clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fashion brand Kate Spade is now making touchscreen smartwatches

New, 15 comments

From hybrid to touchscreen

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Fashion brand Kate Spade New York started dabbling in “hybrid” smartwatches back in 2016, introducing classic-looking wrist wearables that happened to include accelerometers and Bluetooth chips. Now it’s going full-on smartwatch.

Kate Spade brand, in conjunction with the Fossil Group, announced three smartwatch models today at CES, ones that run on Android Wear 2.0 and have full touchscreen capabilities. Called the Kate Spade New York Scallop Touchscreen Smartwatch, they come in three different styles: two rose gold watch cases, one with a leather strap and one with a bracelet, and a yellow gold-toned watch case with a black strap. All three are made of stainless steel.

The body of each watch doesn’t look very different from some other Android Wear watches we’ve seen. They’re small, round pucks, essentially, with a 1.2-inch OLED display and an ambient light sensor. But they do have some aesthetic touches that are unique to the Kate Spade brand and recognizable for fans, like a scalloped edge along the watchface and a spade engraved on the watch’s crown. On the software side, there are watchfaces that show a New York taxi cab, speeding off-screen; or an eyelashed blink when you have a new notification.

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

The watches also run an app called Choose Your Look, which asks wearers a series of questions about the time of day it is, the tone of your jewelry, the color of your handbag, and the color of your outfit, and then generates a watchface color scheme that is supposed to complement the occasion.

Like many other touchscreen smartwatches, the expected battery life is around 24 hours. They have a microphone so you can use Google Assistant, and they have basic activity tracking. But these are clearly more fashion-focused smartwatches than high-powered utility watches: there’s no NFC for payments, no built-in GPS, and no wrist-based heart rate sensors.

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Fossil Group says the smartwatches will ship in mid-February. The bracelet version of the smartwatch will cost $325, while the version with the leather strap will cost $295.

Kate Spade is one of 14 brands that make up part of the Fossil Group’s 300-plus smartwatch SKUs, which include both hybrid and touchscreen watches.

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge