HP and Gilt Groupe unveil fashion-focused smartwatch

First teased back in August, Hewlett-Packard’s new smartwatch was finally unveiled on Friday, and it looks pretty good.

Crafted through a partnership between HP and fashion designer Michael Bastian, the MB Chronowing looks exactly like a traditional watch, but also delivers email, stock market updates, calendar information, sports updates and text notifications.

The water-resistant device is available with three interchangeable straps (leather, rubber and nylon), has a battery life of up to seven days and is controlled via an app that is accessed through iOS or Android devices.

“As a men’s designer, I’m very interested in all of the recent developments in the ‘tech wearables’ category — particularly smartwatches,” said Bastian, in a statement on Gilt’s website. “With the early devices I’ve seen, the design and feel of the watch takes a backseat to the technology… I really felt there was a need for a device that looked and felt like a stylish watch first.”

HP's MB Chronowing smartwatch

Image: Gilt

There’s no touchscreen (it has a monochrome LCD display) and the device won’t track your heart rate, so the minimalist MB Chronowing is likely to appeal more to fans of devices like the Pebble, but are looking for something a little more fashion-friendly.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the MB Chronowing will be offered for $349 and $649 (limited edition with sapphire-glass crystal and an alligator strap).

Only 300 of the limited edition versions of the MB Chronowing will be made available, sold exclusively on Gilt Groupe’s flash sales site Gilt.com, starting on Nov. 7.

The unveiling of HP’s smartwatch comes just days after Microsoft took the wraps off its own new wearable, the Microsoft Band, further crowding the field of smartwatches in the months leading up to the highly anticipated launch of the Apple Watch in early 2015.

*An earlier version of this story stated that only 300 of the MB Chronowing devices would be offered for sale, that is incorrect. The 300 number refers to the limited edition version, the regular version has no stated production limitations.

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