Vector: A gorgeous smartwatch -- from a watch maker, not from Apple

Fashionable watch first, wearable smart-tech second

vector smartwatch

Vector Watch Group is launching its new smartwatch, and the company's not phoning it in. The plucky, London-based tech-jewelry maker is proudly showing off its entry into the nascent "wearables" market.

It definitely takes a different direction to Apple. And at $250–$400, it's not following Cupertino's pricing script, neither. But it does work with iPhones, as well as Android and those all-but-dead Windows phones.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers know what time it is. Not to mention: Things can only get better...

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. 
[Updated 11.01 pm PDT and again 6.10 am with more comment]

Andrada Fiscutean is easy for you to say:

Vector is seeking to stand out in the competitive smartwatch market through its battery life: while the Apple Watch can't go 24 hours without a charge, Vector watches have a battery that lasts 30 days. ... The startup wanted to make a genuine watch, rather than a small screen that users stick on their wrist.

Vector watches have a black-and-white screen, which isn't touch-sensitive. The watch features fitness apps like calorie counting, distance and step tracking, as well as sleep monitoring.  MORE

Here are Mike Butcher's prime cuts: [You're fired -Ed.]

Back in March the Vector — a smart watch with an e-ink LCD screen — made its debut [with] a smartphone control app which work[s] across iOS, Android and Windows phones.

The Vector is billed as a good-looking, ‘watch first’, but with ‘smarts’ added. [But] it’s also building its own wearable operating system that connects with the three big mobile platforms.

The ‘watch first’ approach is reflected in the...fully stainless steel case, hardened mineral glass and 50m water resistance. The designs consist of stainless steel cases, round and rectangular, black and white, ‘always on’ displays. It comes in Rose Gold, Champagne Gold, Stainless Steel, Black Plated with leather, stainless steel or sport straps...and feels like a quality piece of engineering. ... It could almost pass for a high-end luxury mechanical watch.

Vector was started by...Andrei Pitis, based out of Romania. [He] brought on Joe Santana (the former CEO of iconic watch brand Timex) and Steve Jarvis as design director. ... Jarvis was a creative lead on projects with Timex and the Nike fuelband. COO Ron Spencer — former COO of Bulova, Fossil — completes the line-up. ... The HQ is in London.  MORE

But what of Apple? Kezia Joseph chatted to the CEO, over cocktails:

Vector’s CEO has revealed it will adopt an online distribution strategy for its new smartwatch. ... Joe Santana explained that the potential of the online marketplace has progressed rapidly, claiming that Mobile offers a new window of opportunity to marketing a consumer product

The former Timex head commented that the demand for wearables, especially smartwatches, had taken off since the launch of the Apple Watch, [saying it had] ‘created enormous potential’ in the market. ... ‘We love Apple, they made it easier for us. [It] will create enormous awareness. Their smartwatches run on iOS while we work with all platforms.’  MORE

So Bani McSpedden assesses the chances:

The genre is also seeing new brands emerge, for example Vector, a British outfit whose effort uses the web-based IFTTT (If This Then That) platform to facilitate photo, Twitter and Dropbox doings at the flick of a wrist.

The approach is equally varied among the established brands.  MORE

Update 1: Becca Caddy carries the story onwards:

There are lots of different wearable tech gadgets...but we may have found one that brings mobile-like functionality to our wrists and actually looks good too.

The Vector Watch range [is] a collection of premium smartwatches including the round-faced Luna and the rectangular-faced a huge range of styles, including both leather and bracelet straps and a range of different metal accents. The rose gold version looks particularly awesome.  MORE

Update 2: Stephen "humbler" Glasskeys tapped out these comments:

OK, I'd buy this: It works with Windows Phone and Android, and has a 30 day battery life. And it looks like they've cleverly eliminated the cut off portion at the bottom of the screen the Moto -315- 360 has.

Cool. A nice looking watch that doesn't immediately brand someone as a nerdy social outcast when they are seen wearing it, a usable & practical 30 day battery life, and works with Android & WP. Vector's ticked all the smartwatch boxes, and done something no other swartwatch OEM has been able to accomplish.  MORE

Hey, where's JJ Nattrass? With the ZZ-lisstt:

At the Vector Watch launch in London [a] ritzy party at [Mondrian,] the Sea Containers Hotel in the British capital.

At the luxury tech-watch event were former [reality TV] co-stars Hugo Taylor and Ashley James, whilst the decks received a stylish spin from MTV's Laura Whitmore and model Amber Le Bon.  MORE

Meanwhile, Duncan Bell rings the changes:

It's not Android Wear. It's not Apple Watch. Obvs. ... Officially launched at London's ultra-swank Mondrian hotel...Vector's range of 12 smart-in-both-senses wearables hold out the tantalising promise of a 30-day battery life. ... There are notifications that remain unseen until brought into view with a flick of your wrist, and are then dismissed with another.

The lengthy battery life is largely down to the low-powered, monochrome screen. ... Further functionality is promised via an in-app store.

The launch was very much fashion-focussed, with considerably more beautiful people wearing sunglasses indoors than at your standard tech launch. This is definitely a case of a style product with a tech spin.  MORE

Full disclosure: Your humble blogwatcher was one of those (ahem) beautiful people at the launch (sans sunnies). I have a review unit and I'll be talking more about it on

And Finally...
Things can only get better

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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