Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

Update: We've passed the ugly duckling phase and things look more beautiful
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The old wearable tech 'look' is dead, but fashion tech is here to stay. Gone are the bulky, black plastic smartwatches and in their place are fashionable accessories in a range of sizes, styles and finishes. Screens, no screens, leather, semi-precious stones, 18k gold, nothing is too much for this new batch of stylish wearable technology.

So without further ado, here's our top wearable picks for tech-loving fashionistas and style-conscious men.

Topshop bPay accessories

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

Something a bit different here - Topshop is selling keyrings, stickers, badges, phone cases and bracelets in which to hide a Barclaycard bPay wearable payments chip. The first collection is fun with bold Monster Fish motifs and a luxe metal and snake collection has since joined it. There's two bracelets, two phone cases and two smartphone trinkets and we like them all.

Read this: The best wearable payments devices

Michael Kors Access

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

We've now seen the Michael Kors Access smartwatches up close and have a better idea of what you can expect from the Android Wear-toting duo. Bradshaw - the more female friendly model comes with eight different bezel designs to choose from and the straps differ across the line as well.

Wareable verdict: Michael Kors Access review

The new Michael Kors Dylan Access is a rubber affair with a more defined bezel and larger 28mm lugs. It comes in three designs too. Both are a mid luxury price of $395.

Ringly & Aries

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

One of the best blends of fashion and tech we've seen is Ringly, a ring wearable that matches any outfit. Available in a range of semi-precious stones from Emerald to Sapphire, Ringly syncs with your iOS or Android device to alert you to calls, messages and emails you might miss while your phone is in your bag.

Read this: Ringly's CEO on her new smart bracelet's secret weapon

If that's not enough, it also works with lots of apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchats, Vines and naturally Tinder. Plus, Ringly is one of a number of wearables that is partnering with MasterCard for contactless payments. Look out for a review of Ringly on Wareable very soon and keep an eye out for its new Aries smart bracelets, featuring obsidian and agate stones too.

Fossil Q

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

Fossil is going after the fashion crowd with the Fossil Q Founder, an Android Wear watch, a non-digital display watch, the Q Grant, and sleek Q Dreamer and Q Reveler smart bands aimed at men and women. We're fans of the understated luxe of all of the pieces, especially considering the very reasonable prices.

The accessories are all now on sale and they have just been joined by the Q54 Pilot smartwatch, inspired by vintage aviation. The new addition tracks activity and handles alerts from up to 50 apps, now including Misfit and Tinder.

Read more: All the details on the new Fossil Q range

Samsung Gear S2

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

Excuse us while we faint from disbelief that we're actually including a Samsung product in a list of chic wearables. The Samsung Gear S2 boasts bold, Swatch-esque looks that suits a more casual style while the Classic model, which now comes in 18k rose gold and platinum, looks much more like a dress watch. It looks modern yet familiar and compact enough to be unisex and it's the one we'd recommend.

Check out our Samsung Gear S2 review and have a look at the latest Gear S3 leaks and rumours ahead of the big reveal on 31 August at IFA.

Pebble Time Round

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

This is the thinnest, lightest smartwatch we've seen yet. Dainty even. The Pebble Time Round is just 7.5mm thick in fact when most smartwatches are more like 10 - 11mm.

There are 14mm and 20mm band widths plus black, silver and rose gold finishes (plus limited edition polished gold and polished silver) to choose from. It runs Pebble's own OS, which does have less third party apps than the big platforms, but it does have some nifty features like Timeline and now its own Health platform. So how is it so compact? It uses a colour e-paper display and a tiny battery which means it lasts just two days when normal Pebble watches last 7 or even 10 days.

Bellabeat Leaf & Leaf Urban

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

Designed for women, the Bellabeat Leaf can be worn as a necklace or brooch and comes in two styles - the standard design of wood and stainless steel with a silver chain or a limited edition version made from dark marshwood and gold leaf.

The Leaf tracks stress levels, steps, sleep and menstrual cycles and as with most smart jewellery boasts a long battery life - in this case six months. Accessories include leather and vegan fiber straps. Plus look out for our review of the Leaf Urban - both the new device and the original have been treated to a new stress tracking feature too.

Read this: Our in-depth Bellabeat Leaf Urban review

Fitbit Alta

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

This has sold a ton already. It may have last year's sensors and activity tracking features - aside from letting you set hourly micro goals - but the Alta is all about making fitness trackers stylish. With a small OLED screen, the Luxe models include pink leather, graphite leather and stainless steel plus Tory Burch Alta bands are coming soon, hopefully similar to the lovely Flex accessories we've seen before.

Read this: Fitbit Alta review

We also especially like the look of the skeleton metal Public School accessories for the Alta which debuted alongside emoji pins and GIF dresses at New York Fashion Week. And Tory Burch accessories are coming too.

Mondaine Helvetica No.1 Smart

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One of the most stylish wearables to grace the wrists of our editors, Mondaine's first smartwatch does a flawless job of disguising itself as a analogue wristwatch.

Read this: Mondaine Helvetica No.1 Smart review

As Editor-in-Chief Paul Lamkin gushed in his in-depth review, "When it comes to design chops, Mondaine watches rule. Firstly, it has got the whole Swiss railway design going on, which is like having your smartwatch endorsed by time itself and, if that wasn't enough, the company has officially licensed the Helvetica font, which is enough to get the most ardent design nerds aquiver."

Big bold numbers, a genuinely luxurious leather strap and classy crown. You'll pay for the looks, though.

Misfit Swarovski Shine

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

We generally shy away from wearables with too much sparkle but we're making an exception for the upcoming new Swarovski Shine trackers (and the smart bracelets for teens below, Gemio).

The next two colours will arrive in autumn 2016 and a solar powered tracker, which can absorb light for 15-20 minutes and will have a darker crystal, could be launched by Christmas. We're not surprised the existing Swarovski Shine has outsold regular jewellery in its stores as it really is hidden tech.

If you like Misfit but you want something a bit quieter, consider the new modular Misfit Ray tracker.


Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

Fashion accessories hold a special magic for teen girls and Gemio is trying to bring tech into that equation. The range of connected friendship bracelets is described as social wearables.

Read this: Gemio - Smart bracelet light messages are the new Snapchat

As well as looking funky on wrist, the Bluetooth bangles can let teens know if their friends are nearby (once paired) and send coded light pattern messages from device to device. There's also detachable gems for customisation. Intelligently simple features and pretty looks should spell success.

Moto 360 2

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It's still not quite skinny enough but this is our current top recommendation for ladies looking for a chic, affordable smartwatch. Arguably Motorola has prioritised style and customisation over unique features with the second gen Moto 360 - there isn't much to separate it from rival Android Wear watches.

Read this: The best smartwatches for women

It ticks all the style boxes: two sizes at 42mm and 46mm, two sizes of lugs to fit different widths of straps and a range of finishes and customised looks - down to the bezels. If you order online, head to Moto Maker to really personalise your watch but be careful - those designers really know what they're doing.

Ungaro ring

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

This collaboration between Omate and French fashion house Emanuel Ungaro looks pretty damn close to 'dumb' cocktail jewellery. The Ungaro ring will only vibrate (subtly) if a VIP contact - allocated in the companion iPhone app - is contacting you. Kind of like Altruis (below) but even more pared back.

Inspired by Ungaro's Diva perfume bottle from 1983, the tech isn't bad either: the battery lasts five days between charges, which is pretty good for smart jewellery.

The ring itself is available in gold or silver and fancy customers can choose the gemstones from blue topaz, opalite, sapphire, onyx and ruby.

Huawei Watch

WareableAnd finally: Huawei Watch now on sale and more

The Huawei Watch is nicely unisex in style - traditional polish meets regular Android Wear alerts. Slick looks do come at a premium though with the luxury, rose gold-plated version, you'll need to find $799.

The finish is a cut above - the circular AMOLED display is sharper than most and it's coated in sapphire crystal. The cold-forged stainless steel frame looks and feels premium too. Well worth a look if you don't mind splurging.


Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

This affordable, fitness tracking bracelet blends in nicely with regular jewellery thanks to jewel tones, a sleek, open design and three different sizes to suit all wrists. The unit itself also pops out to clip onto jackets, belts and pockets and the accompanying iPhone/Android app delivers motivational messages - known as Boosts - throughout the day. It almost goes without saying that it also handles basics like tracking steps, calories, elevation and distance.

Mira is made from stainless steel and is available in five subtle colours with cute names like Hot Chocolate and Polished Rosé All Day plus at CES 2016, Mira unveiled new Vivid Wellness pendant and bracelet styles to the collection.


Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

Altruis is a modular 'modern day pager' available in ring, necklace and bracelet form. It buzzes you with notifications and encourages you to filter the noise by turning off most app alerts and only allowing messages with predetermined keywords through. It's also rather pretty.

The stone can be removed, there's three different ring sizes and the materials for the jewellery portions include gold, rose gold and platinum. A leather wristband for men is planned too. Classy and clever.

Check out our in-depth Altruis review and if you're interested in what else Vinaya is up to, have a read of our chat with CEO Kate Unsworth on her upcoming Zenta wearable.

Olio Model One

Fashion tech: 20 wearables that are more chic than geek

With 24-karat gold and 18-karat rose gold plated models available, the limited edition luxury Model One smartwatch has that oversized boyfriend, Michael Kors look about it. Each watch comes with a bespoke watchface and UI aesthetic as well as Olio Assist, the San Fran company's own cloud-based assistant. More sizes, styles and materials are expected in 2016.

Read our chat with Olio Devices founder Steve Jacobs and watch out for a test of the Model One hitting Wareable soon. For now, head to our Model One hands on from Baselworld.

Tory Burch x Fitbit

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Fans of the American designer will be pleased to hear that her Fitbit collaboration has seamlessly integrated the health tracking tech with Burch's signature open designs: the gold-plated bracelet and necklace look like any other piece of jewellery, and even the Fitbit silicone band has been given a makeover courtesy of Burch's signature pattern.

The Fret bracelet with its double-wrap design and range of colours is absolutely gorgeous too. Read our Fitbit Flex review for more information on what it can do. At IFA 2016, we're expecting a Fitbit Flex 2 which will hopefully work with the old accessories.

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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