Wearables Week in Review

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Week In Review

Montblanc + OS 3

Montblanc is expected to launch a new smartwatch in mid-July, the Summit 3. Quite neatly, the new watch reflects both the next iteration of the Summit range and the fact that the new smartwatch will use Wear OS 3. And that is the big deal here: to date we’ve only seen Wear OS 3 on Samsung devices, which naturally have Samsung apps and services layered in. Of course, to experience the Montblanc will take quite some investment: it is expected to cost upwards of $1,300 when it goes on sale July 15.

The NPD Take:

  • It’s a beautiful looking device aimed at a niche market. But so are all other Montblanc’s, so it helps protect the company’s core customer base that may be looking at smartwatch options. Besides, not everyone wants to wear the same old smartwatch that everyone else wears: watches have always been somewhat of a status symbol.

Fossil Adds New Hybrid Watch

Fossil has announced two new “smartwatches” as part of the company’s Gen 6 Hybrid range. The hybrids, expected to launch at the end of July, have come a long way since the early days of hybrids, which basically were just watches with minimal alert notifications. The Gen 6, in particular, offer support for blood oxygen monitoring, heart rate tracking, notification and customizable watch faces, as well as (new for this generation) Alexa support with a built in microphone. The two model variants are the “Machine”, which is a 45mm size with three color options, and the “Stella” with a smaller 40.5mm case. Both models support interchangeable bands and pricing starts at $229.

The NPD Take:

  • Hybrid watches, such as these from Fossil, provide an interesting combination of style – based on more traditional watch look and feel – and function, with the “smart” features. While they obviously lack a lot of the features provided by a smartwatch (such as streaming music apps), the hybrid devices have found a solid niche in the watch category.
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