You’re starting to warm up to the idea of the smartwatch. Those notifications can be plenty useful, after all. If you’re still hesitant to take the plunge because of a longstanding love affair with mechanical timepieces, the Montblanc e-Strap offers a compromise.
Rather than put notifications on the dial, it moves all the digital elements onto the strap, leaving the case to house the mechanical movement just like traditional timepieces. That way, you can enjoy the classic precision engineering of mechanical watches, all while getting the benefits of modern smartwatches at the exact same time.
While the Montblanc e-Strap looks like any ordinary premium band, it comes with a small electronic module situated on the buckle that houses an integrated 0.9-inch monochromatic display (128 x 36 resolution). Aside from notifications (it pairs with a smartphone over Bluetooth), it will come with built-in activity tracking, whose stats can also be displayed on the screen in real-time. The electronic module is resistant to both shocks and splashes, so it should perform as durably as most conventional smartwatches. Battery life is rated at five days between recharges.
Of course, this is still a luxury band. As such, the strap is constructed using leather, with a carbon fiber texture that leaves it a unique appearance. The electronic module, on the other hand, is housed in a DLC (diamond-like carbon) enclosure, so it’s just as premium as the rest of Montblanc’s product line.
The Montblanc e-Strap will debut in the upcoming line of Timewalker Urban Speed watches (starts at €2,990), although it will also be available separately for retrofitting into your existing timepieces, priced at €250.