Wearable tech is finding firm footing in the consumer landscape.
The world of smart watches is rapidly expanding and evolving, but it’s not just the technical aspect.
Luxury brands are entering the smart watch game at a rapid rate, demonstrating that modern watches continue to be statement pieces and that consumers don’t want to sacrifice style for savvy — and they don’t need to.
Here are some of the most stylish smart watches of 2016.
Apple Watch Hermès Series 2
These brand icons and once again woven innovation with sophistication with the Apple Watch Hermès Series 2. With prices starting at $2,189, you receive a stainless steel Apple Watch Series 2 with an exclusive leather band and pre-installed dial designs that are inspired by the Hermès’ Clipper, Cape Cod, and Espace timepieces.
The bands come in a number of different styles and designs – including single and double buckle options. Each Apple Watch Hermès also includes a water-resistant sports band in iconic Hermès orange. Additional bands can be purchased separately — starting at $499 — if you would like to match the colour to your outfit.
Some of the tech features of the Apple Watch Series 2 include a built-in GPS, 50-metre water resistance, a 50% faster processor and brighter screen.
Price: Starting at $2,189
Available: September 23, 2016
Samsung Gear S2 by de Grisogono
An ordinary Samsung S2 Gear has an entry-level price of around $499 — so what is it about the limited edition de Grisogono that makes it weigh in at $US15,000?
It certainly isn’t the smart watch itself, which boasts the same specs as an ordinary S2. It may have something to do with trimmings – the rose gold setting, the custom watch face, the studded signature de Grisogono galuchat leather band and perhaps the 127 black and white diamonds. No wonder only 100 are made a month.
Even the gold and diamond covered bezel has been fitted for tech as well as fashion — it gives users the ability to turn in around the dial so they can access to the features and apps.
Both Samsung and de Grisogono have confirmed that their smart watch collaboration will continue with the recently announced Gear S3.
Available: Out now, but you’ll need to head to the US to get this extremely limited edition Gear S2. It may be worth it for the bragging rights alone.
Asus Zenwatch 3
One of the most striking features of the Asus Zenwatch 3 is its commitment to blending technology with traditional time piece aesthetics. Not only is it the first in the series to abandon the rectangle design, it is also one of the only smart watches to feature traditional crown buttons. The Zenwatch offers three finishing options – silver, gunmetal and rose gold – and also comes with several stitched Italian leather and silicon strap options
Powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, the Zenwatch 3 in compatible with both Android and iPhone. In addition to boasting HyperCharge technology, a battery pack can also be clip to the back of the device for about 40% extra battery life. With a water resistance rating of IP67A, the device will be fine in the rain won’t do well being submerged in water for long periods of time.
Although the Zenwatch 3 has a variety of activity tracking functions, such as a step counter, It is missing a heart rate monitor, which is a staple with most current smart watches.
Price: €229. AUD pricing currently unavailable
Available: October, 2016
Michael Kors Access: Bradshaw and Dylan
Earlier this year Michael Kors announced an entire line of smart watches, and they’re kicking things off with the Bradshaw and Dylan.
Highly customisable, the Bradshaw offers eight different bezel designs as well as 10 strap options — including embossed leather, silicone and even a gold bracelet.
The Dylan errs on the side of rubber and offers three different designs — black, gold/black and blue/silver. For those who prefer a more refined look, you can purchase an additional leather strap option.
Powered by Qualcomm’s dedicated wear 2100 CPU these first two Access offerings include activity tracking, voice-activated Google, text message and email alerts and app notifications.
This is only one of the brands from the Fossil Group that will be launching wearable tech in the near future — Emporio Armani and Kate Spade New York, among others, will be ones to keep an eye on.
Price: Starts at $570
Certainly the most traditional timepiece on the list, Skagen’s hybrid smart watch offering is for those who prefer a classic and subtle aesthetic over tech.
In addition to customisable shortcuts and never needing to charge it, the Hagen will vibrate when you received texts or emails as well as track your fitness goals.
With four different strap styles — black, tan, espresso and steel mesh — you can choose what will be match your wardrobe.
Price: Starts at US$195. AUD pricing is currently unavailable.
Available: October, 2016
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