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Alpina AlpinerX Smartwatch…on Kickstarter!?!

As most anyone reading this article is aware, the micro brand Kickstarter phenomenon has hit stratospheric levels in the last few years. As a watch blogger, I can tell you firsthand that it can be quite difficult to sift through the endless emails and press releases related to Kickstarter watches. It seems that several new brands are popping up on an almost daily basis on the popular crowd funding site. A small handful of these new brands are actually designing and selling some very nice pieces, but the vast majority are, to put it mildly, junk.

William L. 1985 Live on Kickstarter With Two New Offerings

Scoring an automatic chronograph these days for under a thousand bucks is darn near unheard of, and when someone tells me I can get a column wheel auto chrono for under $700, I start looking for the hidden TV cameras. Today, not only will we be looking at exactly that, but a pretty cool smart watch as well, both from the young brand William L. 1985.

Nokia Steel HR is a fitness tracker that could pass for a wristwatch

Fitness trackers are a hot item – they track daily motion, motivate wearers to stay fit, and help keep up to date on a users fitness routine. Up until now, however, most of them have tended to look like a piece of gear – bulky, ugly plastic and metal bands that look “techy” or “futuristic”, showing off the fact that the wearer is oh-so-cool and concerned about their health.

Introducing the Fitbit Versa

Product render of Fitbit Versa in 3 quarter view in silver metal links showing analog clock

We watch folks have a difficult time with smartwatches.  We can’t see them supplanting our beloved traditional watches, but we’re undeniably drawn to the promises (if not the delivery on those promises) of what the tech can do for us.  For me, I’ve really decided they don’t fit my own particular use case, and would likely need to double-wrist it.  In other words, not likely.  The one exception I would likely make would be for something like the Fitbit Versa.

Getting smart with the Fossil Q Marshal

I have reviewed a few different watches that would fall into the smartwatch category, but none that would fall into the “true” smartwatch category (i.e., ones that run an operating system and can have apps installed).  As I am not an iPhone user, picking up that watch really made no sense, and in the Android world, those watches seem to hit the tech sites.  That is, until our pals over at Fossil had their latest generation being cooked up.  Once they we made available, we raised our hands to check one out, and that brings us to today’s review of the Fossil Q Marshal smartwatch.

Working up a sweat with the Polar A300

When it comes to watches (and other devices) that are available to help you get fitter (or at least give you some metrics), you have a wide range of options out there.  At the simpler end, you have things like my trusty Fitbit One; going to more complex, you have the full-on smart watches that incorporate some form of tracking (some with heart rate measurement as well).  While I have previously reviewed one that was a bit short of a true smart watch (the Garmin 920XT, which would give notifications from the phone), we have not looked at many that are purely fitness devices.  Well, today we expand that coverage a bit more with the Polar A300.

Withings Activité smart watch updated

Withings, recently acquired by Nokia, announced an addition to their fitness tracking analogue wristwatches today. Formerly, the line consisted of Activité Pop, Steel, and Sapphire. The new watch is Activité Steel HR, and it comes with some big changes for the Activité line.