MetaWatch Meta smartwatch 2014 design
'Fashion' has long been an excuse for manufacturers to stick a random material on a gadget or change some fonts and jack up the price for their efforts. The likes of Vertu stick pricetags on smartphones (with mid-level specs like the £4200 Constellation) that make us want to cry from our eyes, ears and mouth all at once. But with smartwatches at least, we can agree there's work to do.
Even the smartwatch darling Pebble is due to get a metal makeover at CES and despite the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch 2's attempts, nothing has yet taken our wrist's fancy as much as a good, old fashioned tells-the-time wristwatch.
Until now - and funny we should mention Vertu as it's an ex-designer, Frank Nuovo, who's responsible for MetaWatch's strangely stylish new Meta ... watch.
The Smartwatch Holy Grail: Glanceability
Close up of the MetaWatch Meta's glanceable interface
As intrigued as we are by MetaWatch's new designs, we don't know a whole lot about the Meta yet. Previous MetaWatch devices have played nice with both iOS and Android and it looks like the new models will follow suit - good news for iPhone users left out in the cold by Sammy and Sony and still waiting for an iWatch.
Made from stainless steel and with the option for leather bands and other 'premium' materials, Nuovo (who is also ex-Nokia) has also been bragging about his decision to move the Meta's pivot points to the middle of the watch, flanking buttons, to make the smartwatch more comfortable to wear. After a week chained to the Galaxy Gear, we thank him for his efforts.
MetaWatch's promo video shows details of the main homescreen with the time, weather and notifications for calls, messages and emails neatly arranged in monochrome on the rectangular black e-paper screen. From this glimpse, the Meta looks very glanceable - more so than the Smartwatch 2 with its tiny coloured icons plus the screen looks to be slightly bigger than the Pebble's too.
But much is still a mystery and that includes the all-important price. Come on MetaWatch, ignore the Vertu-inspired chitchat and give us some change from £5000? We're in Las Vegas trying to hunt down the MetaWatch Meta as we speak so keep an eye on Stuff.tv for hands on impressions.