The Kairos hybrid mechanical smartwatch with a transparent screen is up for preorder

By Derek Kessler on 16 May 2014 01:58 pm
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If you've been looking at the current crop of smartwatches and said, "meh, not fancy enough for me", we recommend you take a look at the Kairos smartwatch. The watch aims to combine a traditional mechanical automatic movement watch with a custom smartwatch overlay that's compatible with Android and iOS. What makes the watch interesting (at least in its current render form) is that the display is a transparent OLED layer over the hands and exposed movements of the watch. But the Kairos does not look to come cheap, especially for something that we've only see in renders.

First previewed a week ago, the Kairos has a much more traditional appearance to it than most smartwatches. We'll reserve judgement on the aesthetics, though we know the look isn't for everybody. Inside that stainless steel body will be a Bluetooth 4.0 LE radio, 3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor, and a 180mAh battery that Kairos claims to be good for 5-7 days life (which is a pretty ambitious claim).

The transparent OLED display is under a sheet of sapphire crystal and includes a touch sensitive layer for basic interactions. When not in use, the display goes blank, exposing the hands and movement below.

Kairos smartwatch render

Speaking of that movement, customers will have the choice between a 21-jewel Miyota 8257 Japanese automatic movement with or a 25-jewel Soprod A10BV-2 Swiss automatic movement. Both offer a 42-hour reserve for the watch portion of the smart watch.

So how much will a Kairos watch set you back? They start at $1199 with an estimated delivery of December 2014, though if you preorder now you can get it for $499 instead. That's for a Kairos in stainless steel with a leather band and the Miyota movement. If you want one in gold with the Swiss Soprod movement, you'll be looking at a list price of $2149 (or $1199 if you preorder). Preorders for all models of the Kairos watch are open through the end of June, so if you want one, we suggest placing your order now before the prices mode than double.

Source: Kairos

Reader comments

The Kairos hybrid mechanical smartwatch with a transparent screen is up for preorder

36 Comments

Agreed - this is a beautiful watch, much more what I would like to see in the future of wearables. Now, when the other companies start making watches that look like these at more reasonable prices, I'm in!

Nice. While a concept, this is ultimately what would make me buy one. It's utility and it's every day usage. And for upgradable software to be able to do more things than the things mentioned in the video. Even if the smartwatch portion dies, it can still just be a regular watch. I think this is necessary too. Plus, in terms of looks, it still looks sleek and none too bulky!

If I wore a watch I would be sorely tempted by the SSW 158 M and the entry price would not deter me. I do not wear a watch so it would be a frivolous purchase and one I would hardly get any use out of. It definitely looks the part.

Way to over priced for regular consumers as I don't know anyone that would be prepared to pay 2000 bucks for a watch. A fantastic concept if they can slim it down, it looks chunkier than my Gshock in this render.

for the 499$ pre-order price i might consider it, but is there any real world video material of this watch?
i wouldn't spend 499 based on a render alone...

This Is what I directed when I first heard the term "smartwatch". Not some kind of cheap looking piece of plastic with a screen The price is pretty high, but it's definitely worth 500$

Nice design...as others have said, this is what a smartwatch should look like. I have to imgaine it would protrude quite a bit, but I'll reserve judgment.

If the price were right (it's WAY off now) and the name were better known, I could see this being a big seller. As it is, I think this may be, if not the last we hear about it, certainly close to the last.

It is an interesting design but frankly they could do it the other way... with a screen BEHIND the movement and just have normal simple hands to show the time and keep battery usage low. Then when you want to use the smart features, the face would activate. The top of the watch would have a more transparent touch-screen glass and you could see your hands easier.

Anyways, anyone complaining about the price of the watch isn't the right market for it. They are clearly not trying to make this a watch for the masses. It is going to be the luxury market for people who have everything already and need something. You should check out the prices of some of the most luxurious turbuillon watches from Swiss makers, in the tens and hundreds of thousands. Hand-crafted jewelry time pieces for the ultra-rich... and your 2 cent quartz from China can tell better time but that's not the point. It's the "Art"...

This is the first smart watch I would even consider buying. It's a watch and doesn't make you look ridiculous.

OMG looks sexy but whoa way out of my price range as of now. But this is exactly what I would want in a smart watch.

The problem with the price is twofold.

1) Nobody likes paying a lot. Though, I'd consider it for this beauty.

2) Expensive things sell in lower volumes, so they inevitably have less support. Updates? Apps? Fugghetaboutit.

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That actually looks pretty sweet. Price-wise? Forget it. Moto exec called the current smartwatches crappy, but they have a strong competitor in this one, if the real thing work out as good as the renders. But I think Kairos is gonna lose out a lot of market if this is how they price their watch. Even the expensive Google Glass is cheaper than this.

Moto360 could take a look at this and start getting ready for the followup... Imagine Android Wear overlayed on a nice, mechanical watch... nice!

But the price this is going for is what's NOT appealing to me...

Add that to my whishlist plz!
This is the way smartwatches have to go!
Anyway, it's out of my budget but still, a nice piece of art and technology combined!

I really like this watch. At $500 it is reasonable for what you are getting. Won't preorder though as I want to see more before spending that kind of money m

This is a good looking timepiece, but for this price :/

Smart watches aren't mature enough and the ones on the market still feel experimental. if i am to get my self a wearable i'd make sure its from a major market player to make sure it'll be supported and not before the end of the year.

Agree with the above sentiments... Kinda tough ask to put that kind of price tag with no video of it in action. Still the smart watch I'm most interested

The transparent screen is awesome! I would love to see more devices utilize this technology - I think transparent screens could have a bunch of applications. This watch is pricey, but for those who love good watches and also want a smart watch that stands out - this looks like a good option.