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For weeks, Pebble has been hinting that it had a big announcement coming up at CES, and today it finally let the cat out of the bag. The smartwatch-maker unveiled its next generation wearable, the Pebble Steel, with an all-new band and face design.

The Steel features a stainless steel body with a leather or steel band—a huge upgrade from the plastic used in the previous model— and a face covered with Gorilla Glass. The new Pebble is lighter, and has a thinner profile thanks to slimmer bezels…

Why Pebble Steel? CEO Eric Migicovsky explains to CNET:

“CEO Eric Migicovsky describes Steel as a more formal version of Pebble: “I’m going out for dinner, I’m wearing a suit, I’ve got a position that doesn’t allow me to wear a plastic watch on my wrist. How do I benefit from a smartwatch? How do I get notifications and run all the apps that Pebble offers without having to put something that I don’t prefer on my wrist. We took that as an industrial design problem. It wasn’t really a software problem…We just had to build an aesthetically different Pebble.” 

In addition to brushed stainless steel, the band is also available in matte black steel, and of course black leather. The Steel can last for up to a week on a single charge and there’s an LED indicator for battery life. And like the first Pebble, it’s waterproof.

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I have to say, the new Pebble looks a lot better than the previous version, but other than appearance, I don’t think there are many differences between the two. It appears to use the same E-ink display, and looks like it runs the same 3rd-party apps.

The Steel will begin shipping on January 28 for $249, a $100 more than the current model, and you can pre-order it today. Pebble also announced that its app store will be available this month with high profile launch partners like ESPN and Mercedes.

Stay tuned to iDB this week for more CES 2014 coverage.

So, what do you think about the Pebble Steel?