Some of the more interesting projects that we come across on Kickstarter come courtesy of other folks we know telling us about projects that they’ve decided to back. The most recent case of this is the watch we’re talking about today, which came to my attention courtesy of Ben over at Tempest Watch. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what makes the OVD Time Traveller II an interesting piece.
So far, with Polar, we’ve focused more on the workout / running watches that were purpose-built for fitness tracking. Today, we’ve got something that is still purpose built, but also is a full-blown Android-powered smartwatch, the Polar M600.
Just a few years ago, I had my first experience with a Polar product. In the time since then, I’ve used it, alternating with the Garmin that’s also in my workout watch stable. A lot can change for a brand in a few years, so we reached out to the brand, and got a few more items in for review. The first one we’ll be taking a look at is the Polar M200.
When we first received the PR news about a new smart watch for kids, I was cautiously intrigued. Having my own little ones running around the house, this seemed like something perfectly aimed for my house, particularly as my girls are in to watches, inasmuch as they know dad likes them, so they do to. So, we’ve been spending some time with the Octopus by Joy as of late.
It was not all that long ago where we brought you word of a curious thing – a big Swiss brand (Alpina) flogging their watch on Kickstarter, of all places. This was an oddity as we generally think of that platform for launching new brands, for raising capital, and so on. Things that, ostensibly, Alpina is not (they’re established) and should not have a need of (being part of Citizen should have it’s advantages). So, why this route? The word was so that backers could help to finalize some of the design and app features. From the earlier writeup we did, Eric liked what he saw so much that he backed the project (as did plenty of others). Today, I’m going to talk with you about the time I spent with with one on my wrist.
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.
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.
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.
It seems, at least to my informal surveys on the topic, that smart watches are rather a polarizing sort of a watch. There are those who just love them (as evidenced by the number of Apple Watches that I see around my office) while others (myself included) just do not see a good use case for them. Frederique Constant has had a few iterations now of looking to make a smart watch that looked more like a traditional watch (classic lines, analog dial, etc). Now, with their third iteration, the Frederique Constant Hybrid Smart Watch, things are going in a decidedly more interesting direction.
Like ‘em or leave ‘em, smart watches are hard to ignore. Once the domain solely of the technorati, many a person now has some sort of wearable that is connected to their phones. And, now that we have fashion brands getting into the smartwatch game, well, they have definitely arrived and are safe to consider mainstream. The latest entries come courtesy of Michael Kors, with the just-announced Sofie and Grayson watches.