The wearable industry has toyed with the idea for quite a while, but finally true fashion smartwatches are hitting the market.
Fashion tech really kicked off back in 2013 with Google Glass and Diane Von Furstenberg. Smartwatches followed suit in August 2014 with a slew of partnerships, with tech companies and fashion brands pairing off like awkward teenagers at a school disco.
Essential reading: Best Android Wear smartwatch
Early announcements included the MB Chronowing by Michael Bastion and HP, as well as the Fossil/Intel partnership that's has only recently seen the light of day. And let's not forget the Guess Connect with Martian – one blingy tech'd up timepiece.
But for all the bluster and hype over the last year, we're finally starting to see real progress. The Tag Heuer Connected Android Wear smartwatch will be unveiled on 9 November in New York and, despite confirming its intentions back in 2014, Fossil is about to release its line up of smart tech.
And the bigger tech brands are taking note. Famously, the Apple Watch was first advertised on the cover of Vogue China and Samsung has taken great pains to show off its new Gear S2 with fashion look books with models.
But what does the presence of a fashion brand get you – and does it work?
Well, it's too early to say so far, but it's fair enough to speculate that the fashion seal of approval isn't the magic bullet designers hoped it would be. The MB Chronowing is languishing on HP's website and there's no evidence that Guess' smartwatch is troubling the scorers.
Of course it's still early days, so let's take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of upcoming fashion forward smartwatches.
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WEAR – Fossil Q Founder
It took a year for Fossil and Intel's collaboration to bear fruit, but what a bumper harvest it was. The company has come out with four devices, including the Fossil Q Founder Android Wear smartwatch that will retail for a wallet-friendly (ish) $275. Not bad when you consider the Huawei Watch dropped for $399. It works with iOS and Android, has an Intel chip inside (the second of its kind) and boasts a metal build and choice of strap.
NEARLY THERE – Tag Heuer Connected
Tag is really putting Android Wear on the map by choosing it – and Intel – for its inaugural smartwatch, and all eyes are on the Swiss giant to see how traditional watchmakers can handle connected tech. We've not even been treated to a proper look at the device yet, just shadowy images, but unsurprisingly it will retail for over $1,000.
SQUARE – Swatch everything
Swatch has talked a good game when it comes to smartwatches, but has produced next to nothing of note. It all started in the build up to the Apple Watch when investors looked at Swatch's low-end market position and saw the impeding smartwatch from Cupertino as a business threat. Its share price went on the slide.
So Swatch went on the offensive and promised a smartwatch in 2015 that would arrive with fitness features. And it delivered: the Swatch Zero Touch One is designed to track volleyball games. Yes, volleyball. Anyone?
Add to that the NFC-toting analogue watch for payments revealed last month, and you have the sum of Swatch's efforts. Hardly groundbreaking fashion wearables.