We’ve been talking about (and wearing) wearable tech for about a decade now—2015 marked the year our editor-in-chief, Victoria Gomelsky, declared that the smartwatch wars had begun—and since then the products have become a staple of consumer and retailer collections.
While the Apple Watch is possibly the most popular (or best-known) choice—its new Series 9 is due to be released this September—there are plenty of other smartwatches on the market that offer a range of different features, some of which come from tried-and-true timepiece names.
Citizen CZ Smart
Unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show, Citizen’s Gen-2 CZ Smart watch (above, and also at top), with a range of touchscreen Sport, Casual, and Hybrid Sport styles, won nine Best of CES and Editor’s Choice awards. The timepieces feature a built-in self-case advisor through the proprietary CZ Smart YouQ wellness app, developed using research pioneered by NASA’s Ames Research Center and AI built within IBM Watson Studio.
The watch is designed to help its wearer understand and anticipate patterns of fatigue and alertness: It can offer customized insights and personalized strategies to help manage stress, set activity goals, and encourage self-care and well-being. The watch learns over time by aggregating wearer data, helping to cater to wearers more personally.
The Sport, Casual, and Hybrid watches are available now, and Citizen plans to introduce five additional CZ Smart Hybrid Sport styles this fall.
Garmin Instinct Solar
Not from a traditional watch brand but rather one associated with GPS, the latest offering from Garmin is topping all the lists of smartwatches to consider in 2023. Ideal for those spending a large amount of time outdoors, the watch is capable of lasting up to 51 days on solar-powered battery, has three satellite tracking systems perfect for hikers and adventurers, and offers a wealth of fitness and activity tracking apps. This is only one of a number of new smartwatches released by Garmin this year, including new models for runners, new sizes for its popular Epix Pro, new colors for its petite Lily watch, and more.
French company Withings specializes in products that monitor health, from sleep sensors to blood pressure monitors to smart scales—and smartwatches. Though it was acquired by Nokia in 2016, founder Eric Carreel purchased the brand back in 2018, making it once again a privately owned company.
One of Withings’ latest offerings is the ScanWatch, a highly rated, relatively affordable option that became available for purchase in the United States only in the past year, for those who need to actively monitor a health condition. It’s the first analog watch with a clinically tested and approved electrocardiogram, automatically detecting changes in heart rate and oxygen saturation level; it’s also the first Withings watch to be FDA cleared. The watch contains a respiratory scanner to monitor breathing disturbances and offers advanced sleep tracking, in addition to the more traditional fitness tracker features. While ideal for those monitoring their health, the watch also offers coaching apps that help wearers improve their fitness, making it a fine and stylish choice for anyone.
Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch
Coming in around $300, Fossil’s Gen 6 smartwatch is a fairly budget-friendly option for shoppers looking to get acquainted with the concept of wearable tech.
Powered by Google, the piece is available in a range of styles and materials, from pink silicone to stainless steel; some models include a leather strap or interchangeable dials. The watches offer constant heart rate and sleep health tracking, boast built-in Alexa and Google Pay features, and can make and take phone calls.
Lagos Smart Caviar watch bracelet
While not a smartwatch on its own, Lagos’ just-released watch bracelets are worth a mention for those looking to dress up their Apple Watch. In the brand’s signature Caviar style, the bracelet is available in a range of metals and with or without diamonds or gemstones; some even incorporate colorful ceramic links in shades such as lilac, ultramarine blue, and (hi, Barbie!) pink. Prices start at $650 for a stainless steel style, and run up to $40,000 for an all-18k gold and diamond version.
Top: Citizen’s CZ Smart Casual touchscreen watch
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