Launching this September, Vector watches will be releasing a new line of Smartwatches. After spending some quality time with one of their pieces I have some news, and watch purists, mechanical watch snobs and gear heads need to listen: this is definitely a watch to look into.
The Vector smart watch boasts a number of features that make the geek in me say ‘hello.’ For starters the watch has a number of dial options and alerts to choose from that can be selected via the Vector smart phone app. The app is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. The app will sync to both your calendar and email and as new email messages and calendar meetings occur, they will flash across the screen of the watch. News flashes from ESPN, the Economist, CNET and BBC will be available and updates will flash across the screen of the watch. The wearer is notified of new info via a contextual buzz that lets you know when to glance down at your wrist. The manufacture intends to open up the smart phone application to developers to allow for more feature functionality.
As for the dial, a number of options are available, one layout option allows for meetings saved on your smart phone’s calendar to appear along the edge of the piece, indicating which times at spoken for. Another allows for temperature, day and/or date to be displayed. Activity is also tracked, and the watch will record the number of steps taken, calories burned, as well as your sleep pattern if worn through the night.
The watch slides easily under the cuff and several skews will be available. There will be a sporty silicon option known as the Performance line and slightly more dressy options that will come in the Classic line which features a stainless steel with matching bracelet, or a rose gold tone version on a leather strap. The great news is that the lugs are 22mm apart allowing the wearer to purchase any third-party strap they choose. If the user wants to enjoy their watch on a 22mm NATO strap, no problem. You see a hand-crafted Horweeen leather strap you’d like to take for a spin? Have at it!
After some time on the wrist the good news is that the smart watch feels like a watch, especially when it is worn on the metal bracelet. It has weight, heft and the quality of a manufactured piece that lets you know something is on your wrist. I’m reminded of the Joe Pesci SNL skit where he tries on a number of pinky rings, looking for the one that has that certain je me sais quoi that lets him know which ring is perfectly weighted.
What makes this watch a compelling purchase are three things above all others:
1) The battery life is 30 days. This is huge. My biggest issue with the current market of smart watches is that they have to be charged daily. If I wear a mechanical piece it will wind while being worn and a symbiotic relationship is established. I wear the watch and it tells me time, while the watch enjoys the ride and receives power while on the journey. The smart watches on the market lack that quality. The Vector watch gives me as close to that experience as possible with the 30 day battery life and I like that very much.
2) 50 meter depth rating. So I have a smart watch that tracks activity. Let’s say my favorite activity and penchant happens to be swimming. See you later to 95% of the smart watches on the market as their water resistance eliminates them from the conversation. Hello Vector! An avid swimmer can now track their activity in most casual swimming scenarios.
3) the Bluetooth syncing works. I’m not sure about how every reader feels about Bluetooth technology, but I know this editor is not a fan. More often than not the tech is inconsistent and not responsive and for a number of devices there needs two to three attempts to get a proper sync. Who has that kind of time? Heck, if I click on a website link and the site doesn’t respond in 5 seconds I’m out. The Bluetooth on this piece is golden. I’ve never seen a Bluetooth piece of technology respond so quickly. As you cycle through the dial layouts on the app the watch responds instantly. Information on activity, headlines and other pieces of news the watches tracks all show up immediately. If any of these three points strike a nerve, you should dig deeper into the piece.
On the downside, there are some dial layouts I would like to have seen represented at launch, especially considering how smoothly the watch interacts with your smart phone device. A lunar complication would be great, as well as a perpetual calendar chronograph. If the information being displayed is digital, why not offer horological options that are out of the price range of most mortals? Pull out all of the stops and feature some of the popular grand complications? Additionally, the screen is minimalist by design, which will appeal to some, but there will be others who want the flash and color of other devices on the market. Here’s to hoping that the manufacture has some plans in mind for future launches.
Ultimately which of the three options someone decides to purchase will come down to how they envision wearing their watch. If you are looking for a smart watch to wear to work and on the weekends the stainless steel or the rose gold could be the way to go. If you are looking for an activity tracker the silicon option is a no brainier. After reviewing and wearing the different options, the silicon stood out the most to me, as it pairs nicely with the technology/activity theme. I lead a pretty active lifestyle and can see the silicon watch option being my new friend at the gym, in the Olympic sized pool for some laps and coming along for a yoga session. From the responsiveness of the watch to the battery life, this is definitely a watch worth a consideration for your hard-earned dollars. The silicon will retail for $249, and the classic models for $399.