Nearly a year ago, Apple released its Apple Watch, the extensively hyped smartwatch that many thought would shake up the traditional watch industry, or render it obsolete. Talk of revolution, it turns out, was premature. Just as punk rock gave way to radio-friendly new wave, the Apple Watch simply paved the way for the next generation of smartwatches. The new blockbuster feature? They look less like sci-fi gizmos and more like, well, watches.
These days, it seems, everyone – LG, Motorola, Samsung – is doing a smartwatch that looks less like a shrunken smartphone and more like a traditional analog timepiece. Here are some wrist-worthy new smartwatches.
Watch Pebble Time Round
Retail Price: $249
Design Cues: Pebble may be a pioneer of smartwatches, but this is its first offering that looks like a dress watch. It contains all the usual smartwatch features (message alerts, incoming calls, sleep and activity tracking) and throws in interchangeable dial faces and bands in varying colors.
Selling Point: At 7.5 millimeters thin, it appeals to design-minded wearers who don’t want a laptop on their wrists.
Watch Casio Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10
Retail Price: $500 (available in April)
Design Cues: Powered by Android Wear, this is the do-anything cousin of the go-everywhere G-Shock. Dedicated apps track sunrise and sunset times, tides, compass direction, altitude and activity graphs. At nearly 62 mm, it’s big enough to be seen from the summit of Everest.
Selling Point: The horological equivalent of a Swiss Army knife.
Watch Movado Bold Motion
Retail Price: $695
Design Cues: Bauhaus, by way of Star Trek. A partnership with HP, the watch maintains Movado’s signature clean lines and keeps the tech just as elegantly minimalist. Subtle vibrations and light notifications indicate incoming emails, text messages, social media alerts and appointments. Also tracks steps.
Selling Point: A smartwatch appropriate for evening cocktails or interplanetary travel.
Watch Tag Heuer Connected
Retail Price: $1,500
Design Cues: Released last November, the Connected was greeted as the first salvo from traditional Swiss watchmakers against the new wearable devices. The good news: It looks like a TAG. Featuring a brushed titanium case that recalls TAG’s classic Carrera racing models, its LED touch screen can access a wide range of Android Wear functions.
Selling Point: Swiss luxury design with a matching price tag.
Watch Fitbit Blaze
Retail Price: $199.95 (available in March)
Design Cues: Is it a fitness tracker or a timepiece? Fitbit is betting that the question will soon be irrelevant. This star of the recent Consumer Electronics Show packs the standard Fitbit functions (heart-rate tracking, activity tracker, guided workouts) into a boardroom-friendly package featuring a color touch screen.
Selling Point: Works with either a sweatsuit or pinstripe suit.
Watch Fossil Q54 Pilot
Retail Price: $175
Design Cues: Unlike smartwatches that masquerade as analog watches, the Q54 is the opposite: an analog watch retrofitted with Intel technology. When paired with a smartphone, it tracks activity and provides message and app alerts through color-coded LEDs and vibrations.
Selling Point: For tech geeks who don’t want their wrists to scream “tech geek.”