Montblanc gets in on the smartwatch craze
In what may be the first attempt by a luxury goods producer to enter the world of wearable devices, Montblanc plans to premiere a smartwatch option in its upcoming Urban Speed collection.
Unlike other smartwatches made by Apple and Motorola, whose clock face becomes a touchscreen, the Montblanc smartwatch will include a traditional mechanical clock with the smart device built into the leather “e-Strap.”
Some watches in the collection will be sold with the e-Strap already installed, or it can be purchased separately and attached to any of the 42mm or 43mm Timewalker watches, or other similarly sized watches.
The band, woven with diamond-like-carbon (DLC) steel, is water resistant and has a 0.9” monochromatic touchscreen display. Connected to smart devices through Bluetooth, the strap vibrates to alert you of incoming emails, phone calls or texts, reminders, or social media notifications. In addition, the watch includes a pedometer and accelerator that can send data to an app on your phone.
It can also control your phone’s music player, and can be used to find your missing phone if it’s within Bluetooth range. And good news for your selfie game – the e-Strap can also serve as a remote trigger for your phone’s camera. The e-Strap has a five day battery life with a built in micro-USB charging port.
Luxury goods and the tech industry
Montblanc’s new e-strap is a sign that the luxury goods industry won’t sit back quietly while tech companies invade the watch market. With full color screens and decades of tech experience, it’s hard to imagine that Montblanc will be able to create a more user-friendly smartwatch than Apple or Motorola.
At 4,690 euros for the watch with e-Strap (250 euros for the strap alone), the average consumer will likely opt for Apple or Motorola’s smartwatches, which range around $250-$300. However, for high-end customers who want the timeless (no pun intended) look of a mechanical watch with smart device connectivity, Montblanc’s e-Strap could be an attractive option.