Gc Connect brings minimalist style to Android Wear

Baselworld 2017: Luxury watch brand plays it safe on the software

While the Guess Connect Android Wear smartwatches are bringing the bling, Gc, the fashion company's luxury brand takes a more sophisticated approach to housing Google's smartwatch-friendly operating system.

There's still men and women's smartwatch models, but it's no surprise to find that there's more options for the guys this time in comparison to the glitzy options on offer with the Guess Connect collection.

First look: Tommy Hilfiger TH24/7You Android Wear review

Both designs are based on existing Gc Structura watches so if you're familiar with the dumb versions, you can expect a similar look on the wrist. They're still big ol' watches and mirror the Connect watches for size to accommodate that touchscreen display. It's the same resolution as the Connect watches so by no means the sharpest screens out there, but it's well suited for Wear.

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But they do look good at least in our opinion, adopting a more minimalist design approach with no sign of glitter or crystals in sight. The steel and rose gold case options look slick as well, while the ceramic bezel on the men's watch reminds us of the one featured on the suit-friendly Garmin Fenix Chronos outdoor sports watch.

Variety is Gc's big play here, whether that's with the watch bodies or the straps keeping them around your wrist. There's a whole host of bands on offer from leather to more sports-friendly embossed silicone ones. Before you think about taking a dip in the pool though, these watches are not built for swimming. The bands are interchangeable as well although the mechanism requires pressing two small buttons on either side of the lugs to release the strap.

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You'll still find a crown on all of the watches to launch the app drawer in Wear 2.0 and get you access to Google Assistant. There's no heart rate sensor, NFC or LTE connectivity here. This is an Android Wear smartwatch that puts looks over smarts and that might be perfectly fine for Gc watch fans.

It does run on Android Wear 2.0 though so you'll reap all of the other benefits on offer including access to standalone apps, more customisable watch faces and access to the Google Play Store directly from the watch. A swipe through the screens and the app drawer doesn't uncover anything of note or different from what we've seen from the current crop of Android Wear 2.0 watches.

It does try to make its presence felt in the watch face department, letting you pick from a series of custom watch faces that you can add in your complication (widgets), but there's actually less on offer than there is on the Guess Connect Android Wear watches.

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We still have some question marks surrounding some of the key specs that we are trying to find out. We do know that it's packing the same Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor powering the Guess Connect collection and we can expect a battery life in line with the current crop of Wear watches. So it should keep going for a maximum of two days depending on how much you tap into those smartwatch features.

The Gc collection certainly plays it safe on both the design and the software front. These are some of the better looking fashion-focused smartwatches we've seen, but Fossil still seems to be leading the charge on giving Android Wear a really attractive makeover.

The Gc collection is launching later this year in time for the holidays, but we still don't know how much they're going to cost. What we do know is that they will be more expensive than the Guess Connect watches, so prepare to shell out more for the luxury of having a Gc smartwatch on your wrist.

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