While some tech companies are stumbling in the world of wearables, the fashion brands continue to blaze ahead – and you can now count Louis Vuitton among them. Fossil, of course, is still making the biggest splash of anyone with seasonal editions of hybrids and Android Wear smartwatches, and the Q Commuter is to be the next flagship men’s analogue smartwatch, launching this holiday season.
The Q Commuter is one of the watches you’ll see from a larger holiday collection from Fossil, which includes the Q Venture and Q Explorist, which we glimpsed back at Baselworld – and more that are yet to be announced.
That also includes Fossil’s licensing brands like Michael Kors and Skagen, the second of which just announced its Signatur Hybrid collection.
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The Commuter’s 40mm wide case is a slender 11mm thick, and a lot lighter than I expected, though the 16mm interchangeable straps mean you can also stick on a stainless steel band for a bit more heft. Either way, this is a pretty svelte offering from Fossil, which has continued to slim down its watches since the Q Grant.
There are four basic versions: rose gold case with navy face; stainless steel case with navy face; stainless steel case with stainless steel face; and black case with a black face. Then you’ve got a choice of bands including brown leather, stainless steel and navy.
When it comes to smart features, we’ve seen hybrid smartwatch makers tackle this in a variety of ways, not all of them as effective as others. The Q Commuter has three buttons which can be assigned to tell you different bits of info that are shown in the sub-dial: the data, a set alarm, or a second time zone. The little sub-dial will also point to ‘Notification’ should you get an incoming message, call, Snapchat etc – and these must be assigned in the app.
You’ll also be able to set them up to control music playback on your smartphone or for taking photos remotely, which have become staples of Fossil’s smart features. As for fitness, you’re looking at basic step and sleep tracking, which we’ve found so-so on Fossil’s hybrids.
Fossil promises four months of battery life from the Commuter (you might get a little longer, as Fossil tends to be conservative with these estimates) so, again, you have one of the biggest joys that only hybrids benefit from: no charging.
The Commuter will cost $155 when it arrives towards the end of the year. It’s exciting to see the momentum of hybrids right now, with plenty of stunners to choose from and many more to come. Back at Baselworld Michael Kors announced that all of its future men’s watches would have some smart capabilities, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see fashion brands sneaking smarts into more collections. Tory Burch, DKNY and Marc Jacobs Riley all jumped aboard the hybrid bandwagon this year, and we expect there will be more to come.
More hybrids to pore over
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