We could talk about the Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch by mentioning its 1.2-inch circular sAMOLED display or its sleek stainless steel body, the latter particularly pronounced on the Gear S2 (shown, right) over the Gear S2 Classic. Or even its Tizen OS and ecosystem. More interesting, however, is the availability of a 3G network-connected variant which relies on an e-SIM card — or embedded SIM card — that lets the device work standalone on your mobile network to make phone calls, send messages, and access connected apps without being chained to a smartphone.
Read more at Samsung – $TBA
You could opt to refuel your Apple Watch on a shiny, fancy stand. But bedside charging truly needn’t anything more than the Bluelounge Kosta for Apple Watch. Made of soft silicone, Kosta prevents scuffs and scratches on your device and won’t slide off your night table like the bare watch could. Wire routing and a magnetic center secure the charge cable when not in use, and when it is, your watch is propped up on its side in a position that’s perfect for Nightstand mode.
Find it in three colors at Amazon – $15
Your Apple Watch is meant to always stay on your wrist. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely waterproof, nor guaranteed to survive a dip in the pool — or worse, the ocean — so it’s often got to come off. For this, Catalyst’s Case for Apple Watch boasts a slim profile and grants your IP-68 waterproofing to sustain continuous immersion at up to 3 meters deep. It simultaneously ruggedizes your watch to MIL-SPEC 810G for drops, exposes both the face and the heart rate sensors for unimpeded functionality, and features a colorful rotating crown dial cover for tactility. It’ll even protect your device from the corrosive salt water of the oceans.
Preorder at Catalyst – $60
Make your latest wearable a little less invasive with the Bucardo Pendulum Apple Pocket Watch. Interfacing with the 42mm Apple Watch’s band slots, this enclosure gives your timepiece new style by slipping onto your device and transforming it into a retro-inspired pocket watch, providing a cover that both flips open for viewing and locks thanks to a closure latch. Each eye-catching design — amongst them pinstripe or hammered metal in plated 18K gold or sterling silver — also comes with a chain with a clip to securely anchor it to a belt loop.
Find it at Kickstarter – $100+
Changes watch straps is a hassle. With Covair’s Interchangeable Watch line it’s far easier: each side of the strap unlocks by pressing its clip, literally detaching in a couple of seconds without the use of any tools. What’s more, the watch faces themselves are also interchangeable, removing from the watch base to which they’re firmly held using strategically placed magnets that won’t in any way interfere with the Japanese quartz movement’s time telling. Covair’s starter kit includes one base, two faces, plus two straps (one grey NATO and one in brown leather).
Learn more at Kickstarter – $150
Inspired by the tachometer on Alfa Romeo’s Alfetta GT, the 44mm Straton Vintage Driver Chrono boasts easy to read two-digit minute and second markers complemented by a needle-like seconds hands and prominent green luminescent coating to keep read the time past dusk. Powering the watch is Seiko’s VK63 Mecha-Quartz hybrid movement which pairs both quartz for timekeeping and a 5 beats-per-second sweep mechanical chronograph with fly-back reset for an ideal mix of practicality and fun. Else, it’s made of 316L surgical grade stainless steel, sports a sapphire crystal, is water resistant to 10ATM (100m), and comes in a wide range of color and strap combinations.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – roughly $250
Talking watches and the Bradley help the visually impaired keep track of time. Now, add the Dot Braille Smart Watch to that list. More discreet than the text-to-speech options, the Dot features four six-dot cells that each display one braille character at a time as their dots are raised or lowered, adequate not only for telling the time but also for converting messages, directions, and e-books to braille on the go by pairing with a Bluetooth 4.0 equipped smartphone. It’s also equipped with 5 days of battery life and costs a fraction of most E-braille readers, with an estimated price of roughly $300.
Arriving in December. Learn more at Dot – $TBA
Named after a waypoint just outside of Washington, DC, Redux & Co’s COURG watch was conceived to fill the need for a vintage pilot slash dive watch that’d be minimal, reliable, and distinctive in its looks. Mission accomplished. The COURG — pronounced “courage” — boasts a case crafted of Grade 2 titanium, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a uni-directional counterclockwise rotating bezel, and blue-glowing Super Luminova paint on the hands and hours for reading the time in absolute darkness. It’s also powered by Seiko’s automatic SII caliber NH-35A movement complete with date and bi-directional winding, resulting in a functional timepiece that’s fantastic bang for your buck.
Find it at Kickstarter – $260
While certain situations are more suited to a casual NATO strap watch and others call for a beefier stainless steel diver, there are few other scenarios where a slim, well-designed leather timepiece won’t work. The Classic Bristol from Daniel Wellington mixes the very best principles of minimalist Swedish design with the functionality and styling of a slim, crisp dress watch, resulting in a timepiece that works just as well with a T-shirt and jeans as it does a tailored suit. The price is nearly unbeatable for the quality, and its sharp looks just might make it the most versatile watch in your arsenal.
Learn more at Amazon ($110) or Daniel Wellington ($229)
It comes as nearly no surprise that a bad drop or a hard hit could end your Apple Watch. Designed by Many’s Banded Classic Case for Apple Watch adds seriously dependable protection to the fragile timepiece, ideal for individuals who rough up their products a little more. The case itself is crafted of aerospace aluminum with an inner rubber lining, forming a protruding (and protective) bezel over the screen and a bumper covering the sides — including the button and dial — all without interfering with any of its functions. It’s available in six colors ranging from silver to gun metal to rose gold plated, each coupled to a handsome Italian leather strap.
Check it out at Kickstarter – $90