Mobile By Jan. 3, 2015 10:42 am
Montblanc e-strap turns any watch into a smartwatch | Mobile | Geek.com

The era of smartwatches has finally begun in earnest after years of clunky and poorly supported one-offs. However, not everyone is ready to abandon the precision engineering of mechanical watches. Luxury watch maker Montblanc is trying to give mechanical holdovers more reason to stick with what works by adding some tech to the band, while keeping the watch itself all-mechanical.

The upcoming Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed collection of watches will have an e-strap that tethers to iPhone or Android over Bluetooth to relay notification content. The e-strap will be fit any atch with the right size lugs, but it’s designed for the Timewalker series. The leather strap has a woven carbon fiber texture called “Extreme Montblanc,” and connects to the watch in a “NATO” style that loops around the spring bars and crosses the back of the watch. That means that the watch will remain attached in the event one of the spring bars breaks.

Montblanc e-strap turns any watch into a smartwatch | Mobile | Geek.comThe e-strap module attaches on the wrist side of the strap and is composed of DLC (diamond like carbon) coated steel. Most of the device is taken up by the 0.9-inch monochromatic OLED touchscreen. It has a resolution of 128×36, which works out to 147 pixels per inch. It will show calls, texts, email, appointments, and other basic content. Users will also get some fitness tracking features with the built-in pedometer and have the ability to control music playback. This is nothing ground-breaking, but it’s more than you’ll get with other mechanical watches.

Montblanc will ask €250 ($300) for the e-strap attachment separately, but buyers will be able to get one included with the Timewalker series. The cheapest Timewalker Urban watch will run €2,990 ($3,588) with e-strap and the most expensive one will cost €4,690 ($5,628). At that point, dropping another couple hundred isn’t a big deal.

This isn’t going to tempt gadget fans who are already eyeing (or wearing) a smartwatch, but it might keep a few watch fanatics from crossing over to the digital dark side.

Now read: The solid gold Apple Watch could cost $5000

Montblanc e-strap turns any watch into a smartwatch | Mobile | Geek.com

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