The Swiss watch purists were wrong: smart watches aren’t a fad. On the contrary, these tech-loaded timepieces have become a mainstay of the horological world (much to its initial chagrin), and more importantly, have been fully embraced by some of the oldest manufacturers this side of the Jura.
But with a wider choice comes deeper deliberation. What’s the difference between a fully digital dial, and a ‘smart optimised’ analog? What features will actually aid your day-to-day? And which would be totally useless? To answer these questions, and more, we’ve picked through the best smart watches on the market to suit your no doubt very busy, hectic and urbane lifestyle.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
More expensive than some others, but, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. It comes preloaded with Topographic maps, ski maps covering 2,000 global ski resorts and built-in sensors for a 3-axis compass, gyroscope and a barometric altimeter.
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro also checks your heart rate and your pulse, and its rugged face is almost almost 20 per cent bigger than previous Fenix models – which should help you read it in a blizzard.
Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch. Also known as patient zero. As the Church of Jobs swooned, Switzerland shuddered – and with good reason. This game-changing smartwatch sold a staggering 15 million units upon its release.
So why the popularity? Well, it’s Apple for a start. But there’s merit behind the marketing, with the Series 5 boasting multiple vital sensors, a robust operating system and customisation options with the likes of Hermès – all of which is a huge improvement since the first generation of 2015.
Honor Watch Magic 2
Apple users haven’t got to think too hard about their choice of smartwatch. It’s not so simple for Android users: the smartwatch world is basically the Apple Watch, then everything else for non-iOS users. The latest entry into that busy market floor is the Honor Magic Watch 2.
This super-slim, pleasingly-designed sports watch features an excellent battery life, lasting two weeks on one charge, and a full menu of features including Bluetooth calls, music playback, sleep, stress and heart rate monitoring, alongside GPS tracking. Its water resistance (to 50m) and lack of bulk make it an excellent fitness monitor. All this, plus an ‘always on’ display, which levels the playing field with those smug Apple Watch Series 5 owners.
Ticwatch Pro 2020
TAG Heuer Connected 2020
A classic chronograph combined with state-of-the-art smartwatch technology, the 45mm TAG Heuer Connected (water resistant to 50 metres) features a stainless steel case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and an ultra-light black ceramic bezel.
It’s not just the design that’s clean, but also the full touch screen interface: it’s easy to navigate and features a number of super accurate health monitors, including calorie, heart rate, GPS and sleep tracking.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
martwatches can look clunky. We like the minimalist display of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active2, which offers minor upgrades on its predecessor (though a curious function allows you to snap a photo of yourself, then the watch will put together a watch face to match your outfit).
There’s automatic workout detection, with a real-time running coach allowing you to set targets and prompt you when you veer off track. The digital bezel is a new twist on an age-old design.