Swiss Luxury Watchmaker IWC Unveils Smart Strap For Regular Watches


IWC Schaffhausen is prepping up to gain space in the growing world of smartwatches by unveiling a device aptly called IWC Connect. The device is designed to be attached to the company's mechanical sports watches so users can track their activities and connect with other devices.

The inspiration behind the making of the device came from the realization that customers and "brand ambassadors" wear fitness bands and other trackers with the company's IWC watches.

Georges Kern, IWC CEO, describes the small and silver device as an "aesthetically complimentary solution." IWC owners will no longer have to pair the fancy mechanical watch they wear on one wrist with a non-premium fitness tracker made of plastic material worn on the other.

"This is essential," says Kern. "We do not touch our beautiful watches."

IWC Connect features a high quality design solution that allows the wearer's activities to be tracked and make the wearable interact with a number of connected devices.

"This intelligent tool, which will be embedded in the straps of mechanical timepieces from IWC, is designed to give wearers control over certain devices connected to the Internet of Things and provide fully fledged activity tracking," says IWC Schaffhausen. "The idea behind this new innovation is to enable owners of IWC timepieces to control their connected environment directly from the wrist while also maintaining the integrity of a handcrafted mechanical timepiece."

IWC Connect is a small, round-shaped device module that is attached to the strap of the company's traditional timepieces, which include its popular Big Pilot model of watches. Since it doesn't work as a smartwatch but rather as an attached "timepiece accent," it's understandable that it lacks a display and has no notification capabilities.

"We've engineered an intelligent design solution which perfectly integrates and underlines our product worlds," says the Swiss company.

Upgrading a smart strap is not an entirely new concept. Montblanc, on its part, has launched its own "e-Strap," which adds an OLED display, sensors and notifications to smartwatch bands. Pebble has an upcoming Time smartwatch that will feature an open platform for developers to tinker with connected straps. Even the Apple Watch is said to have a secret port that's meant for third-party bands.

More details on IWC Connect, including pricing and availability, are yet to be announced. Consumers can visit the company's official site and its various social media channels to get further information and the announcement on the launch date.

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