Since the dawn of smartwatches the fancier watch lovers among us have wanted a mechanical watch with all the features of a smart watch. A few comers have attempted this nearly impossible feat and now the X-ONE H1 is now giving it a try.
The X-ONE H1 has an internal mechanical movement that powers the hour, minute, and seconds hand, just like a regular automatic watch. Further, there is a small, replaceable package of electronics that powers the rest of the features including GMT time, perpetual calendar, and decidedly unique linear display that can tell you your Dad is calling in Morse code.
The watch starts at $750 in steel and goes up to about $1,000. It runs a Sellita Caliber SW200 movement, a bog standard automatic movement that became popular after Swatch stopped selling as many of the workhorse ETA movements popular in Swiss watches for the past few decades. The electronics charge via induction and can run for a week.
The watch also has a step counter and can notify you of incoming calls and messages. It surpassed its goal on Kickstarter.
To be clear this is watch is not powered entirely by the movement of your arm or motion of your body. That technology – the ability to charge a complex electronic movement with just a spinning rotor – isn’t quite there although some watches can use rotor spin to power a simple quartz movement. Ultimately this watch boils down to aesthetic choice – do you like something like this vs. an Apple Watch or similar smart watch? If you do, then you’ve got a winner.
It’s a clever hack on the traditional Swiss watch and it’s a fascinating attempt at connecting the mechanical with the electronic. Hopefully future versions will be less schizophrenic and meld the mechanical with the electronic in a real way.