A Quick Look at Digital Horology

Horology is the age-old art of measuring time and here at the TVG we can’t get enough of it. Personally, I was super excited to hear that Apple was announcing a smart watch, however, I was not excited because I wanted one but for almost the opposite reason. The announcement of the new Apple watch has shed some much-needed light on smart watches in general such as the Moto360 and Pebble Steel. I do not see these items, like some watch connoisseurs do, as fads or gimmicks, but rather as the dawn of a new age in horology. Just as when wristwatches were introduced while everyone still carried pocket watches, there will always be controversy. For those who adopt early and can look past the quirks and kinks, they will be blessed with what the future of horology has to offer.

The first option for an early adopter is the Apple Watch; the recently announced and yet to be released smart watch. One thing that I absolutely love about their new product line is that the customisation of the watch doesn’t stop with the face. There is a plethora of straps and styles to chose from including a solid gold edition! Apple understands that watches are a personal style choice and that one watch in no way can suit every person, outfit or occasion. I adore the Milanese Loop strap pictured below and I would be dying to buy this watch… if I owned an iPhone. This brings me to my frustration with this watch, and the Samsung Gear, both are locked to their respective company’s device. I won’t be changing my phone to buy a watch and nor should I have to.

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The next watch is the Moto360 (which James wrote about here) and my personal favourite. To those, like myself, who love classic watches, there is no topping the circular face. I get giddy just thinking about how much fun it is to change the face to suit my outfit or mood. For any budding watch collector, being able to have a chronograph one day, and a moon-face the next is an absolute dream. The Moto360 uses the Android wear operating system which allows it to work with any Android phone and take full advantage of Google Now. The Android Store is quickly filling with hundreds of faces for each and every watch enthusiast. 

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The final watch I wish to mention is the Pebble Steel; the second generation watch from the company made famous through Kickstarter. Pebble raised a whopping $10.3 million to make its watch, making it the most successful product funded at the time. Pebble saw that there was a huge demand for smart watches and quickly moved to fill the gap in the market. The watch uses an e-paper screen that displays only in black in white to have a battery life of around five to six days. This outperforms the one day battery life of the Moto360, Gear and likely the Apple Watch as well. However if you can get past not having a colour screen you will be pleasantly surprised. The community surrounding Pebble and its open source software to create apps and faces is currently second to none. However Android Wear and the Apple Watch will soon be giving them a run for their money.

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Finally, any article on digital horology would not be complete without mentioning the absolutely fabulous Casio A168WG-9EF Gold Plated digital watch, enjoy!

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Images Via: Hodinkee (Read their great article on the Apple watch here), HD Pixels, Connectedly, Instagram.

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