Well, what a week that was. Baselworld 2017 brought the smartwatches and hybrid watches en masse, and we’re still reeling from it all if we’re honest
But after the slightly underwhelming MWC, we’re glad it happened. Tag got in just ahead of the show with the Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular, and it clearly knew that the Swiss army was about to unleash hell. Not only did we see some of the biggest watch makers return for another stab, some other familiar names finally got involved.
There was a lot to take in, so you’re forgiven if you’re still catching up. Hopefully we can help: here’s our roundup of the best Baselworld 2017 had to offer.
The biggest Android Wear show around
With Android Wear 2.0 out the gate, Baselworld was set to be a bit of a Google fest. Sure enough, the Android Wear smartwatches weren’t in short supply, with some particular standouts from big names.
Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger both debuted Android Wear smartwatches, the Hugo Boss Touch and the (terribly-named) Tommy Hilfiger TH24/7You. Both of them were joined Movado’s very own device, which executive editor James Stables said offers a “bold” design that, for the most part, gives off a luxurious feel.
Not one to ever be absent at a show like this, Fossil also took the wraps off its slimmest Android Wear watches yet, the Q Venture and Q Explorist. After our time playing with the former, we reckon it’s the most female-friendly Android Wear watch yet. And while the new Guess Connect Touch might be too bling for some, we’re finally getting more women’s watches that are worth considering, especially in the hybrid category.
So who else was doing Android Wear right? Also under the Fossil Group we had Michael Kors making another big push with the Access Grayson and Access Sofie, aimed at men and women respectively. Then we had the Emporio Armani Connected and, although we weren’t allowed to snap any photos of it, the Diesel On Wear 2.0 smartwatch had us pretty excited for the way it’s doing some unique things with Android Wear.
Google is very much back in the smartwatch game, and our only disappointment was that we didn’t get to see the Misfit Vapor running on Wear now that it’s dropped its proprietary OS. Oh well, you can’t have it all.
Hybrids for miles
As expected, hybrids were equally in force at Baselworld, bringing the style and varying levels of smarts. The biggest moment, however, was probably when Michael Kors announced that all of its men’s watches starting this fall will be smart. That’s a big deal.
Elsewhere Tory Burch, DKNY and Mark Jacobs Riley were giving women more choices in the smart hybrid category, and it’s about time.
Finally, UK editor Mike Sawh got his hands on the new Alpina Seastrong Horological Smartwatch; it doesn’t offer anything groundbreakingly new in the smarts department, but it looks damn nice.
While many of the devices were par for the course, people were testing less conventional ideas in other corners of the show floor. Samsung surprised us by showing off a few novelty concepts, including a smart pocket watch that combines an analogue movement and a Gear S3 display. However it was the hybrid Gear S3 that really caught our eye.
We liked Veldt’s Luxure smartwatch concept too, which lights up to signal notifications, weather updates and even your activity level. It may never see the light of day as a finished product, but we think the idea is neat.