WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY MEETS THE ART OF FINE WATCHMAKING
Smart wearable technology is one of the most talked about topics in the world of watches. In January 2015, the luxury brand Montblanc had a notable first. It presented the Montblanc TimeWalker Urban Speed e-Strap that combines wearable technology with fine watchmaking.
The e-Strap is an interchangeable strap, with an integrated technology device that offers an activity tracker, smart notifications, remote controls and Find-Me functions. Using Bluetooth low energy, it connects to Android and iOS smartphones. For the first time, owners can wear a mechanical timepiece with highly useful digital functionalities.
Smart notifications, signaled by vibrations, provide users with an alert of incoming communication without the need to look at the smartphone. This means users can preview e-mails by topic and sender, read text messages, see incoming calls and status updates from social media feeds or reminders of important upcoming meetings, all on their wrist.
The activity tracker is a simple tool for monitoring wearers’ physical activity over time, letting them keep track of their personal daily goals. It measures the number of steps taken per day, calories burnt and distance covered. The accompanying smartphone application enables users to view progress per week and month. The e-Strap reminds wearers to stay active via unobtrusive vibration alerts and shows daily progress at a glance.
The remote controls are used to control the smartphone with the e-Strap. The camera remote enables the taking of smartphone pictures via triggering the shutter with a tap on the e-Strap. This allows easier and better selfies and group shots.
Playing, pausing, and skipping music on the smartphone can be also remotely steered with the e-Strap’s music control function. 2
Additionally, the Find-Me function allows users to search for the watch or phone within a range of up to 30 meters, either by tapping on the e-Strap to find the smartphone or by using the smartphone application to find the watch.
The e-Strap device has an built-in touch screen display, readable in daylight, to display the information and navigate through the functionalities. The technical device is encased in a stainless steel case with rubber protection and can be easily fixed and adjusted with the pass-through strap.
Depending on usage, the device needs to be recharged every 5 days using a standard micro-USB cable and is compatible with Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, Note 3, Note 4, selected Android Devices running Android 4.3 and upwards as well as Apple iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6 and 6 plus.
The e-Strap device is available with three watch models from the Montblanc TimeWalker Collection. All are equipped with mechanical automatic winding movements and meet the highest standards of traditional Swiss fine watchmaking: a chronograph, a UTC (United Time Coordinated) with a second time zone and a three hands watch showing the essentials, namely hours, minutes, seconds and date.
Blending sporty elegance and masculinity, the aesthetic Montblanc TimeWalker features the signature skeleton horns, a narrow bezel, a large dial with Arabic numerals in distinctive, clearly contoured typography, and the characteristic lancet-shaped hands.
The “cold grey” micro-blasted steel case or the black DLC (Diamond like carbon) coating testify to the dynamic spirit and technical elegance of this timepiece.
This sporty elegance is maintained on the dial, which uses its black background to accentuate the white numerals and dynamic red second hands common to all three models.