The Kairos Watch brings mechanical movement to a smartwatch

The Kairos Watch brings mechanical movement to a smartwatch for ,100
By Chuong H Nguyen on 9 May 2014 02:47 pm
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For smartwatch fans who think that current watches are more geek and less chic, South Korean startup Kairos is looking to change that with its more traditional smartwatch. Derived from Greek for the opportune moment, Kairos is hoping to join the smartwatch craze this December with a classically designed and connected timepiece. Like the recently unveiled AMVOX2 from Jaegre-LeCoultre, where the Kairos will set itself apart is the mechanical movement that should make a horologist's heart skip a beat.

At the heart of the Kairos is a traditional watch, and in fact when no notifications are being sent to your wrist, the Kairos will be a discrete timepiece that is powered by either a Japanese or Swiss automatic movement, meaning that at least the watch portion won't die if you've depleted the battery that's required to power the smartwatch portion. According to a report on Tech in Asia, the Japanese movement will be sourced from Citizen subsidiary Miyota. The optional Swiss upgrade will be coming from SOPROD.

The round, cylindrical watch face reminds us a lot of Motorola's Moto 360, which will be powered by Google's Android Wear platform. Like the Moto 360, the Kairos is also capable of displacing notifications on the watch's face, though at this phase it's unclear if Kairos will be using Android Wear or a proprietary platform to pair with your phone. Also unclear is what phones will be compatible with the notifications.

When notifications come through, they appear to be floating on the Kairos' glass thanks to a thin transparent OLED screen that could display notifications for text messages, Twitter, and incoming calls for example.

Thanks to the power-sipping OLED screen, the smarts of the watch could run for about a week's time before requiring a recharge, which is about double the battery life of Samsung's refreshed Gear 2 smartwatch, an instrument that's powered by the Tizen operating system and lacks the mechanical movement of Kairos.

Because of the Swiss movement, pricing is expected to cost $1,100 when the Kairos launches this December. However, starting on May 15, the watch is said to be made available for pre-orders starting at just $500. Even at the $1,100, the asking price doesn't seem too unreasonable given that many Swiss-made automatic movement watches hover around that price range, and that's without the OLED display and Bluetooth connectivity to connect to your smartphone.

According to the company, the watch will be made available through high-end watch shops, rather than gadget stores, which suggests that Kairos will be aiming at a more luxury demographic.

Whether Kairos could prove itself to be the Rolex of smartwatches is still yet to be seen, but it is one of the most classic and elegantly appointed smartwatch designs that we've seen to date.

Source: Kairos, via: TechInAsia

Reader comments

The Kairos Watch brings mechanical movement to a smartwatch

41 Comments

It's an automatic movement so it winds itself. No battery is used for the actual watch function. I think that aspect of the watch, if nothing else, is a great concept.

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I've been waiting for this watch. However, it's too bad no one can view the demo video and I've never received a response to my several inquiries and requests for the video password.

Well if the price is right, I might have to add one of these to my watch collection. I have been avoiding smart watches due to their garish and clunky form factors.

Wow, the watch looks great and the idea is nice to bring together both worlds of mechanical movements and smartwatches and combine them in one product. The price sounds right, too. Yeah, too bad the video is not made public but I guess that is just to spark off the desire for it.

Thank you! That's exactly what i was thinking this morning. With smartwatches and their smart interfaces we're gonna lose the actual "smart", in watches. Not saying that you HAVE to wear a smartwatch with your classy suit. But if more smartwatches are made like this one, it gives us a reason to do so. :)

It's actually not too far out of line for watches that feature the kinds of movements they listed. Maybe somewhere down the line they would offer a more midrange watch with a less expensive movement.

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What a great looking smart watch! It's nice to see some of these watches that maintain a classy, elegant look. Just because it's "smart" doesn't mean it can't retain some of that class that, let's face it, is pretty much the only reason people have been wearing non-smart watches for the past decade.

I haven't even seen it in action but would be tempted by this work of art at $500, not that I could justify it to my wife. Ever.

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This solves one of the exact problems I have with current smartwatches. I don't want something that stops working if I forget to charge it one night. I'm hoping that this comes in a thinner casing than other smartwatches that are currently out there.

I really like the classic look. Once companies like Tag Heuer and Citizen get into the smartwatch game, I'm sure we'll see more classically designed watches with smart features.

This, I will buy but not pre order. Too many preorders not shipping when they promise. But I wish someone could somehow come up with a method to recharge the battery with the automatic movement itself. That would be the ultimate!

If B&M or Bvlgari came up with something similar, I would PreOrder and then ReOrder!

I am curious to see a first test of this watch. Finally someone applies the concept of automatic watches for charging the watch. I was always wondering why we haven't seen any energy harvesting technology in smartwatches yet.

Good idea for power saving, although the styling is a bit peculiar and rather masculine. I'd like to see more hybrid models out there.

This seems really innovative to me. It's nice to see designers hanging on to "old" methods that still work just fine for use in new products.

Interesting concept. Watch face is a little too busy for my taste, and the price tag is more than I'd be willing to pay. Will be interesting to see if any of the traditional watchmakers take this approach as well.

I can definitely see the potential for watches like this one. There are lots of occasions where a piece that looks to be out of a sci-fi flick would not look good on your wrist but a classically styled watch would add to the ensemble.

Really like it (the picture, anyway). My heart sank a bit at the $1100 price tag until I saw the preorder price. But, for everything you get, (regular watch AND smartwatch), it isn't a terrible price point. I'd love to see one in person.

I really like this watch and have been following it's development since last year, but personally I think pre-ordering is foolish considering the recent history of crowd-funded consumer technology (especially with the rapidly-exploding technology of smartwatches). I think the projected price is reasonable for a well-built automatic watch that you can physically check out in a watch shop when it actually materializes.