Alpina unveils its first smartwatch rated for diving
February 6, 2017
We’ve covered the relatively young smartwatch niche since 2013, and in that short amount of time, there have been some genuine innovations and developments. Although the technology is still very new and so far innovation has come mostly in the form of evolving features on existing models.
In the case of Alpina, this is their second generation of smartwatch, and it’s capable of withstanding water down to 100 meters, which is on par with the deepest diving smartwatch to date, the Nixon Mission Smartwatch.
However, there are a number of caveats. One, the watch, does not feature a touchscreen, just like first generation Alpina smartwatches. And two, the case is made of fiberglass and steel as opposed to steel. Fiberglass is essentially plastic, so this is a significant downgrade compared to the Apple Watch or the TAG Heuer Connected watch, which depending on the model utilize steel, titanium, aluminum, or even 18K gold.
The upside is that the price is much more approachable at $595. However, even though you could argue that the Seastrong Horological Smartwatch is industry leading in terms of water-resistance and in regards to battery life (which is 4 years) – without a touchscreen, it begs the question is it even a smartwatch, or just merely connected?
Furthermore, with all its so-called smart functions – notifications, activity tracking, sleep monitoring, always-on-time, sleep cycle alarms, get-active alerts, dynamic coaching, cloud backup/restore, world timer 24 time zones – not being relevant to diving, what is the market for this? Sure the watch has a substantial dive rating, and a unidirectional 0-60 dive bezel, but so does a mechanical Seiko dive watch which costs the same price and comes in a more premium stainless steel case. I mean, ok, so this watch can track your sleep patterns and is capable of going with you diving, but it appears to have no advanced diving features. Even a $150 dive computer can provide data such as dive time, depth gauge, and ascent time.
After speaking with numerous (mostly Apple) smartwatch owners over the past few years, and hearing them say how happy they are with their connected devices, I am confident smartwatches are here to stay – even when I read conflicting reports predicting the demise of the smartwatch. But not all smartwatches are created equal, and I do strongly believe a touchscreen is mandatory. That said, the 44 mm diameter case does not appear to be bulky and actually looks good on the wrist, so maybe form over function will win out.