#Trending: Dumb accessories made smart

The bestselling watches and jewellery getting great tech makeovers
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Take your bestselling mechanical watch or coolest cult accessory. Add an Intel chip here, a 3-axis accelerometer there, flirt with the idea of an OLED screen and don't forget to stick 'Connect' at the end of the name. Congrats, you've just made your first wearable.

It's a trend we'll see more of as wearable tech startups cotton on to the fact that brand recognition helps when selling jewellery, watches and clothes, no matter how smart they are. Pret-a-porter wearables are coming, but they aren't always successful transitions for one reason or another.

Read this: Real fashion smartwatches finally arrive

Crucially, it's not what you know, it's who you know. The likes of Intel, Google and Misfit are falling over themselves to help fashion brands get into wearables. Sometimes the mistakes come on the design side, sometimes it's the edit of tech that equals a winner.

One thing is for certain, the comparison isn't always between one smartwatch and another or one smart bracelet and another but between a wearable and it's dumb counterpart.

WEAR - Tag Heuer Connected

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Unless you're looking very closely the Tag Heuer Connected - which is a damn good-looking smartwatch made from grade 2 titanium - could pass for a mash up of the Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 and the Aqua Racer with those sporty straps. It originally had Carrera in its name.

It's neither, of course, but Tag is even offering a trade-in after two years for first time smartwatch wearers who want to take a punt on the tech. The reason that upgrade works is that even it's expensive at , it's either on a par with a mechanical Tag watch or, in some cases, half the price.

SQUARE - Guess Connect

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This was a good concept - the very popular Guess Rigor made smart with both a Quartz movement and a small OLED display - but it didn't quite work out as intended.

Read our Guess Connect review for the full lowdown but put it this way - this isn't reliable enough as a smartwatch, it's also 15mm thick, 3mm thicker than it's already chunky counterpart, and at - versus for the Rigor - it's way, way too pricey.

NEARLY THERE - Fossil Q Reveler

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The Fossil Q Reveler and its women-friendly equivalent, the Q Dreamer, are inspired by Fossil's ID and Plaque ID bracelets. These sell with rugged brown leather, hot pink and pale pink leather straps and are designed to be worn alongside a Fossil watch.

The designs have been tweaked quite a lot to fit the accelerometer and vibration motor inside but the results are very stylish. Both the wearables has elicited the most compliments of perhaps anything we've worn in 2015 from men and women.

The Fossil Q app is a winner for its chic UI though the activity tracking doesn't exactly motivate you much to move more. Pairing, too, is an issue showing that there's still work to be done on the tech.

Finally, unlike Guess, it hasn't gone too expensive: a dumb ID bracelet can be picked up from as little as and we think is reasonable for the Q range.

How we test


Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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