HP has quietly announced a partnership with fashion designer Michael Bastian, producing a new wearable that opts for classic timepiece looks over cutting edge technology. The device, known as the MB Chronowing, isn’t fitted with a touchscreen and might only offer limited smartwatch functionality, but may well appeal to more fashion-conscious consumers.
The new device is a comparatively low-tech, yet notably stylish take on the smartwatch. It packs a monochromatic LCD display with an undisclosed resolution, offers no fitness tracking tech and opts for three physical buttons over a touchscreen. It has a lot in common with Pebble Steel.
Like Pebble, the MB Chronowing's limited technology doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of some reasonable smartwatch functionality. The wearable vibrates for text messages, emails, calendar alerts and other user-defined notifications. The watch will display messages and alerts on the face, and lets the user control a connected device’s music player. It’s also capable of displaying current weather and live sports scores and stocks.
It uses Bluetooth to connect to iPhones (4s and newer), as well as Android smartphones running version 4.3 of the OS and up. It’s also water resistant up to 5 ATM, and there’s a persistent clock dial on the face of the device, meaning it’ll always perform its most basic task – telling the time.
The watch features a stainless steel construction and will ship with perforated brown leather, olive green nylon, and black leather straps. A limited edition version of the MB Chronowing will also be available, fitted with a genuine alligator strap.
Past the stylish looks, there’s one big upside to the device’s low-tech focus. While touchscreen smartwatches often only provide a full day of battery life, the Chronowing is rated for up to seven days on a single charge.
The watch will be available to purchase through Gilt from November 7. According to the Wall Street Journal, it will cost US$350. The Limited Edition Black version of the wearable will feature a sapphire crystal coated display, alligator strap and will ship with an authenticity card hand-signed by Michael Bastion. Only 300 of the Limited Edition devices will be available, shipping for $650.