BASEL, Switzerland -- If you're after an activity-tracking smartwatch, with the classic good looks of traditional Swiss watches, the Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch may be just the watch for you. It combines a classic analogue face with activity and sleep-tracking functions and to top it off, it's hand-made in Switzerland.
From the design, there's no question that this watch is fashion-, rather than technology-, oriented. It has a slim, circular metal body, attractive analogue hands that move round the main watch face, with a second smaller analogue dial inset in the bottom, which I'll come back to. The watch is available in silver or rose gold-plated versions and with a variety of hand-stitched leather or metal link straps.
It felt extremely comfortable to wear thanks the to slim design and light weight, and to my eye at least, it looks fantastic. I certainly wouldn't mind pairing it with a nice shirt on a night out. Frederique Constant is unsurprisingly proud to boast that the watch is made by hand in its workshop in Switzerland and every single watch is subjected to quality control measures, including water and air pressure tests.
The "smart" aspect comes from its ability to measure your activity and sleep. The watch connects to an app on your smartphone -- both iOS and Android
devices are supported -- on which you can set activity goals. The smaller dial on the watch face shows your activity throughout the day as a percentage of the goal you set.
(Andrew Hoyle/ CNET)
In the app you're also able to see a detailed analysis of your movement, including distance travelled and calories burned. There's no GPS built in, so the app uses various algorithms to estimate the total distance based on steps taken. How accurate the watch is compared to its rivals remains to be seen.
Pressing and holding the crown on the side of the watch puts it into sleep-tracking mode. In the morning, you can use the app to see how well you slept, including a breakdown of light Vs deep sleep.
(Andrew Hoyle/ CNET)
The Frederique Constant certainly isn't the most full-featured smartwatch we've seen to date, lacking as it does functions like GPS and the ability to display notifications. Still, with basic fitness tracking and a beautiful design, it will no doubt find a home on the wrists of those of you who wouldn't be seen dead wearing the current crop of smartwatches.
It's going on sale globally from the beginning of June and will start at 950 euros (which converts to around $1,015, £685 or AU$1,325), with the rose gold version costing 1,250 euros ($1,335, £905 or AU$1,740).