IWC Gives Their Luxury Watches a Brain

The forthcoming IWC Connect will sync with devices without scarring any of the storied brand’s elegance or style. 

There are smart watches and then there are intelligent timepieces. The difference? The former look like dressed up devices; the latter are high-end expertly-crafted creations that just so happen to connect to secondary devices and apps. Thankfully, more and more of these watches are appearing, including Frederique Constant’s Horological SmartwatchTag Heuer’s partnership with Google and Intel, and  Montblanc’s e-Strap.

Now IWC Schaffhausen, master of elegant, masculine Swiss-made timepieces, enters the fold with the IWC connect. The gist: it’s an “intelligent tool” embedded in the straps of IWC’s mechanical offerings so wearers can sync with the Internet of things. The secondary device will begin rolling out on the Big Pilot’s watches and provide full activity tracking.

“We chose to work with a like-minded digital technology company to develop an elegant, aesthetically complementary solution that eliminates the need to have additional devices on the opposing wrist to your IWC,” said IWC chief Georges Kern.

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It remains to be seen the depth of function IWC Connect will provide, as much of it will depend on the app component. But there’s a clear line of distinction between it and certain Cupertino-crafted devices. 

“We do not touch our beautiful watches—an IWC stays a mechanical handcrafted timepiece,” Kern emphasized. In other words: heritage first; high-end tech later, a credo all forward-thinking watchmakers should follow. $TBD;