Montblanc unveils smart e-Strap for its mechanical watches

Fitness tracking and notifications for your finest Swiss timepieces
Montblanc unveils smart e-Strap

Luxury smartwatch maker Montblanc has announced that it's to make a smart watch strap for its latest line up of mechanical watches.

The Montblanc e-Strap is the company's answer to the increasing momentum of smartwatches, which threatens to present an even bigger challenge to traditional brands as digital watches, back in the 80s.

Essential reading: Best smartwatches in the world

The Montblanc e-Strap packs a 0.9-inch monochrome OLED touchscreen with a 128 x 36 resolution, which sits on the underside of the wrist. The band will sync with smartphones to show notifications, and it will double as a fitness tracker using the usual array of accelerometers.

The Montblac e-Strap will be compatible with iOS and Android devices with a companion app, which it connects using Bluetooth 4.0.

The device is part of a Florentine leather NATO-style strap made in Italy, so it's big on quality, something that's been lacking on the current crop of smartwatches.

It's part of the company's new Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed collection (starting at $3,000), but will be sold separately. What's more, it's available for €250 ($300/£200) and will attach to any 20 or 22mm watch, meaning that Rolex or Tag wears can get in on the act too.

The Montblanc e-Strap is very similar to the Kairos T-Band, a Kickstarter project launched in late 2014. Kairos has also been experimenting with dual OLED and mechanical watches, too.

It's not the only “traditional" Swiss watch-maker that's looking to get in on the smartwatch act. Tag Heuer has confirmed that it's working on a smartwatch for 2015, as has Swatch, after its stock plummeted after the announcement of the Apple Watch.

Expect more announcements at CES 2015 in Las Vegas next week, where Wareable will be reporting live.

Source: A Blog To Watch

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