Smartwatches are no longer science fiction, they’re as real as self-lacing sneakers, hover-boards and virtual reality, and they could soon be as essential to everyday life as smartphones. Montblanc has over 100 years of luxury watchmaking experience and with its latest venture the Maison brings together this rich history with handpicked, innovative smartwatch features.
When smartphones first came onto the market, they were a luxury, but in an incredibly short amount of time they’ve started to become a commodity. They represent the next stage of innovation and are becoming an indispensable part of the 21st-century hustle – one that relies more and more heavily on the gig economy and requires people to be connected at all times, anywhere in the world. Increasingly, communications devices are changing our economic mobility, affecting how we socialize as well as providing feedback on our health and wellbeing. They could soon be as familiar as the once brick-like device that now feels so at home in your pocket.
The challenge for Montblanc was designing a smartwatch that balanced the Maison's heritage with today's technology expectations. Much of modern technology is disposable within a couple of years because it evolves so quickly. Luxury Swiss watchmaking, on the other hand, is a centuries-old tradition focused on crafting quality devices with lasting value. Montblanc’s new Summit smartwatch represents the consolidation of tradition and innovation, with the Maison now the first to create a smartwatch with a curved sapphire glass over its rounded display, creating the feeling of a traditional timepiece on the wrist. The result is enduring luxury technology that strengthens the bond between smart digital technology and traditional artisanal craftsmanship.
Sigurd Larsen is a Danish architect and furniture designer based in Berlin. Like any young, modern creator, he juggles career hustle, social relationships and personal well-being. Efficiency is key to his success, and technology doesn’t get much closer to being literally at your fingertips than a smartwatch. We spent a day with Sigurd testing the device to find out how practical it is for performing his daily tasks.
Wellness is an important present-day interest and concern, and the Summit smartwatch helped Sigurd start the day actively. The Runtastic app tracks heart rate, steps, runs, bike rides and other activities, and syncing music playlists to the watch means you can leave your phone at home. For those with a busy schedule, the watch makes the simplest of tasks even easier like checking the morning’s headlines or timing your breakfast.
Being connected to the technologically integrated world is becoming more and more important. Instant access to transport, particularly in cities where fewer people drive, is essential. Calling or hailing a taxi, for example, is cumbersome and inconvenient but Sigurd took advantage of the Summit watch's Uber app to make it easy. The watch also makes it simpler to connect with other people in an age when it’s assumed that everyone is instantly reachable at all times. As the gig economy grows, being able to reach and be reached is crucial (whether you’re in the office or not). Montblanc's Summit allowed Sigurd to send and receive calls, messages and meeting requests throughout the day. Standard internet browsers, weather apps and maps meant all extra and vital info was also at hand.
Access to information also helps to enhance real world experiences, whether it’s a work meeting or a social get together, finding the right place to go and getting there becomes more convenient. But smartwatches are more than convenience and gratuitous gadgetry — all of these features are vital to modern day life and will only grow more indispensable. For some, that means discovering the best place for coffee nearby to impress a potential client; for others, that means improving health by using apps to manage medication or to track fitness goals.
And despite all the technology, Montblanc retains a strong sense of heritage that promises the lasting value we've come to expect from the Maison. It's signature Montblanc too, with its physical design bridging the gap between past, present and future. Put simply, smartwatches are here to stay and are still just the beginning of our integration with technology, but Montblanc is taking a diversified approach that combines its luxury heritage with the latest in innovation. Hopefully, the result will be another 100 years of quality Montblanc designs.