Smartwatches/Bands
Kairos Watches balance mechanical, smartwatch capabilities with style

Up until now, watches have either been mechanical or, more recently, they’ve abandoned their mechanical construction to become more intelligent. Bluetooth capabilities have allowed smartwatches to communicate with the devices in people’s lives, relaying information about everything from exercise results to e-mail notifications. The smartwatch problem is a thorny one, though, and as much as people want their watches to be high-tech, watches aren’t smartphones that last for a few years. People expect quality that will last for a lifetime.

Kairos Watches is attempting to bridge the chronography gap by offering a hybrid mechanical smartwatch that gives users the best of both worlds. The watch’s two versions, the MSW 115 and the SSW 158, offer Japanese and Swiss construction and movement, respectively. Both of these models are outfitted with a touch-sensitive, full-color, transparent OLED display, or TOLED, that lets users check time normally while still being able to receive and act on notifications, text messages, or e-mails. Bluetooth LE connects the watch to an iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, and an embedded GPS in tandem with a three axis accelerometer helps in tracking fitness progress, amongst other applications.

Since the watch is a hybrid, it doesn’t come as a surprise that it needs to be charged every week or so. It also comes with other caveats, like components that become rapidly outdated. To address the issue, Kairos Watches offers an upgrade program that has owners pay $99 to ship their unit back to be updated with current parts.

The company presents a solid solution to problems unique to smartwatches and, along with quality construction options like stainless steel and gold, may prove enough to sway serious watch owners over in the face of the impending Apple Watch. The many models are currently enjoying a 40%-50% off their respective MSRP in their pre-order phase, ranging from $549 to $1,249. The Kairos Watches will ship in spring 2015.