When smartwatches came about, it was easy to get excited about the potential to wear one’s smartphone on your wrist. With increasing features including texting, taking calls, using apps, tracking your health and fitness, as well as keeping the time, the trend of smartwatches has taken another turn only a few years into its popularity.

While the novelty of hands-free smartphone use (to some degree) has worn off a bit, smartwatch manufacturers are following the trend consumers are treading towards hybrid  smartwatches — that is to say wearables that look more like traditional, analog timepieces but with smart technology. While this may sound like a downgrade for those who love AMOLED screens with internet connectivity at the convenience of their wrists, it makes sense that the larger populace is leaning back to a simpler but high tech watch.

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Fashion and functionality are the two main concerns for smartwatch wearers. With battery lives only lasting a few days with high tech wearables like the Apple Watch and the Samsung Gear S3, people are opting for watches that look traditional and function in ways that they need without all of the extra features that consume battery life and need constant charging.

Another plus towards more traditional looking wearables is that they look like classic and stunning timepieces, which are perfect for daily use and maintaining a sophisticated style. Most people don’t want a sports-wearable anymore with plastic or polycarbonate cases — they’re looking for traditional metals, leather straps, and analog dials hiding the smart tech beneath.

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The Origin by Grayton

If elegance is something you are seeking, you would be remiss to try out the “Origin” by Grayton. This hybrid watch is truly the best of both worlds. The Origin features an analog face, a stunning elegance, self-winding automatic movement as in traditional timepieces (negating the need for a battery for sole power), a transparent backing often seen in high end timepieces, and an open-heart face and beautiful analog design that you can appreciate aesthetically.

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The Origin features a smart band — which is where most of the tech is stored — this is more unique among smartwatches, who place their technology inside of the watch case. By using a smart band, you gain the convenience of a smartwatch but can maintain the style of a traditional timepiece.

This smart strap connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth for: notifications, activity / health tracking, controlling music, and more.

Luminous Indexes and Dial Hands

Luminous Indexes and Dial Hands

How it Works: Smart Band Technology

Despite their use of a smart band as opposed to other smartwatches storing their tech behind the dial, the Origin by Grayton’s smart strap offers features that are much the same as regular smartwatches.

When receiving notifications, the band vibrates to alert you. If you wish to skip a song you are listening to, you hit a button that is hidden behind the elegant band. Essentially, this strap looks like any other watch strap but all of the standard smartwatch features are there.

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The First Mechanical Smartwatch

The Origin features an automatic movement for its timekeeping – which will last a lifetime. For the smartband tech, Grayton states that you can get up to 10 days of power before your next charge. Charging takes only 2 hours and is simple — you insert the hidden, flip-out USB port at the end of the strap.

The Origin truly stands out from all other smartwatches, even its fellow hybrids and brands who are using the smart band technology.

Charging the Smart Strap

Charging the Smart Strap

As opposed to the smartwatch wearing you, you really do feel like you are in control of the smartwatch. WIthout worrying about a draining battery all day and charging it and fiddling with all of the settings, the Origin’s smart strap lasts for up to 10 days and you simply use the smartwatch features as you desire and when the battery loses its juice, you are left with a beautiful and elegant traditional timepiece until you charge the strap back up.

24 Jewel Automatic Movement

24 Jewel Automatic Movement

The watch’s traditional 24 jewel automatic movement will continue ticking away the time rather than you losing the ability to tell the time because your digital display has died.

You can’t get any better than this, and we can really see how the trend towards more simple, hybrid watches are taking off, since most people still use their phone anyways when they wear their high tech smartwatches.

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Features Checklist

The Origin features simple but useful features including the following:

  • Activity Tracking
  • Phone Notifications
  • Call Rejection
  • Loss Prevention
  • Music Control
  • Find Phone Feature
  • Smart Band
  • Notification Vibration
  • Bluetooth Sync
  • Self-Winding 24 Jewel Automatic Movement
  • USB Charging for Smart Strap
  • Luminous 
  • 100 Meter Water Resistance

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Choose from 5 Different Designs

One of the best parts of this unique smartwatch are the five stunning designs you can purchase it in (you can, of course, switch out the straps seen in the watches below to give your watch it’s own unique look if you’d like, as well).

Traditional Steel

  • Dial: Satin Silver
  • Movement: 24 Jewel Automatic
  • Case: Natural Steel
  • Strap Material Calf Leather
  • Strap Color: Black
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Traditional Steel

Continental Black

  • Dial: Satin Black
  • Movement: 24 Jewel Automatic
  • Case: Black Ion-Plated (IP) Steel
  • Strap Material: Nylon
  • Strap Color: Black and Grey
Continental Black

Continental Black

Classic Brown

  • Dial: Satin Silver
  • Movement: 24 Jewel Automatic
  • Case: Natural Steel with Rose Gold Ion-Plated (IP) Crown
  • Strap: Calf Leather
  • Strap Color: Brown

Classic Brown

Vintage Marine

  • Dial: Satin Dark Blue
  • Movement: 24 Jewel Automatic
  • Case: Rose Gold Ion-Plated (IP) Steel
  • Strap: Calf Leather
  • Strap Color: Brown
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Vintage Marine

Blossom Beige

  • Dial: Semi-Gloss White
  • Movement: 24 Jewel Automatic
  • Case: Natural Steel with Rose Gold IP Crown
  • Strap: Calf Leather
  • Strap Color: Beige
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Beige Blossom

Price

The creation of the Origin by Grayton was accomplished by Indiegogo. For those who have invested and backed this product, you can get it for half of the price than when it hits the shelves online.

The retail price will be $395.00 but if you head to the Indiegogo link below to back it (they have already far exceeded their needed funding), you can be first in line to get this hybrid smartwatch for $199.00.

The Origin is expected to ship out to all of the early birds in May of 2017.

Origin by Grayton Indiegogo Link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/origin-the-first-mechanical-smart-watch#/

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Conclusion

Elegance and smart technology are not taking a step back into traditional low tech — it’s quite the opposite. The task is to now create new smart technology that is tactile on a different level than touch screen technology and miniaturized smartphone tech shrunk down for our wrists.

While the high tech smartwatch may be fading out, the new stage of smartwatch technology is arriving. The smartwatch is not dead, it is just evolving.

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