They might be able to alert you of every pointless email you get, but smartwatches don’t score too highly in the design stakes. Even the Apple Watch, which is supposed to be the most beautiful smartwatch in the world, looks like something from the back of an Argos catalogue from 1982.
However, there is hope for those of us who want their smartwatches smart, with a trio of pieces that can compete with the best old-school watches in the looks department. Because these days, style and tech shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. OK? Good...
Manufactured by ‘proper’ watchmakers in Switzerland, the Activité is the perfect mix between analogue styling and smartwatch technology. Focusing on increasing your activity (the clue’s in the name, kids), the watch works with the Health Mate smartphone app to keep a record of how far you’ve walked or run. Looks-wise, it’s perfect for both business and casual, and even changes timezones automatically when you go to another country. Something this good looking shouldn’t be this clever. But it is. Oh, it is.
The minimalist masters – see Mondaine’s classic Swiss Railway watch – have come up with a subtle timepiece that’s got plenty of tech going on under the super-modernist face. Using the same operating system found in other ‘horological smart watches’, the 1957 has a clever activity tracker dial at six-o-clock, which shows whether you’ve reached your exercise goals or not. Made with an engraved stainless steel back and with a diameter of 44mm, this ideal for the man who wants to look sophisticated while he goes jogging. That’s you, yes, you, with the silk hoodie on.
Using the Android Wear operating system, the 360 combines technological power with high-end Swiss watch design – see that gorgeous stainless steel case for proof. Unlike the other two watches here, the 360 is a fully-operational smartwatch which means it’ll notify you of alerts, act as a navigation aid and allow you to send abusive texts to that new bloke at work you’ve taken a dislike to. Think Apple Watch – but loads better-looking.