Luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen puts activity tracking into its straps

IWC Connect will deliver smart functionality without changing the essential nature of “a watch”

Like the idea of smartwatches but think the devices themselves look terrible? Well, you’re certainly not alone, and old-timey luxury watchmakers are keen to offer you something smart that you might actually feel stylish wearing on your wrist.

The latest traditional watch company to “get smart” is IWC Schaffhausen, which has just announced IWC Connect, an “intelligent tool” that can be embedded in the strap of a classic mechanical timepiece.

While details about precisely what the IWC Connect does are scant, the company claims it offers “fully fledged activity tracking” as well as giving wearers the ability to “control their connected environment”. The device looks like a single button, but it could feature a display, LED lighting or some other visual cue that delivers information and tells you what you’re actually controlling.

IWC Schaffhausen promises to deliver more details – including price and release date – in the coming months, but it’s clear that, for many, the most desirable thing about it is that it will offer some form of smartwatch functionality without interfering with your watch’s good looks.

IWC CEO Georges Kern calls the device “an elegant, aesthetically complementary solution that eliminates the need to have additional devices on the opposing wrist to your IWC. But, and this is essential, we do not touch our beautiful watches – an “IWC” stays a mechanical handcrafted timepiece.”

[Source: IWC via The Verge]