The Wear OS platform might be struggling but that hasn’t stopped luxury brands from launching some rather pricey smartwatches running Google’s OS. For example, there’s the Hublot Big Bang E, described by the Swiss watchmaker as ‘a fusion between tradition and innovation, cutting edge materials and the latest digital technology’. At $5800, it makes your old Fossil look like a steal, and yes, that price doesn’t get you any newer innards than other Wear OS watches: It runs on a Snapdragon Wear 3100, has 1GB RAM, and 8GB storage. There’s not much emphasis on the features, which should be pretty much standard for a Wear OS watch, including the terrible battery life (1 day, according to Hublot) though we’re a bit surprised at the lowly 30m water resistance.
Hublot’s also added some fancy watch faces created in collaboration with artist Marc Ferrero, and there are some other enhancements over the average Wear OS watch: A sapphire crystal that covers the AMOLED display (with a 390×390 resolution), an analogue, time-only mode, a moon phase display, a perpetual calendar, and a dial that changes colours very three hours, with a 5-second animation every hour. The Hublot Big Bang E will come in two variants – a titanium one, priced at $5200, and a black ceramic one, that’ll run you $5800. We suppose the use of exotic materials does somewhat justify the price, but given that this will soon be obsolete (whereas, if you buy a mechanical Hublot, there’s a good chance your grandchildren will be wearing it someday) as newer processors come out and Wear OS evolves, we have to question whether it’s really worth the price.
Still, if you do like the idea of a luxury smartwatch, Hublot’s always there, and so are a lot of others:
Apple Watch Edition / Apple Watch Hermes
Probably the best premium smartwatch out there, for the simple reason it’s an Apple Watch (still the best designed smartwatch platform out there), the Apple Watch Edition Series 5 offers a choice of titanium or ceramic cases, with prices starting at $799, and going up to $1399. But that’s not the only premium watch from Apple – there’s also the Apple Watch Hermes range ($1249-$1499), a collaboration with the French fashion brand. Apple also used to make the pricey AppleWatch Edition Gold, with prices starting at $10,000 but that’s now been discontinued.
Breitling Exospace B55
Starting at $7170, the Exospace B55 series (available as a yachting special edition as well), is a hybrid smartwatch that marries a proper Breitling SuperQuartz movement with two single-line LCD displays and Bluetooth connectivity and app alerts – though its smartwatch features are pretty limited. Still, being a hybrid means it won’t get outdated or stop working if Google ever decides to kill Wear OS,
Montblanc Summit 2
Another luxury Wear OS watch, Montblanc’s Summit 2 is also based on Snapdragon Wear 3100 (which is present in nearly every recent Wear OS watch). There’s a choice between steel and titanium cases, and rubber, nylon, and calfskin leather straps; prices start at $970.
Tag Heuer Connected
Best known for their sport chronographs, Tag Heuer have also taken a foray into the smartwatch market. Starting at $1800, and going up to $2350 for s special golf edition, this range offers a choice between steel and titanium cases. While most features are bog-standard for a Wear OS watch, Tag Heuer’s has opted for a replaceable battery that should at least help give the Connected a longer lifespan.