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HP's MB Chronowing smartwatch is more watch than gadget

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You'll get email alerts, but don't expect any apps here

Earlier this year, HP announced a collaboration with fashion designer Michael Bastian for a new smartwatch that would appeal to more than just nerds. Online retailer Gilt will be selling the new watch this coming Friday and The Wall Street Journal has gotten a first look at the device.

According to the Journal, the MB Chronowing will be available with leather, rubber, or nylon straps for $349, or with a crocodile strap and sapphire-glass crystal for a heftier $649. Neither version looks like a typical smartwatch — the MB Chronowing wouldn't look out of place in a glass case full of traditional chronometer-style watches. Its 44mm diameter makes it a pretty large watch, and the chunky bezel recalls Tag Heuer more than Dieter Rams Braun.

The watch doesn't have a touchscreen and instead relies on a black and white LCD for notifications. It doesn't track your step count or have a microphone for voice commands. Bastian's approach to a smartwatch seems to be more in line with what Meta Watch is doing with the M1 than what Apple or Google are doing with their platforms. In addition to an LCD display, the MB Chronowing includes a clock dial for reading the time. The battery is said to last up to seven days between charges and the watch will work with both Android and iOS devices.

Image courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

There are two camps in the smartwatch world: the ones that pack many features as possible into a wrist computer, and those that approach the smartwatch from the perspective of a traditional watch maker. Michael Bastian's watch falls firmly in that second camp, so it likely won't appeal to those lusting after a Moto 360 or Apple Watch. But if you want a nice watch that happens to also alert you to new messages or emails, the MB Chronowing could be an appealing choice.