I love mechanical watches and usually ignore the more accurate and convenient electronic (and sensible) models in favour of Swiss craftsmanship. At one time I had quite a collection of desirable timepieces but I am now down to one: a robust GMT triple time-zone design that helps when travelling.
Gradually, however, I am beginning to see the benefits of a smart watch, one that can communicate with my smartphone and provide information on the hoof. Instead of getting the phone out of a pocket, a smart watch would give an instant update on messages and reminders.
A watch is something I have on my wrist all the time and it seems a shame to limit this valuable real estate to simply telling the time. These days there’s a lot more we need to know about.
So it was that I have taken to the Pebble, a smart e-ink-screen timepiece that is being launched as a Kickstarter project. This has been one of the most successful Kickstarter products ever. The designers have already raised over $5.5m in pledges from eager beavers who want to be the first to the watch on their wrists. I’ve just added my $115, plus $15 international shipping, and I’m hoping to have my Pebble by the end of the summer.
I’ve had a couple of successful experiences with Kickstarter, having pledged for a LunaTik watch and a OneLessDrop cable tidy. The quality of both products was exceptional and it was great fun following the progress from design to manufacture and shipping.
How does the Kickstarter work? A would-be entrepreneur launches his idea to the world through the Kickstarter system. If you like the idea you can pledge various amounts and, in return, you get advance products and discounts on the expected retail price. Your pledge is processed through Amazon and the neat trick is that you pay nothing if the project doesn’t get off the ground. If the total amount pledged meets the developer’s target, the project goes ahead and Amazon debits your credit card.
Here is some more information on the Pebble, with a full explanation of how it works and how it integrates with your iPhone or Android phone. It’s not too late to add your pledge if you want one of the first Pebbles: