Wearables Spread to Baselworld

At the time of writing, the Baselworld watch show is ongoing in Switzerland. The event is, of course, famous for the luxury Swiss watches that are shown there – but, increasingly, mainstream electronics like smartwatches have been appearing as well.

Fossil Q Wander smartwatchFossil (actually running its own event coinciding with Baselworld) expanded its Q range with the Q Wander: its slimmest smartwatch to-date (we have asked Fossil how thick the watch is – no press material actually states it! – but were waiting for a response at press time. We can confirm that it is slimmer than the 13mm Q Founder, however). Another watch, also introduced at the show, was the Q Marshal, and an activity tracker called the Q Motion was also shown.

Both smartwatches feature an always-on (Android Wear-speak for ‘Will come on when you rotate your wrist’) touchscreen display. They appear to mainly be differentiated by design, with the Marshal sporting a rugged case. They will start at $275 later this year.

Fossil’s Q Motion features sleep tracking, water resistance (to 50m) and notifications, via vibrations and LED lights. It can also be used to play music, help find a lost phone or take a picture using the ‘smart tap’ function. It will go on sale in the summer, for $95.

Designer fashion brand Michael Kors announced its entry into the wearable electronics market with the Michael Kors Access watch. This product targets fashion-conscious users who also want the benefit of technology. It runs Android Wear and features an electronic display, although the face choices include some exclusive Michael Kors options. Wristbands are also interchangeable. The Access smartwatch will go on sale this autumn, for $400.

A fashion collaboration was announced between Samsung and De Grisogono. Together, the companies have redesigned the Gear S2 smartwatch, using rose gold, more than 100 black and white diamonds and a bracelet studded with galuchat (rough leather). It is a limited edition model that will go on sale in the summer.