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Smart And Sophisticated

Smart And Sophisticated

High-End Smartwatches Bring Luxury To The Tech Sector

When Apple launched the Apple Watch in 2015, the Swiss mechanical watch industry quaked, unsure of how the high-tech competition would impact the traditional market. A few brands, however, responded with their own upscale smartwatches to address the trend in wearable tech for the wrist. One of the leaders of the charge was TAG Heuer, which debuted its first Connected watch in 2015, hailed as the first Swiss luxury smartwatch. It used the brand’s popular Carrera-style case and ran on tech from partners Intel and Google.

This year, TAG Heuer updated last year’s popular Connected Golf Edition ($2,550) with accurate course maps for more than 40,000 courses worldwide in new and improved 2-D on your wrist, as well as 3-D on your phone showing more detail along with simulated shot trajectories, emulating those shown on TV coverage of pro tournaments. The Driving Zone feature, which is unique to the brand, automatically shows the landing zones of your previous tee shots, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. And the new Club Recommendation tool suggests a club based on your position and distance to the hole. Of course, you can also keep score.

“I love wearing this watch both on and off the course,” says brand ambassador and professional golfer Tommy Fleetwood, who will wear it on the PGA Tour. “The features are really well-thought-out, making the game more precise and I can’t think of a golfer whose game wouldn’t benefit from it.”

TAG Heuer’s LVMH sister brand Hublot launched its first smartwatch in 2018 to mark the FIFA Football World Cup in Russia, with a soccer-centric angle and design codes from its flagship Big Bang model.

Powered by Wear OS by Google, last year’s 42mm Big Bang e ($5,200) in black ceramic or titanium is designed for general everyday wear and features updated software with high-tech interpretations of traditional watch complications, including a perpetual calendar and GMT. Hublot also tapped its artist ambassador Marc Ferrero to create colorful dial animations that change over the course of the day.

The Montblanc Summit Lite smart watch, is extra lightweight
The Montblanc Summit Lite smart watch, is extra lightweight.

“Electronic watches were created in Switzerland using quartz in the 1970s,” says Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot. “Fifty years later, we are continuing in the same innovative vein by producing a second smartwatch which boasts an extremely high level of technological sophistication, whilst embodying all the aesthetic values, technical features, and excellence that have ensured the reputation of our Big Bang collection.”

Montblanc’s new Summit Lite ($860) smartwatch expands the brand’s tech lineup with a lightweight 43mm case crafted from recycled aluminum and stainless steel in matte black or silver/gray finishes paired with either a sporty fabric or rubber strap. Summit Lite is attuned to sport functions that track fitness, performance, and even well-being with a crisp AMOLED display. It’s also equipped with an updated heart rate monitor and GPS, and is water-resistant to 5 ATM.

In addition to Wear OS by Google apps and services, Montblanc developed proprietary apps including Cardio Coach, which offers personalized workout recommendations based on your current fitness level (VO2 max) and progress. Sleep and Stress apps analyze sleep patterns and stress levels, while the Body Energy app incorporates data from your sleep, activity, and stress level to chart mental and physical exhaustion levels.

“With the renewed focus on health, fitness, mindfulness, and well-being we are witnessing today, our goal was to create a smartwatch that had just the right tools to support its owner throughout the day, in a way that was instinctive and effortless for today’s business lifestyle customer,” says Nicolas Baretzki, Montblanc CEO. “Named Summit Lite after its lightweight design, it aligns with its wearer’s activities and is built for high-performing individuals who are constantly on the move and blend their workout routine with their work routine.”

The Hublot Big Bang e, designed for everyday wear with high-end finishes.
The Hublot Big Bang e, designed for everyday wear with high-end finishes

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