This beautiful smartwatch combines the best of analogue and digital into one classic-yet-modern timepiece.
I have reviewed a few Smartwatches recently on Tech Trends and was impressed by some, such as the Samsung Gear S3 which certainly boasted good design and quality materials, as well as a nifty range of apps. Still, it felt like something was lacking, and it was only when the NYSW (New York Standard Watch) Soho arrived the other day in the post that I realised what that was.
Where most smartwatches have the insubstantial quality of a toy about them, with rubbery buttons and plastic backs, the Soho is a weighty, shiny steel timepiece that oozes quality.
To be fair the S3 does not present itself as a traditional high-quality watch but the styling takes a lot from this established market and the version I tested was called the ‘Classic’ so I think the comparison still stands.
But wait, aren’t I comparing a 21st century, super high tech smartwatch with the old-fashioned tick tock wind up kind, surely that is unfair? Well no, because the NYSW Soho is actually a hybrid, defining itself as an ‘Analogue Smartwatch’.
Too many smartwatches look like mini-phones on straps. Why can’t a smartwatch look like a classic watch? That’s exactly the big benefit of NYSW. The watch performs and looks like a normal timepiece but has smart-tech to keep you going.
Remember the iPhone debacle a while back, when the metal construction of the phone restricted the functioning of the basic cell aerial? well, that was the biggest design challenge for NYSW, to use high-quality 316L stainless steel yet maintain Bluetooth and Wireless connections to other devices. That is one reason why the Samsung S3 uses so much plastic, but my Soho felt like a glistening steel tank and had no problem keeping in touch with my Android phone and Wi-Fi network. The front is sturdy and reliable Sapphire glass and the strap is gorgeous Italian leather plus the watch is waterproof up to 50 meters (164 feet) so it’s pretty tough all-around.
The New York Standard Watch Company began in 1885 as a pocket watch manufacturer in the big apple. But after more than 40 years in business, closed its doors the same year as Wall Street crashed. A name that was always associated with high-quality timepieces became elevated to antique status and collector’s items. In 2006, the New York Standard Watch Company name was rediscovered and established by innovative watchmakers with a new focus – combining analogue watch technology with exciting design.
NYSW is relaunching for the 21st century with a Kickstarter campaign that with 21 days to go, at the time of writing, has achieved double its target so backers are seriously keen on this product. Take a look at the images and graphics below for info on the three smart models NYSW are offering at this stage.
So apart from stylishly telling the time just what will your NYSW do? Once you pair it with your device and download the appropriate iOS or Android app, you’ll get the full range of features you’d expect from a smartwatch, such as: call alerts, Facebook, Twitter and SMS notifications, smart health features including steps and calorie counter, activity tracker, global calendar, drink water & pill reminder, countdown timer all communicated by haptics and dials on the watch face. The battery is also supposed to last you two weeks, and although I haven’t had mine for quite as long as that, it is certainly showing no signs of winding down after four days of heavy use. So far, so good.
After using it for a few days I have only one complaint, it is impossible to read the time in the dark. The Manhattan model has luminous hands and dial which the others – including my Soho don’t – but all things considered, this is a fine piece of craftsmanship and a very attractive and useful hybrid watch which I would highly recommend. Check out the NYSW Kickstarter campaign for a chance to get on board early and grab a large, early backer discount in time for Christmas.