The concept of an intelligent, connected wristwatch is something that has excited geeks for decades. In recent times, the likes of Apple, Samsung and Pebble have all made decent attempts to bring the dream alive — but these devices are all “smart” and very little “watch.” A startup named What? Watch aims to redress the balance. The company’s latest product, the Calendar Watch, has a beautiful analog face that has intelligence elegantly hidden within.
With a Swiss movement and a replaceable battery that lasts for upwards of a year, the Calendar Watch is the spiritual successor to more traditional timepieces. It can withstand being submerged down to five atmospheres, and there are several combinations of colors, wristbands and lugs to choose from.
The clever stuff happens when you connect the watch to your phone via Bluetooth. Beneath the mechanical hands, the classically styled over-sized face is actually an e-ink display. Once the watch syncs with your calendar (incl. iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook, and Facebook), the portions of the day you have reserved for specific events are darkened on the face. You can opt for constant updates, so that your itinerary for the next twelve hours is always displayed, or view a static snapshot of your working day.
In addition, the watch offers automatic time syncing — including when you go abroad — and vibration alerts to let you know when you need to be somewhere. You can switch between settings by tapping on the sapphire glass above the face, and when the watch senses 15 minutes or more of inactivity, the second hand stops in order to save power. As soon as you move, it jumps back to the right time.
You can control all of the Calendar Watch’s functions from a free smartphone app, which acts as a gateway for your calendars, and offers the option to set alarms. There is no word on additional future functionality, but the ability to get vibration alerts for phone notifications must surely be on the cards.
“The Calendar Watch has a beautiful analog face that has intelligence elegantly hidden within”— @markmyersonClick to tweet
For now, however, What? is focused on raising production for its creation through a Kickstarter campaign. At the time of writing, the Calendar Watch has already surpassed its funding target of €95,000, but backers can still pre-order the White or Blue versions for €240 (approx. $260), with a range going up to €2,000 ($2,173) for the white-gold limited edition.