Lifestyle

The Smartwatch You’ll Actually Wear Is Here

To many of us, the only thing worse than a fitness band on the wrist is an asymmetrical, uneven colored mole with an ill-defined border that you ditch three months later. The modern-looking fitness tracker or smartwatch may be fine for athletic activities—they go well with nylon and spandex—but no one is exactly excited to sub out their standard watch, even if they want big data on their quotidian body activity.

With aesthetics at the crux of the smartwatch/fitness tracker-wearing conundrum, Withings has stepped up to the plate, delivering something closer to what we have in mind than we’ve ever seen before. Meet the Activité.

Designed in Paris and made in Switzerland, the Activité looks virtually indistinguishable from a classic dress watch. Like most fine timepieces, it’s made of stainless 316L and has a sapphire crystal, so it looks and feels like a watch, not like the “latest” anything.

Inside the case, an accelerometer detects your every move as you run, walk, and swim, because it’s water resistant up to 50 feet. But it’s not designed solely as a workout device. Since the Withings is good-looking enough to keep on after the workout, it’ll track your sleep and wait 'til a good stopping point in your sleep cycle (when you aren't in deep) to wake you up.

Like most smart things these days, the watch connects to your phone via Bluetooth low energy, which is apparently so low energy that the watch will last a year on standard batteries without recharging, so you can really keep it on at all times.


Ethan Wolff-Mann has a bare wrist for the first time in ages. Here’s his Twitter @ewolffmann.