For some time now, the rise of the mobile phone has been seen by many as the death knell of the watch. Why, they ask, would anyone carry around a device that just tells the time when their phone can do that and much more? Smartwatches look set to bring the wristwatch back in style by bringing smartphone functions to a wristwatch form factor, but WATCHe of Switzerland has taken a different approach to combine the two with the We5S – a luxury mechanical watch set in a re-positionable frame designed to fit the iPhone 5.
Obviously, adding a mechanical timepiece to a mobile phone that already tells the time is pretty redundant functionality wise. So the limited edition We5S is presumably more about fashion than function. The frame's distinct red and black color scheme makes a contrast to the iPhone 5 with the timepiece boasting Swiss-made, manual-winding, 46-hour, 17-jewel mechanical movement with super-luminova hands. The mechanism is set in a case with black ruthenium coating and an easy to install phone frame with rotating arm, all weighing in at 60 grams (2.1 oz).
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The frame’s arm swings out and the case rotates, so you can see either the clock face or the skeleton movement. It can also be set at an angle of 15 degrees to act as a stand, or 155 degrees to display the time or charge the phone. All of this certainly makes the combination of iPhone 5 and We5S stand out, though if you’re the sort of person who sticks your phone in your hip pocket, this might be a bit of a tight fit – and it doesn't make it any easier to check the time.
The We5S also isn’t cheap, with a price tag of 5,555 Swiss Francs (approx. US$5,980)
The video below shows an earlier version of the device.