As a self-proclaimed early adopter, one of the perks in life is to feel out new products. So when I was offered the opportunity to experience the Kronaby hybrids, the excited kid within made an appearance. Back in April 2018, Kronaby Sweden wowed us with the release of their new line of connected luxury smartwatches which they debuted at Basel World 2018.
The majority of wearable tech insiders have learnt two obvious lessons in the last couple of years, first, people love the smartwatch and the fitness tracker, but they are not ready to change their behaviour to be able to enjoy the benefits. And secondly, the technology needs to be seamlessly integrated so it the device does not resemble a piece of robotic technology. So when these two lessons are translated into a traditionally beautiful designed watch that only needs a battery change every two years, I’d say, you have got my attention.
“the Kronaby Hybrid is the first watch that managed to keep the Apple Watch of my wrist.”
The model I got to review was the Sekel 41mm with the brown Italian vegetal tanned leather strap. When I unboxed the watch, it was love at first sight. I was drawn to the blue plated markers, metallic hands and indicators in a dark Super-LumiNova finish on a shiny white dial. When I put the watch on my wrist for the first time, I was reminded of how it feels to put on a high luxury timepiece. The leather straps had that lovely firmness that proves you are the first one taking this baby for a spin.
Taking The Kronaby Smartwatch For A Spin
Once I had the watch on my wrist, I was impatient to dive into the app to learn more about the ‘smart’ features. Feeling immediately at home, I appreciated the simplistic and clean environment of the app. Synchronising the hybrid on my iPhone was done in a few minutes. Once I arrived at the home screen, the features were categorised in a clear way, offering a nice overview of the hybrid’s abilities. After a few weeks of using the hybrid, I did stumble on a problem which turned out to be a little annoying. When, for whatever reason, the watch would disconnect from my phone, I had to completely reset my Bluetooth settings on the phone to get the watch connected again. I have to say; after a few updates sent through the app, this did not occur again.
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For a hybrid smartwatch, I found the range of features to be quite impressive. Among them was the Auto Time Zone. It informed me on the time zone of choice whether that be New York, Austin or Silicon Valley at the push of a button. Also, the Silent Alarm was quite a convenient feature. This is because it prevented me from waking up my spouse when it was time for me to get up. Then there is the ‘Get Moving’ feature. Deeper research into the fact that sitting down is the new smoking, means that we need to be moving a lot more than we do. The Kronaby gives its wearers a subtle vibration that tells them to get off their hard working or lazy butt and get moving. Then there is the Smartphone Music control, Camera remote and Timer to name just a few more features that spiced up my experience quite nicely.
Some of my personal favourite features that I am starting to perceive as real added value are the filtered notifications. We have seen other wearable tech makers like Ringly, really making a difference in that field regarding tackling the problem of filtering down the notification storm. It is offering the ability to personalise and prioritise to be notified by the app of your choice and some of your favourite contacts. Ideally, ignoring the things that do not matter when it comes down to it.
From the fashion aspect, there is one thing that I particularly liked best, the Kronaby line comes in four models, knowing the Apex, Carat, Nord and Sekel. The Swedish design DNA has subsequently been translated into a whopping 44 different styles. This means that their line up is easy to be presented as quite a universal range.
Kronaby Hybrids Enable Tap and Pay in the UK
When we look into the future, one thing that wearables and smartwatches, in particular, lack, are compelling and meaningful use cases. But that being said, we are seeing that the use case of a ‘tap and pay’ is a feature that is becoming the norm. With this in mind, Kronaby has found a great partner in Barclays B-pay. Offering a contactless leather strap that allows for fast and secure payment for purchases up to £30 in about 500k locations in the UK. The tap and pay strap is included upon purchasing the watch.
Wearing this luxury timepiece surely rocked my boat, if anything, the Kronaby Hybrid is the first watch that managed to keep the Apple Watch of my wrist. On top of that, if I would have to sum things up in one sentence, I’d say that Kronaby has come up with a range that could give non-watch wearers a valid reason to start wearing a watch again.
FashionTech Consultant, Freethinking Opportunist Hero, Aspiring to Inspire. Wearobot Groupie with a Tech for Passion. Contributed to Wired.com. Founder of WearableGuru.com Founding Managing Editor FashNerd.com