Top Smart Jewelry Picks for Every Guy
First there was the Apple Watch.
Well, actually, the first smartwatch (as we know them) was really the Sony SmartWatch, which debuted a full two years before Apple’s version. Then we had Pebble ... and Samsung Galaxy Gear ... and Moto 360 ... and Samsung Gear S ... and THEN we had the Apple Watch.
But most everyone would agree it was Apple that catapulted the popularity of smart jewelry as we know it today.
Point being, for the first time EVER more smartwatches were shipped in the last three months of 2015 than Swiss watches, according to a report from research firm Strategy Analytics. And with Apple owning just 63% of the global market, it’s clear there are a lot more players in the wearable technology game.
This lightning-fast innovation explosion is enough to make your head spin.
Fear not, for we combed through the sea of options. Not only did we summarize 15 of the top smartwatches available today, but we also separated them by lifestyle to give you a head start.
Go ahead, pick the dude that best represents your lifestyle and dive right in (prices current as of Feb. 29, 2016).
For the Athlete
Withings Activité ($149.95-$450)
Looking for simple activity tracking in a beautiful, classic watch? The Withings Activité is where it’s at.
Withings, the self-proclaimed leaders of the connected health revolution, has developed a line of smart products aimed at helping you achieve better long term health.
Their three activity tracking smartwatches all have the same functionality, but their looks (and prices) differ.
Activité Pop is the sportiest and comes in the widest range of colors, for $149.95. For $20 more, you can get an Activité Steel, which comes in more sophisticated steel case with a black and white face. And if you reach a bit deeper into your wallet, $450 will get you the granddaddy, a Swiss-made Activité Sapphire with stainless steel, sapphire glass and French calf leather.
Whichever aesthetic you prefer, your Activité will feature:
- Low energy Bluetooth connectivity
- Step, sport (including swimming*), distance, calorie and sleep tracking
- Silent alarms
- Analog display, including dedicated hands for activity progress
- Classic watch battery for up to 8 months battery life
Each Withings Activité smartwatch is compatible with iOS 7+ and Android 4.3.3+.
*The Activité Sapphire requires a dedicated sports wristband for 50 meter water resistance.
Michael Bastian Chronowing ($284.99)
The MB Chronowing is the product of a high-fashion and technology partnership between Michael Bastian and Hewlett-Packard.
The Chronowing is one of few smartwatches featured that comes in only one design, but it’s a good one. (Bastian did design three interchangeable straps; sold separately.) Crafted with detail, this beauty is comprised of a 44mm round stainless steel case with mineral hardened crystal on the face.
Unlike many other smartwatches, the Chronowing doesn’t function by touching or tapping. Instead, you manipulate three inlaid milled buttons to scroll through the various displays. This keeps the integrity of a traditional watch more intact, while still allowing for a substantial amount of functionality, including:
- Streaming of sports scores, texts, weather and stocks
- Music control
- Calendar review
- Automatic time zone adjustment
What the Chronowing may lack on the functionality spectrum, it makes up for with a nearly week-long battery reserve. That impressive stat plus 50m water resistance really allows the MB Chronowing to slip seamlessly into your everyday life. (And it looks good doing it.)
For the Book Worm
Mondaine Helvetica No1 ($950-$1,000)
Mondaine took two of Switzerland’s most recognizable inventions and mashed them together.
Swiss-made watches have long been the gold standard, and the font Helvetica is perhaps the most widespread ever created. Put these two together and behold the Mondaine Helvetica No1.
Graphic designers and book worms everywhere will appreciate the homage this simply-designed watch pays to the beloved font. Clean lines, simple colors, and attention to detail pair with the latest in MotionX® technology to create a smartwatch with serious understated style.
Only differing in design, all five variations feature the basic spread of functionality:
- MotionX® activity tracking
- Sleeptracker® sleep monitoring
- Sleep cycle alarms
- Get-active alerts
- Adaptive coaching
- Automatic time alignment
Super Bonus Feature #1: No recharging. The Helvetica No1 runs on a watch battery for over two years.
Super Bonus Feature #2: Water resistance up to 100 feet.
For the Free Spirit
Samsung Gear S2 ($299.99-$449.99)
The Samsung Gear S2 is the perfect piece for the free-spirited among us. It’s a network-connected wearable, so you can leave your phone at home. (Yes, it’s okay to cheer.)
The functionality of these wearables equates to a streamlined version of your smartphone. You can send and receive calls, texts, emails, etc., access a smattering of your favorite apps, get directions, track your activity, and more.
This second version of Samsung’s Gear smartwatches is a huge style improvement. While the original Samsung Gear S definitely looked like a smartwatch, this second edition takes on a more traditional feel, better meshing form and function.
While you can physically purchase the watch at retailers like Best Buy, you have to go through a participating wireless carrier to connect it to the network.
If you’re looking to ditch your phone once in a while without becoming a total digital recluse, the Samsung Gear S2 is a great option.
For the Techie
Neptune Hub ($899)
The Neptune Hub stands in a class of its own. The premise is to replace your entire digital ecosystem, with this simple wearable performing the computing function. Then you would add as many device accessories as you’d like – a phone screen, tablet screen, keyboard, etc. – all powered by the smart bracelet.
Neptune boasts this system to be seamless, secure, portable and cost effective. Since all the computing power and all the data are in the wearable, the separate accessories are much cheaper and don’t pose any risk to you if they fall into the wrong hands.
For the High Roller
Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch ($995-$1,295)
For those with impeccable taste, we present the Horological Smartwatch by Luxury Swiss watch maker Frederique Constant.
“A truly unique timepiece,” as described by Tech Crunch, the Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch has “the DNA attributes of typical Swiss luxury watch complications, as well as connected functionality.” (Frederique Constant)
This timepiece tracks your activity and sleep patterns, sending all the information to either an Apple or Android smartphone. But you’d never know by glancing at it.
The folks at Frederique Constant set out to bridge Switzerland to Silicon Valley, without sacrificing the form of a traditional Swiss made timepiece or the function of MotionX® technology. They have succeeded, if we do say so ourselves.
TAG Heuer Connected ($1,500)
TAG Heuer’s reputation for impeccable style and craftsmanship lives on in its foray into the world of smart jewelry.
Wareable thoroughly reviewed this beauty, as they always do, and raved about how comfortable and light it feels despite its chunky design. The look keeps pace with the feel as well. In Wareable’s words, “It just looks so slick.”
The TAG Heuer Connected is built with titanium, sapphire, and best-in-class touchscreen technology, so you know it will be with you for the long haul. In fact, this is one of the only smartwatches we’ve reviewed that was specifically engineered to allow for future upgrades (or a swap out for a traditional mechanical version).
Although this TAG is equipped with Android Wear technology, it also boasts a few exclusive apps geared toward sports like golf and racing. And it’s compatible with iOS devices, too.
BVLGARI Diagono E Magnesium ($3,900)
A Bulgari customer is a wealthy customer. There’s no way around it with their products’ hefty price tags. And what do the well-to-do need? Protection for their assets.
Touted as a “luxury wrist vault,” the Diagono E Magnesium unlocks a Bulgari Vault smartphone app where you can store passwords, payment information, health information, and the like. The applications are as endless as your digital footprint – making payments, unlocking your car door, accessing VIP areas, checking into high-end hotels, to name a few.
Bulgari’s watch doesn’t boast the other smart technology traditionally included in this category; its purpose is entirely different. So if you’re really concerned with cyber security and have a lot of assets to protect, this one may be for you.
Guard it with your life.
For the Cyclist
Sony SmartWatch 3 ($249)
The Sony SmartWatch 3 has a unique combination of features. It’s most closely related to the Samsung Gear S2 in that it’s an Android-based smartwatch that allows you to leave your phone behind. However, it’s not connected to a 3G/4G network; it has a built-in wireless receiver.
Also, SmartWatch3 operates with Android Wear versus the more powerful Tizen OS, providing less functionality for replying to notifications or interacting with apps.
This smart jewelry is perfect for outdoorsmen like cyclists due to its suite of location features. SmartWatch 3 has GPS as well as a compass, accelerometer and gyroscope – giving you accurate route and activity information. Simply sync it up with a fitness app like Lifelog once you reconnect to WiFi.
The SmartWatch 3 also allows you to store music on the watch itself, something runners and cyclists alike will enjoy.
For the Budget Conscious
Boasting 26 styles across six different models, Pebble has the most pre-made options of any smartwatch line out there. And with none exceeding the $300 mark, they’re perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to blow their budget.
Pebble smartwatches are compatible with iOS 8+ and Android 4.3+, meaning just about anyone with a smartphone can use one. Thousands of custom watchfaces and apps are available in the proprietary Pebble appstore.
The following features are available in one or more Pebble watches:
- Full color display
- Scratch resistant gorilla glass
- Up to 10 days of battery life
- Water resistance to 50m
- Step and sleep trackers
- Built-in microphone for voice reply
- Music control
Compare all six Pebble watches to find your perfect fit.
Simple. Stylish. Savvy.
We love the COGITO line for its affordability, un-interrupting function and beautiful form. With customizable notification settings, these smartwatches allow you to manage your calls, messages and alerts from your wrist, avoiding the endless allure of apps on your Apple or Android device.
This beauty also lets you know when your phone battery is low, so you’ll never suffer FOMO again. Plus, social media mavericks everywhere will rejoice at the remote selfie function. Be gone, selfie sticks!
You can even snap that selfie as you cannonball into the lake since all three are water resistant up to 100 meters.
Last but not least, even with constant activity monitoring, COGITO watches never need a charge. They’re powered by a standard watch battery.
For the Fashion Conscious
Moto 360 ($299.99-$449.99)
Depending on how you build it, the price will range from $299.99 to $449.99. You’ll pay a premium if you want a 46mm style, micro knurl bezel, gold case or metal band. (The photo on the left is the decked out $449.99 version.)
Like the Sony SmartWatch 3 and TAG Heuer Connected, the Moto 360 is powered by Android Wear. Check your notifications, access your apps, track your activity and sleep, play music ... the standard array of capabilities.
Whatever style floats your boat, you’ll get the following features:
- Android and iOS compatibility
- Up to 1.5 days battery life
- Wireless charging
- Ambient light sensor
- Heart rate sensor
- Water resistance
- WiFi connectivity
If you’re particular about how you want your smart jewelry to look, you’ll love to design your own Moto 360.
*You choose an initial face, but these are simply digital and interchangeable at any time.
Martian GUESS Connect ($379-$399)
A designer analog quartz smartwatch with Japanese movement, the Martian GUESS Connect refuses to sacrifice style for function. Similar to the partnership between WISeKey and Bulgari, GUESS did the design work, while Martian provided tech support.
Martian’s technology lets you text, call, set appointment and reminders, and command apps just with your voice.
The camera control is a great feature for the more sophisticated selfie taker. (COGITO is the only other brand we reviewed that lists this function.) And the ability to control music remotely is great for casual get togethers. (Full list of GUESS Connect features)
Because the GUESS Connect is powered by an independent operation system from Martian, it’s compatible with either an Android smartphone or iPhone. Anyone who loves the traditional GUESS style can get connected with a Martian GUESS Connect.
For the Traveler
Vector Luna & Meridian ($249-$399)
At first glance, both the Vector Luna and Meridian seem awfully similar to many smartwatches on the market today. Both are designed to appear more like a traditional watch. Both feature activity and sleep tracking, plus a standard array of notifications passed over from your Android or iOS powered smartphone. So what’s the difference?
Two words: Battery. Life.
Ideal for travelers who don’t have time to constantly find a power source to recharge their wearable, both Vector smartwatches boast 30 days of battery life.
How do they do it? They don’t have a colorful touch screen or a microphone and notifications only pop up on the screen when you turn the watch toward you. You can set custom vibration patterns so you’ll know they’re there, but no battery life is wasted by turning on the screen for no reason.
A Vector smartwatch is the simplest way to get basic connectivity with minimal hassle.
For Anyone (with an iPhone)
If you’re just not sure which smart jewelry is best for you, go with the one that 63% of smartwatch buyers chose.
Apple Watch ($399-$17,000)
Rather than extoll all of the Apple Watch’s features ourselves, we’ll give it to you right from the horse’s mouth:
Have anything to add about these products? Have a favorite we didn’t feature? Sound off in the comments!