The folks at Montblanc have created the Montblanc e-Strap. It intergrates all the smartbits that normally would be in the watch into the strap giving you the opportunity pair it with any analog (or quartz if you prefer) watch. Montblanc have launched an acompanying collection called the “Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed” collection.
So on to the strap. This is what it looks like.
It works like any nato strap and will fit any watch that has 22mm lugs. There will be more color options available at launch. The strap itself is made of leather and has a carbon fiber look to it. The module comes in either DLC coated (to make it more scratch resistant) or gray steel. In terms of size the Montblanc e-Strap is 40mm long, 14.2mm wide, and 9mm high. The screen is a monochromatic OLED touchscreen display with a 128×36 pixel resolution. It connects via Bluetooth Low Energy, to selected Android (4.3 and above) and iOS devices. It is charged with a micro usb cable and batery (lithium ion) life expectancy is 5 days.
See some great pictures here
Functions & sensors
The strap has the following functions:
- smart notifications (basic calls, texts, e-mails, calendars, social media, and reminder notification)
- remote controls
- activity tracker
- Find-Me functions
That means that it has (for me at least) almost all the essentials and none of the bloat (who is going to look at pictures on a watch?). I just wished it had a heartrate monitor aswell.
Availability and pricing
According to the Montblanc website the e-Strap will be available from june 2015 onwards for €250
Why I like it
I think that Montblanc made a clever move here because this strap allows you to transform a watch you currently own into a watch with smart capabilities. I think that this concept appeals to watch enthousiasts. Not only can you upgrade your current collection but it also hedges against the fact that a smartwach bought today will be obsolete in 3 years from now. This then leaves the (mechanical) watch intact and you will be anble to upgrade the band.
Why I havn’t placed an order yet
The hight of the module might be something to consider when deciding to buy this module. It might be a tad on the high side. Next to that i would like to have a heart rate monitor as part of the sensor array. This would make it a great option for sports/fitness (you would have to switch it to a propper nato though, sweat and leather don’t go together).
In conlusion: The Montblanc e-Strap is a sollid contender for my hard earned money but before I spend it I would like to see it in the flesh to determine if the hight of the module is realy a deal breaker for me.