Plaza Watch International - - Sihh Roundup -

It is fit­ting that the name of this new model from Mont­blanc un­in­ten­tion­ally (one as­sumes) has echoes of Star Wars about it. One can imagine the hero Han Timewalker leap­ing into his Ur­ban Speeder and zoom­ing across the desert, check­ing his E-strap in a panic, late for yet an­other wookie booze-up. Fit­ting be­cause, while Swiss watches don’t typ­i­cally take their name’s in­spi­ra­tion from 70's science fic­tion – this watch will be looked back on as mak­ing horology his­tory. The watch it­self – a sporty chrono­graph with a black dial, slim bezel, lancet-shaped hands and steel case with a dis­tinc­tive grey ‘mi­cro-blasted’ coat­ing – is al­most sec­ondary, for once, to the strap. For it is the strap that mat­ters: and here one finds a small LED touch screen of­fer­ing a num­ber of func­tions – vi­brat­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tions of emails, text mes­sages and in­com­ing calls on your cell­phone, some re­mote con­trol func­tion­al­ity – so you can use it to press the cam­era shut­ter on your phone, a means of find­ing your watch or phone within 30 me­tres and, least ap­peal­ing of all, an ac­tiv­ity tracker, to re­mind you of just how few steps you’ve taken and calo­ries you’ve burned that day. Yes, it is all pretty ba­sic – the Sin­clair ZX81 of wear­able tech. But, in the face of watches from Ap­ple, Google and oth­ers, it is a por­tent of fu­ture moves by proper watch­mak­ers. They face two op­tions: to move ever fur­ther away from the smarts of smart­watches and re­treat into craft, hop­ing that the next gen­er­a­tion of watch con­sumers will buy into this, or at­tempt to of­fer some sim­i­lar util­ity. Mont­blanc shows the way. JS

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