The best of both worlds
When wearables started becoming “a thing”, they were bulky and that was fine. The early adopters were more interested in having tech on their bodies than how the gadgets actually looked. Now that wearables have become more advanced and relatively mainstream, there’s a trend for them to become invisible. Many people like the idea of tracking their fitness but don’t want to be seen wearing a geeky gadget. Companies like Intel put fashion first and many wearables are now disguised as high-end jewellery. The guiltiest wearable at the moment is the smartwatch, which almost always fails to look exactly like a normal watch. Garmin think they can fix that.
Garmin’s next range of fitness wearables, Vivomove, look less like the usual black tech wristbands and more like an elegant everyday watch. We’re now used to round faces on smartwatches and fitness watches but they’re usually digital. The Vivomove is a classic analogue watch and looks the part. The digital additions are two bars on the left and right of the clock face that look like health bars in a game like Goldeneye on the N64. The black bar on the left shows steps counted and the red bar on the right reminds you to move by building up when you’re stationary. The watch also tracks sleep but that data is shown on the accompanying Garmin Connect smartphone app.
Garmin seemingly have women in mind as customers too and describe the watch as a good fit “whether you take your steps in 3-inch heels or 3-piece suits” but the wrist straps all appear to come in the same size. The watches do look decent, especially from a company that’s more famous for making chunky GPS receivers for cyclists than classic timepieces. While most tech has no good reason to be gendered at all, we just wish tech companies would realise that wearables should have more options for women. When it’s something you actually wear, size and style becomes more important.
The watch starts at $149 (£103.15) for the black or white model with a sports wristband. The “Classic” colour options like rose gold cost $199 (£137.77) and come with a leather strap. There’s also a $299 (£207) premium version that has stainless steel or gold-tone steel. The Vivomove watch is available to order on the US website but won’t ship for 5-8 weeks. It will be released in European markets later in the year.
We like the analogue style and that the fitness tech gets out of the way. We just wish there were more diverse sizing options.
Main image: Garmin