STAYING CONNECTED HAS BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER THIS YEAR. REFLECTING ON A SENTENCE USED FOR PROBABLY THE PREVIOUS TEN YEARS, IT SEEMS NEVER TRUER THAN IN 2020. TAPPING INTO THIS LATEST TREND, THESE WATCHES OFFER THEIR OWNERS A LOT OF WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR THE MODERN, ACTIVE USER.
WATCHES OF THE YEAR WINNER
Given the situation with covid-19 guidelines this summer, golf courses saw a rise in the number of people wanting to play the game and as clubs saw growth in daily visitors, Garmin’s MARQ collection also expanded. Including data on 41,000 golf courses, Garmin incorporates a range features to help enhance a player’s game such as PlaysLike Distance, Hazard View and a Virtual Caddie to analyse critical factors like wind speed, course layout, and a golfer’s speed and a golfer’s club performance to select the best suited club for each shot.
Garmin global brand ambassador and golfing legend Greg Norman says the watch, which comes in a 46mm titanium case with ceramic bezel, improves his game on the course and looks good anywhere.
It has a domed sapphire lens and an always-on, sunlight-readable display while also offering all the functions expected of any top end smartwatch including built-in music storage, Garmin Pay for contactless payments, smart notifications, daily activity tracking, as well as wrist-based heart rate monitoring. All activity tracking feeds into Garmin’s QuickFit app.
CONNECTED WATCHES OF THE YEAR
APPLE WATCH SERIES 6
Health and fitness were driving red hot demand for smart and connected watches well before the virus hit, putting Apple in the perfect position to come to market with a Series 6 that has so many ways of measuring a person’s wellbeing, including claims it can spot signs of covid-19.
The tech giant’s USP on this was pushing the introduction of a revolutionary Blood Oxygen feature that offers users even more insight into their overall wellness. It also delivers many notable hardware improvements too, including a faster S6 System in Package (SiP) and next-generation always-on altimeter, along with its most colorful lineup yet.
A new operating system, watchOS 7, brings Family Setup, sleep tracking, automatic hand washing detection, new workout types, and the ability to curate and share watch faces, encouraging customers to be more active, stay connected, and better manage their health in new ways.
An optimised activity tracker has new power-saving tricks so that a new Wellness App that heart rate, pace, distance, steps, calories and more drains the battery half as slowly, making it far less likely the watch will need to be charged every night, which means it can stay on the wrist monitoring sleep, a vital part of every healthy lifestyle.
The new features can be tracked over time on the accompanying smartphone app and on Fossil watch’s 1.5 inch AMOLED screens, where a new custom profile system and a simplified design make it easier to use.
T-TOUCH CONNECT SOLAR
Initially a casualty of the covid quarter and its long shadow, Tissot finally launched the T-Touch Connect Solar in November after it was first discussed back in March. In spearheading Swatch Group’s push into the smartwatch market, the T-Touch Connect Solar is one of the early adopters of the group’s in-house developed Sw-ALPS low-energy operating system. Its low power consumption and solar chargeable quartz-based movement means that the watch should not need plugging in for months.
It is not clear that the public cares whether smartwatches emerge from Silicon Valley, Asia or Switzerland, but Swatch Group lists “Swiss Made” at the top of its T-Touch promotion and the 47mm watch does have high end attributes including a titanium case, ceramic bezel and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal touch screen.
T-Touch Connect Solar has all the basic functions of a T-Touch Expert Solar and despite Swatch Group developing its own operating system, the watch is also compatible with iOS and Android phones.
Frederique Constant was a pioneer in the development of hybrid connected watches that married the art and engineering of a Swiss watch with sensors and a smartwatch app. Its first Horological Smartwatch in 2015 combined a quartz movement and digital module that displayed daily steps using traditional watch hands.
2020’s connected timepiece, the Smartwatch Vitality, looks like a classic Swiss watch, with highly polished gold-plated or steel cases — 36mm for ladies and 42mm for men — and uncluttered matte dials furnished with Roman numeral markers and hand-polished hour and minute hands.
The crown acts as a mini mouse that scrolls through the various functions and there is a full collection with several dial colours for both the men’s and ladies’ models, and the option of a steel bracelet or rubber strap. Ladies can also choose from a range of coloured leather straps.