Late last year HP released a smartwatch made in partnership with Movado. It was the continuation of a program that the company calls "Engineered by HP," where companies provide the watch design and HP fills them with very basic smarts. (The program's first watch was the Michael Bastian Chronowing, released in 2014.) Today, HP and watchmaker Titan have announced the Juxt, the latest watch in the not-so-smart watch series.
The Juxt doesn't have a big, bright, colorful touchscreen. It does, like the Chronowing, have a small black-and-white LCD screen that serves up notifications for incoming calls, texts, email, social media, and more. And, like the Bold Motion, the watch can issue more discreet notifications through different haptic vibration patterns. The Juxt can also do basic fitness tracking, and is Android and iOS compatible.
"Titan, they wanted a melange of technology and tradition coming together," Sridhar Solur, the head of HP's wearables group, told me during a demo back in November. The version released today looks very much like that one HP showed me back then, which is to say, it still looks like the two companies basically dropped a rectangular OLED screen into an already-finished analog watch.
With that in mind, you could argue that the Michael Bastian Chronowing pulled this idea off in a nicer-looking package. But Titan isn't really trying to sell the same kind of watches as Michael Bastian. Titan is an Indian company that Solur says is instead known for making "extremely reliable watches."
That translates to what should be a durable watch that will be available in three forms: titanium, stainless steel, and rose gold. All three come with a genuine calf leather strap, and the Juxt's smarts will last five days on a single charge. It's also water resistant up to 5ATM (50 meters). Titan will be selling the watches for about Rs15,995 to Rs19,995 ($235 to $295).
The "Engineered by HP" program is a way for traditional watchmakers to test the smartwatch waters without diving in like Fossil and Tag Heuer did in 2015. Considering that the nascent smartwatch market is in a really strange place right now, it's either a safe bet or just a necessary hedge.
Correction: This article previously stated that the Juxt has an LCD screen. It is an OLED screen. The article has been changed to reflect this.