Even though traditional watch enthusiasts are forced to accept it, connected watches are on the front line more than ever now, and this seems to continue increasingly. I would like to leave the unconditionally traditional watch loving aficionados aside and give you some up to date information about the fast developing connected watch market.
Not the first but apparently most influential brand in the market is undoubtedly Apple. The brand supports its 3rd generation of Apple Watch with a vast variety of strap choices and three case options, while performing a brilliant marketing strategy as usual. The new models, which shine out with GPS and cellular connectivity, provide a high end appearance with their aluminum, stainless steel or ceramic cases. Top versions feature scratch resistant sapphire crystals and the MSRPs range from US$ 249 to US$ 1299.
Then there’s the connected watch produced with the finest materials and utmost craftsmanship -TAG Heuer Connected 45. The models are powered by Android Wear operating systems and attract attention with their technical features as well as their cool looks. Equipped with scratch resistant sapphire crystal AMOLED screens, the models offer a comfortable stand by time of over 24h thanks to their high-capacity batteries. TAG Heuer Connected 45, offered for sale with 57 different variations, ranges from $ 1550 to $ 6750.
Another important model comes from Montblanc. Among all the connected watch manufacturers, Montblanc is surely the most reputable brand however, their model Summit is not widely preferred by the users due to its slightly weaker technical features like low-capacity RAM and fewer sensors compared to its rivals.
Another big player in the market is Samsung. Besides the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier models, the brand brings heat to the competition with its sports-oriented Fit 2 model, while providing impressive functions and high-tech hardware features. On the other hand, the brand is unfortunately unable to benefit from open source programs due to the TizenOS operating system used in its connected watches.
Fossil Group, one of the biggest players of the watch industry, started to show up with their connected watch models. The company should have seen the future of connected watches as they have already invested millions of dollars. We will most probably see many connected watch models from brands like Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger and Armani in a short time. The models foreseen to be positioned at different levels in terms of price and function seem to continue to get the operating system support from Android Wear.
The Asian manufacturer Huawei is also one of the leading names in the competition. Being one of the most successful names in the market in terms of material quality and technical specifications, the brand produces the connected watches of Porsche Design. Of course the freedom brought by Android Wear operating system plays a big role in this success.
To summarize; the smart watches currently on the market are working with three different operating systems as IOS for Apple, TizenOS for Samsung and Android Wear for others. Although most brands use Qualcomm Wear2100 chips as main processors, the RAM capacities of the models range from 512MB to 768MB, which is directly related to performance parameter. In addition to the brands I mentioned, the names like Casio (Protrek), Nixon or New Balance (which mostly focuses on sports) seem to be mostly talked about in the near future. Let me add that the TicWatch, which is actively operated by Kickstarter, deserves to be mentioned as well.
The user-friendly functions and the high-tech features of the connected watches are of course very tempting for most of us, but we should not ignore the fact that the product we get is an electronic device and, contrary to mechanical watches, it could wear out much faster and function improperly after a certain period of time.
To all the watch enthusiasts who would say “I never use connected watches... “, I hereby invite you to the stores to see the latest connected watch models as I strongly believe that there is a watch for everyone in this fresh but effective product group.