Time in Motion: Névo’s Minimalist Analog Smartwatch

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This minimalist design is the first watch by Névo, a young brand dually based in China and France. Although fashioned like a traditional timepiece, the debut is actually a smartwatch with activity-tracking features. Boosting style and fitness, the wristwatch is both a classic accessory and a gym buddy that’s always there.

On the visual side, névo’s design keeps it cool with neutral colors, restrained shapes, and timeless materials. The white face is easily legible and well-protected underneath a scratch-proof sapphire crystal. The shock-resistant stainless steel case comes plain or PVD-coated in a shining gold or matte black finish. Paired with a matching set of lugs, the case is low-key enough to work with several strap styles. The watch comes packaged with an Italian leather strap in black or coppery brown and a spare fabric strap. For those who crave additional options, the case is compatible with any number of add-on straps on the market.

The watch’s crown and two pushers indicate that there’s more to it than a pretty face. The watch boasts two movements, one of which is a two-hand Swiss mechanism. The conventional movement promises the standard five years of life and ensures that the analog function will keep working even when the smartphone battery runs out. For the more high-tech features, there is a CR2025 cell battery, which does not need to be charged but does have to be replaced every six months.

The battery powers the design’s “smart” capabilities, including its internal motion sensors, which quantify the wearer’s walking, running, swimming, and more. The smartwatch connects with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth, and the LED indicators light up to signal phone notifications and reflect one’s level of activity. In situations when the lights seem to distracting, however, the watch can be turned off or set to vibrate instead.

Accompanied by a social app for Android and Apple iOS, the smartwatch records steps, distance, and calories. The app tracks daily progress toward personal goals and allows the user to share stats with fellow users and other fitness programs, including Goggle Fit and Apple HealthKit. More involved and versatile than the average smartphone bundle, névo’s model engages the user. Hopefully, this technology will also help form healthy habits that are sustainable long after the novelty wears off. The real test of this watch will be whether it goes beyond its claims and creates a behavior impact that lasts as long as its battery life. That said, the specs line up, the idea edges into new ground, and the accessory is encased in a time-honored watch design. Why not give névo a try?

The watch is set for release in early 2015, and névo is currently accepting pre-orders. Priced at $199, the first edition is an affordable buy, and the initial 5,000 models include a mystery bonus gift.

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Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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