Tag Archives: watch

Oaxis Combines Fitness Tracker with Analogue Watch



That spot on your wrist is in high demand at the moment. From Apple Watches to smart watches, retro digital and vintage automatics, they all want in on that skin real estate. Personally, I still like a watch with hands to tell me that I’m late but I do like step counting and heart rate monitoring too. Consequently, I tend to swap what’s on my wrist depending on activity: it’s not ideal but works for me…mostly.

There might be an improved solution to my problem with a new watch launching on Kickstarter by epaper experts Oaxis. iPhone owners might know the company for their InkCase which provides a second epaper screen on the back of the phone. In this instance, Oaxis are crowd-funding Timepiece, a minimalist analogue watch with an embedded fitness tracker than displays data in a small OLED display in the dial.

The watch uses a Swiss quartz movement from Ronda and the fitness tracker records heart rate, steps, sleep and call / text notifications. As you’d expect, there’s a complementary app to get the data off the watch with Bluetooth. The info only mentions an iOS app, so you might want to confirm there’s going to be an Android app too.

There’s a range of combinations of case, strap and size, with both 38 mm and 41 mm cases. The black dial with red hands looks particularly good but the white dial looks classy too. I’m not sure if its just the lighting but sometimes the white dial has black hands and sometimes they’re silver. Case is a little over 12 mm thick.

And unlike certain other smartwatches, Timepiece will last a month on a single charge – charging is done via a small dock. One of the other cool features is that the time can be set via a Bluetooth connected smartwatch.

The watch is waterproof to 30 m, which means that it’s ok for a bit of light swimming.

If you like the look of this, head over to the Kickstarter campaign. Early birds can get in for US$123, GB£95 or €110.

Delivery is expected in March 2019 and as with all things crowd-funding, don’t pay what you can’t afford to loose.

 


Christopher Ward Launches Ultra Slim C5 Malvern 595



Here at GNC, I don’t usually cover old school things like watches, but I get the feeling there’s been a little bit of a renaissance in analogue time pieces. Certainly there are plenty of Fitbits and Apple Watches on people’s wrists but there are still plenty of watches out there going tick-tock. Anyway, let me know in the comments if watches are of interest and I’ll do more. – Andrew

Christopher Ward have announced the C5 Malvern 595, a new ultra-slim mechanical watch at just under 6 mm thick. Using a hand-wound mechanical movement, the ETA 7001 which itself is 2.5 mm thick, the designers managed to fit it into a slender case that is just 5.95 mm, hence the 595 moniker. The ETA 7001 has a 42 hour power reserve, meaning it’ll need wound every other day or so.

Christopher Ward’s Co-Founder Mike France explains: “I knew immediately that it would be a significant test for us to create a truly ultra-slim watch. But I felt that it could be possible. And so, my challenge to the team was, can we create a mechanical timepiece, under 6mm high, at a Christopher Ward price point?

The design comes in two Opalin dial variants, pearly white or cool grey, with a choice of three straps (black, brown, camel) and a Milanese mesh bracelet. The case is 39 mm in diameter, which is very much on trend and wearable for both men and women.

Adrian Buchmann, Senior Designer, explains: “Because the 595’s most important quality is that it’s very slim, it was important we didn’t distract from that – which mostly meant removing clutter. So the dial is very simple with no raised elements or extraneous detail, and we needed exceptionally pure, clean hands. The main detail, in fact, is on the rear of the watch, where we have used a crystal exhibition caseback, so the movement can be viewed.”

For comparison purposes, a Rolex Submariner is 13 mm thick and if you are wondering what the thinnest watch in the world is, then for a mechanical hand-wound it’s the Piaget Altiplano at 3.65 mm. Mind you, they cost a bit more than the Malvern.

Talking about the price, Christopher Ward is milking the 595 theme for all it’s worth. Not only is the C5 Malvern 5.95 mm thick, it costs GB£595. The watch is available now from their boutique and online store.

For those that don’t know Christopher Ward, it’s a British company that designs watches in the UK but are then manufactured in Biel, Switzerland. The company’s been around for 11 years and has a reputation for producing good value watches, both mechanical and quartz.

There’s the obligatory promotional video below.


Timex Metropolitan+ is an Analog Watch and Activity Tracker



Timex Metropolitan+There’s been a real convergence in wearable devices over the last year. It’s a logical progression for consumer technology, especially when it comes to devices like watches and activity trackers that you’d wear on a wrist. Timex, a long-standing name in the watch industry, is embracing this trend with the release of its new Metropolitan+ watch/activity tracker.

The Metropolitan+ probably doesn’t fit the image you’ve already conjured up, based on other similar products. The Metropolitan+ isn’t some bland-looking digital clock with a small readout that just also happens to be an activity tracker. The Metropolitan+ features a stylish analog clock face and the watch can be customized with a number of interchangeable bands.

Along with the time, the Metropolitan+ also displays your activity information right there on the watch. The device employs a special fourth watch hand that’s used to measure your progress. There’s also a special register that shows how close you are to achieving your daily activity goal.

The Metropolitan+ can sync your activity information with a mobile device via Bluetooth. From there, you can share the information with most popular fitness/activity tracking apps. The watch also comes with a replaceable battery capable of holding a charge for over a year. No need to plug the watch in and let it recharge overnight. The Metropolitan+ also includes an Indiglo backlight for viewing the watch in dark environments. The watch is water resistant as well.

The Timex Metropolitan+ watch is available for purchase now starting at $125.00. Additional bands typically run $20.00 each.


Where Are The Smart Watches?



Michael KorsQueuing for rides at theme parks is a great opportunity for sizing up the fashions of fellow thrill seekers. Everyone docilely shuffles along and the folding line passes lots of people both in front and behind. As a watch fan, I enjoy checking out the timepieces around me and at Disneyland, Paris, there was plenty to see in the warm weather.

The wrists of Disney’s guests provided a good selection of horology from Rolexes and Omegas to Tissots and Casios. Michael Kors must be selling watches by the truckload: there were probably more of these fashion watches than anything else. What slightly surprised me was the dearth of smart watches. In five days at the House of Mouse and hundreds of people, I saw two Apple watches, one Sony smartwatch and a handful of Pebbles.

The Sony owner was next to me at one point and I engaged him in conversation about the watch. He confessed that it had been a gift and he didn’t use it very much. Interestingly, both the Apple watches were on women’s wrists. I’m not quite too sure what to take away from that…perhaps they were gifts too, or perhaps Apple has made the watches sufficiently fashionable and appealing that women will be the leaders here. Or perhaps it was pure coincidence.

Where are the smart watches? They’re not at Disneyland, that’s for sure.


Apple Watch Edition is a Mistake



Apple Watch EditionThe Apple Watch Edition is a mistake. There, I’ve said it. Apple fans can leave vitriolic comments below without reading any further.

The Apple Watch Edition is too expensive. Way too expensive. Apple fans can leave additional vitriolic comments below without reading any further.

The Apple Watch Edition will sell plenty. Not record breaking numbers, but well enough. Apple fans….just a sec, hold on…how can it be a mistake, too expensive and still sell? It’s because the problem is not the Watch Edition itself but rather what it represents.

In many ways, Apple and the late Steve Jobs embody the American dream. Although there were setbacks along the way, persistence, hard work and great products from the iMac to the iPod and iPhone led to success, fame and wealth.

On the other hand, Apple was egalitarian. While their beautiful, well-designed products were aspirational, they were also affordable. Not impulse buy affordable but if you too worked hard, saved your pennies, you could afford the Apple product of your dreams. The relationship was reinforced with iPhones and iPads in the hands of celebrities and fashionistas; you could have the same phone as your favourite pop star or actor. In an era of mass-produced mediocrity, you could have something a little special.

And this is why the Watch Edition is a mistake. Apple now has a product which is unaffordable for the vast majority of its fans and owners. There’s now Apple haves and Apple have nots and never wills. What you have is no longer special. The equality of product between the rich and (relatively) poor, the famous and the unknown, has been lost.

That’s why I think the Apple Watch Edition is a mistake. It’s nothing to do with its looks, functionality or value but rather the change in perception of Apple by its supporters.

What do you think? Is the egalitarian nature of Apple’s product line important?


Grovemade Wooden Accessories



As a jaded IT hack, it’s not often my jaw drops but when I saw the sheer beauty of this desk arrangement, I had to put my dentures back in, metaphorically speaking. Grovemade handcraft truly stunning monitor stands, keyboard trays, iPad covers, iPhone cases and other desktop accoutrements. My desk doesn’t look anything like this, though I really want it to look like this.

Grovemade Desk Collection

 

The products are available in both maple and walnut, but I think the walnut really goes well with the brushed aluminium and the grain of the wood stands out that much better. There are some further cool touches with a little storage space underneath the keyboard.

Keyboard TrayAs you might imagine, these unique pieces aren’t cheap but they aren’t stratospherically expensive either. The monitor stand is $119, the keyboard tray is $79 and the pen cup is $39. Choosing carefully, these items could last a lifetime and provide a great deal more pleasure than a $5 plastic pen holder.

Walnut WatchAnd if you want wood on your wrist too, Grovemade are eschewing the trend to smart watches with a wooden twist on a traditional timepiece. It might be bucking the trend but at least it will still be compatible with your phone in 10 years time. With a choice of round or rectangular, light or dark, it’s on pre-order at $239 with delivery expected early in 2015.


Casio G-Shock with iPhone Mobile Link



Casio G-Shock GB6900AAFor digital watches, there’s really only one range to look at – Casio G-Shock. From day-to-day wear to aviation and snowsports, there’s a G-Shock watch that will fulfil your needs. The GB6900AA takes this to a new level, providing incoming call and email notifications from your iPhone. Don straps it on.

The GB6900AA has all the features of a rugged digital watch, but it also has a low-power Bluetooth transceiver, allowing the watch to connect to the Apple iPhone and display or buzz on incoming phone calls and new emails. As a security feature the watch will alert the owner if they get too far, reminding them not to leave their phone behind.

The GB6900AA is currently only certified to work with the iPhone 4S and 5, and there’s Casio’s “G-SHOCK+” application to be downloaded from the App Store. However, an Android version is expected later in the year. Available now in limited numbers for $180.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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