Sometimes, new technology affects old technology in unpredictable ways. Everyone thinks the Internet is a good thing, as it gives us easy access to all kinds of information. So who would have thought, 20 years ago, that the Internet would be hurting the wristwatch business?
That’s what’s happening, apparently, as more people are buying smartwatches that connect to the Web and interface with their cell phones and that means that fewer people are buying regular wristwatches.
A few watch companies are panicking, a few are deciding to continue with business as usual to see what happens in the meantime, and a few are making small bets on smartwatches as a sideline product.
The latest company to try the last tactic is Diesel. They’ve been making watches for a number of years now, but until recently, they’ve all been …you know…regular wristwatches. Their recent announcement that they’re introducing a smartwatch is kind of interesting, because Diesel isn’t really a maker of “geeky” watches, though I suspect a few geeks, like me, own one.
I don’t think they’re ready to move their whole product line to high tech computer-powered watches, but the company’s announcement shows that they’re ready to play with the big boys when it comes to intelligent wristwear:
- Compatible with iOS and Android
- As many as seven different choices of watch face.
- Hundreds of different configurations for each watch face.
- 8 different choices of straps
- Measure calories burned, distance run, and more with Google Fit
- The ability to stream music
- Google Play will let you install apps
- Set a reminder, check the weather, or more by using the power button to connect with Google Assistant
Diesel isn’t ready to make a bunch of smartwatches, but they’ve made one smartwatch that can be set up to look like a bunch of different ones. One clever feature is to make your screen appear as though it has a crack in it when you receive an email message.
The watch, called the “Diesel On,” uses Android Wear 2.0 software and has a Snapdragon 2100 processor from Qualcomm. The pricing isn’t going to be cheap, but it will likely be competing with Apple’s smartwatches at the starting price of $325 or so. Like I said, that isn’t cheap, but that’s apparently not too far out of line as far as pricing on Diesel watches goes.
The appearance is a big deal. A lot of people I know have been shying away from smartwatches, because they look just a bit too geeky. You don’t want people to look at you and think, “Oh, he’s one of those people who just wants to show off gadgets.”
Not everybody is like that; some people really do want to show off the latest geeky gadget. If that’s you, then the Diesel On probably shouldn’t be your first choice if you’re looking to buy a smartwatch. It looks a lot like a watch, at least in most configurations.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a rugged-looking watch that looks like a watch but still acts like a smartwatch, you might want to keep your eyes out for the Diesel On.