­land based lux­ury watch man­u­fac­turer brand for­ayed into the smart­watch seg­ment with its lat­est horo­log­i­cal smart­watch se­ries de­signed for both men and women. Alpina has de­signed these watches with a phi­los­o­phy of tak­ing watches from life­style to life­style track­ing to help live a health­ier life. Alpina is a fa­vorite watch for larger than life in­di­vid­u­als with an ad­ven­tur­ous side, from rain­mak­ers to po­lar ex­plor­ers. The Alpina smart­watch comes in sev­eral de­signs from 44MM pol­ished and brushed stain­less steel cas­ing with dif­fer­ent col­ored di­als for gents to 39 MM pol­ished stain­less steel and di­a­mond set bezel with GUILLOCHÉ tri­an­gle pat­tern and hand-set di­a­monds in the dial for ladies. One of the sport-styled vari­ants also fea­tures a classy navy sun­ray dial fea­tur­ing a brown leather strap adding top-notch flair to the time­piece. Alpine is one of the very few lux­ury watch­mak­ers who has got the de­sign ap­peal right for women. It bal­ances so­phis­ti­ca­tion and el­e­gance well. These time­pieces prom­ise more than two years of bat­tery life and are wa­ter re­sis­tant up to 100 me­ters. The crown is the one stop con­trol for all the smart func­tions when the watch is con­nected to your smart­phone. The func­tions range from ac­tiv­ity track­ing with smart coach­ing to sleep mon­i­tor­ing with sleep-cy­cle alarms to ac­tive alerts and au­to­matic world time sync for 24 time­zones.

The Alpina Horo­log­i­cal smart­watch col­lec­tion ranges from US$600 to US$2500, pro­vid­ing the per­fect ac­cent for those well-dressed in­di­vid­u­als, for a meet­ing or while on an ex­pe­di­tion.

We have picked some of the top-qual­ity hy­brid time­pieces for you to up­grade, mak­ing your wrist smarter:

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