montblanc

Luxury brand Montblanc has announced its first foray into the booming wearables market with the ‘e-Strap’. The German company, which is known for making fine pens, watches and other jewelry, hopes the accessory will allow traditional mechanical watches and wearable tech to co-exist.

The e-Strap is an Italian leather watch band that features an embedded tracker with a tiny 0.9-inch monochromatic OLED touchscreen display (128×36). That display is capable of showing activity-tracking data and a variety of push notifications from a connected iPhone, or similar device.

Supported notifications include e-mails, text messages, incoming calls, reminders and social media updates, which are all signaled by a light vibration on the wrist. And as for activity-tracking, the band can record number of steps taken per day, calories burnt, as well as your distance traveled.

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Rounding out the e-Strap’s features are a remote control, which you can use to trigger your smartphone’s camera shutter or control your music, and a Find-Me function that will locate the watch or phone within 30 meters. Montblanc says the accessory should last for 5 days on a complete charge.

While not particularly groundbreaking, the e-Strap does serve as the first entry into the wearables space by a luxury company. It’s also a unique approach to the concept, as Montblanc says it plans to sell the band both attached to its Timewalker Urban Speed watches and as a standalone strap.

The Timewalker Urban Speed with e-Strap will be available soon, starting at 2,990 Euros ($3,600 USD), and the standalone e-Strap will sell for about 250 Euros. Timex, Fossil and TAG Heuer are also expected to join the wearables fray this year, and of course the Apple Watch is nearing launch.

[Hodinkee]