Movado has become the latest luxury watchmaker to enter the bustling smartwatch scene, following in the footsteps of Tag Heuer, Montblanc and Louis Vuitton.
The Swiss company is well known for its minimalistic watches inspired by Bauhaus styling. The firm’s signature design is a small aperture at the top of the watch face that displays the phases of the moon</span>.
Now, Movado has embraced the dawn of the smartwatch with its new Connect timepiece. The sleek new device runs on Google’s smartwatch platform Android Wear, allowing users to choose from a range of watch faces designed by Movado that can then be tweaked and customised through Android’s settings menu.
Highlights include the more conventional Eclipse face, while the Perspective face reacts to wrist movements for a 3D-like effect. Users can set these faces to just show the minutes and hour hands, or add other widgets such as calendars and a shortcut to Google Pay.
Once you look past the selection of Movado watch faces, however, the Connect is relatively standard for an Android-powered smartwatch.
You get the same menus here as you would on everything from a budget watch from Huawei to a £2,500 Tag. That’s by no means Movado’s fault, but it cheapens the experience when most of the menus are identical to those on cheaper devices.
Android Wear allows you to track your fitness, interact with your calendar and see messages from a number of chat apps. The Week Portfolio also had no problem syncing the Google-powered system with an iPhone, contrary to fears that an Android smartwatch might only work with an Android phone.
As with all smartwatches, it’s handy to have a device that shows you important information without you having to get your phone out of your pocket. And if you have an iPhone Plus or Galaxy Note, you’ll probably understand how frustrating getting a phone in and out of your pocket can be.
The Movado Connet is also a thing of beauty, and sits in the Goldilocks zone of smartwatch design.
It feels far better on the wrist than the bland offerings found lower down in the smartwatch market, but the makers haven’t trying to imitate a traditional watch, as with the impressive – but oddly expensive – Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45.
Our test model came with a black silicone strap and gold body, but Movado also offers models with silver bodies and metal straps.
We would have liked Movado to have incorporated more customisation options for the watch, such as interchangeable straps and lugs. This would be a great way for users to get the perfect look to match their customised digital watch face.
We also experienced a small anomaly while trialling the watch’s battery. Movado claims that users can get 24 hours of power from a single charge, which sounds hugely appealing given that many smart devices run out of puff before the day is done.
The reality, though, is somewhat more complicated, with occasions when the battery drained within five to six hours. This could be related to the UK’s recent heatwave, which can drain battery life quickly.
Most of the time, the watch’s battery performed well, even when the display settings were set to “always on”.
Ultimately, the Connect is a pretty impressive debut into this new market for Movado, offering an intuitive smartwatch experiment while retaining the company’s signature styling. And with a price tag of £550, it’s an enticing entry point into the world of luxury smartwatches.