With a fairly large footprint, the LG Watch Urbane doesn't exact fly under the radar, but the new model – the Watch Urbane Luxe – makes it look understated. Made in collaboration with Reeds Jewelers, the limited edition version of the wearable ups the ante when it comes to build materials, with a 23-karat gold case.
LG says that it opted for 23-karat gold for the Luxe's case as it hits the sweet spot between ruggedness and weight, being harder than 24-karat, but heavier than 18-karat. Whatever the reason, the new finish gives the smartwatch a decidedly glitzier look.
Attention has also been paid to the strap, which is made from alligator leather. The company claims that the creation process for the strap includes 50 individual steps, and everything is completed by hand by a team of 30 leatherworkers. The new watch also offers a deployment clasp, which is something usually seen on luxury watch straps, and the whole thing is packaged in a premium lacquer case.
That's a fairly significant change in looks, but things remain the same beneath the surface. Like the standard Urbane, the Luxe edition is powered by a Snapdragon 400 chip, with a circular 1.3-inch OLED panel, and running on Google's Android Wear platform.
The materials upgrade here has essentially pushed the Urbane Luxe into the luxury jewelery space. Considering how quickly tech like this becomes outdated (the original Urbane has already been out since May), that might seem a little crazy. However, it actually mimics a trend we've started to see in the smartwatch space, with key examples being the high-end edition of Apple Watch and Tag Heuer's upcoming leap into wearable electronics.
Only 500 examples of the Urbane Luxe will be made, each retailing for US$1,200. The smartwatch will be on show at IFA in Berlin this week, where Gizmag will be on the ground.