That’s right, Montblanc answers the call to compete with the Apple Smartwatch with their Montblanc Summit Android wear Smartwatch, in an attempt to level the playing field to deliver. With the exclusive release with Mr Porter looming, what can we expect from Montblanc and will it fulfill the promise of beating Apple at their own game?
Joining the Smartwatch club that Tag Heuer has been in for some time now Montblanc are about to roll out their own Android wear Smartwatch. The Summit is Montblanc’s` first tentative furor into the digital timekeeping space so will it live up to expectations when you consider their expertise is in crafting mechanical timepieces and their competition is more mature than their own. Let’s see what the Summit is all about.
The naturally colored stainless steel option here illustrates your basic offering that marries the Android digital user interface with the traditional digitally rendered watch face. Most would agree the rendering of the tradition watch face on a Smartwatch is one of the more agreeable options, especially if there is a choice of dial and complication. Essentially, giving you a watch for every occasion.
I guess the first thing to note is that having the Android Wear 2.0 OS the new operating system based on the tried and tested android operating system many of us know so well, is something most of us will see as a point of stability? We know in general terms what to expect and can to a large extent trust in the OS for reliability and usability.
That means the only question we have are related the Montblanc materials, design and cost points for its options.
What Are My Options?
The design side of the Montblanc offers a number of options from stainless steel to the titanium finish which as you would expect, adds to the final bill, so let’s have a look at the collection.
The stainless steel in a natural finish makes a nice classic looking timepiece but if you want something more contemporary the black steel case is also a great looking piece. If you’re anything like me you can have a bad time making up your mind so, in that situation, you could opt for the back against standard steel two tone model.
The next step up from this would be the titanium that looks no different but like most prestige items, the beauty is in the knowledge that it`s the top of the line that YOU own.
Montblanc Summit Smartwatch Black Steel $890.00
Montblanc Summit Smartwatch Stainless Steel $930.00
Montblanc Summit Smartwatch Bi-color Steel $930.00
Montblanc Summit Smartwatch Titanium $1,020.00 ($980 with the basic strap or $1,020 with upgrade)
Strap options are a nice touch, but better still is the standard 22mm attachment for swapping straps so you’re not stuck with the expensive Montblanc options. The starting price for straps start at $100 for the calf leather, $110 for the caoutchouc or natural vulcanized rubber and the smoked or blue leather, then a shocking $250 for the alligator.
What’s In The Package?
For the cold impersonal truth about the internals of this device, I can tell you it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, with a 300mAh battery, and a magnetic charging cradle.
Onboard and protected by sapphire glass is a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 400 x 400 resolution, an accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, barometer, electronic compass and it`s rated waterproof to IP68 or a maximum depth of 1.5m. for up to 30 minutes. For an explanation of how the IP depth rating works you can refer to this chart.
So, if you have a need for all these applications you’ll be pretty happy, but it does present a question. For example, I guess these apps would be useful if you were into some kind of orientation pass time, but if that’s the case I wonder why GPS was not included on this platform.
Less important in my personal view is the lack of LTE and NFC for Android Pay, although I would guess some of you out there would want these included?
Summit Crown Control
Notice the crown on the Summit. This is an interesting part of the design because the word around the `Camp Fire` is Montblanc toyed with the idea of using this just as Apple do, as a scroll wheel. The prevailing wisdom, however, decided a better option was to make this a `One Button Control`. So, whether you agree or not, what you can see is the Summit offering a small but unique angle on navigation.
Summit Boot Up
Summit Standard Dial
As with all Android Smartwatches, you will have a multitude of dials to choose from, some onboard, and many more available on Play Store for a small charge. So with changeable dials and the ability to change the strap inexpensively, you have a watch for every day of the week in one package.
When Can I Have One?
For those of you in the US and UK wanting a Smartwatch and find the Montblanc Summit checks all your boxes, you will have wait just a little longer. In just over a week (from the time of writing) the Summit will become available from the beginning of May 2017, exclusively from Mr Porter.com for the first 2 weeks.
Following shortly after, the Montblanc boutiques and retailers across Europe, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, India, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore, Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates, will have availability. For those of you who like to pick up a bargain, it may be worth waiting to see this model find its way onto the discount watch stores.
In that case, you may benefit from learning which are the best places to buy watches online by reading my best online watch stores reviews area. Just follow the links on this page.
Pros and Cons
Single crown button interface (depending on personal view)
Single crown button interface (depending on personal view)
Android is mature tech
Standard strap size
Interchangeable dials and straps
Montblanc is a well established and pricey brand and we would all expect to a pay a premium for the privilege of sporting their name, whether on the wrist or a well-positioned pen in your chest pocket. At a starting price of $890 the Summit is certainly an aspirational product aimed at the luxury market and it’s that alone that will either make it, or break it.
When you consider you can have the same functionality on a much lower end device such as an LG Watch for less than $400, it’s clear that the market for this will lie directly in the brand name market of those wanting Montblanc as part of their wardrobe, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Discountwatchstores.com is always on the side of the consumer to choice what’s right for them as an individual. Taking this further, Discountwatchstores isn’t even about Smartwatches but discounted Swiss luxury and Fashion brands.
Having said that, the appearance of Smartwatches into this space brought on by a depressed market that may or may not recover, demands we take stock and discuss their relative merits, regardless of whether they are a passing fad or here to stay.
In an uncertain market trying to recover or at least find a state of stability, the big brands are experimenting to find the correct balance. We see the Smartwatches taking more ground, mechanical movements goading the Smartwatch, hybrid timepieces and introducing startlingly beautiful piece at affordable prices, it’s anyone’s guess where this race will take us.
For more information about where to look for your favorite watch brand why not read my watch store reviews to get a better idea where to look?
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