I’ve got mixed feelings about wearables, and especially smartwatches. Anything worn is a very personal display of taste and style, and while wearables may or may not be useful depending on who you talk to, they all too rarely add style points (we’re usually happy if they just don’t take style points away).
Part of the problem is that it’s hard to make a backlit display look stylish, especially when you’re out at night. Some flashlight-looking thing glowing and vibrating on your wrist during a nice dinner out? Hard sell! It’s why the hybrid smartwatch has a special kind of appeal — spearheaded by Fossil, these watches are good old analog watches with smart features embedded (and they don’t need to be charged!). Fossil’s hybrids can track fitness stats and can provide notifications in a pretty clever way — you can assign contacts to numbers on the watch face, which the hands will point to temporarily when you get a message from them. We really liked the concept when we tried one out in late 2016, and since then, Fossil has kept the core technology much the same while adding new looks every year.
This year, they’ve got two new looks for their Q line of hybrids, and they’re both worth a look. And, if you do love the full-on, glowy smartwatches of the world, we’ve got something for you, too — the first touchscreen smartwatch from Kate Spade New York!