'Dialed In': Your Essential Video Guide to the World of Smartwatches

·2 min read

Since the dawn of electronic watches in the late 1970s, and even decades before, people have been imagining wristwatches doing more than just tell the time. Remember Dick Tracy’s wristwatch radio? Or the Jetsons wrist video screens? The quartz explosion—and, by extension, being able to use batteries to drive LCD or LED screens—finally meant that it was possible to offer such multifunctional pieces (though radio and video were still beyond the technology).

It also created a huge wave of interest in wrist computers that has evolved over time from a showoffy gimmick to a vital everyday tool. You can thank Apple for that. When the Apple Watch debuted in 2015, the true wrist computer was born. Only a handful of Swiss watchmakers had the sense to keep a close eye on the Apple watch market from the get-go. Still fewer, like Tag Heuer, saw the immense opportunity in melding their own illustrious histories with these new software-driven marvels. This meant fitting the tech of a smartwatch inside cases that look increasingly like old-school watches–giving you the best of both worlds.

Smart watches have not, however, replaced analog watches. If anything, smart watches have created a whole global market of people who would not arguably wear a watch at all if it were not for the smart bit. And watch wearers, those of us who love mechanical timepieces, are unlikely to switch horses in midstream. Though we might consider both.

To our minds, mechanical watches have been pretty damn smart since as far back as the 16th century anyhow. And frankly not being bugged, on an hourly basis, about how many steps you didn’t do today is a definite bonus. Yet smart watches are here to stay and for those who like the convenient and sophisticated functionality, the brands that will continue to win are those that can fuse the technology and the aesthetics into one compelling package. Here we check out a few highlights of what’s out there right now in smart watch land. Here’s our dive into the best of the best.

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