Manufacture Modules Technologies (MMT) — a spinoff company of Frédérique Constant Group that focuses on connected technology — has just unveiled a new “E-Strap.” While MMT’s connected watch technology has shown up in Frédérique Constant’s and Alpina’s “Horological Smartwatch” hybrids, this new strap has the potential to turn just about any analog watch into a fitness and sleep tracker.
Essentially, all the sensors and electronics that collect data are stored in the strap’s buckle rather than a watch case, which you normally see on hybrids. The sensors link to the existing MMT-365 app (which already pairs with the standard Horological Smartwatch), which logs a user’s calories, steps and sleep patterns. One of the benefits of a hybrid over a standard smartwatch is the years-long battery life you’d normally find in a quartz watch. Presumably thanks to its more compact size, the E-Strap’s battery life is significantly shorter — seven days — though it’s still a considerable improvement over, say, an Apple Watch’s 18-hour battery life.
The other benefit of a hybrid smartwatch is the classic analog look many wearers prefer to a screen, and that’s the beauty of the E-Strap: you could hypothetically fit it to anything. Always wanted a fitness-tracking Rolex or Omega? You can have that, and the discrete nature of the E-Strap buckle means it wouldn’t look at all out of place. According to MMT, straps will be “available from selected watchmakers for $199 to $249,” though MMT has not confirmed who those watchmakers are or if the E-Strap can be purchased as its own accessory rather than as part of an entire watch. (We’ve reached out for more information.)
Hybrid smartwatches certainly have a lot of potential for people who want a good-looking watch and basic sleep and fitness tracking, but barriers to wider adoption mostly come down to an apparent lack of consumer choice. This is especially true for watch enthusiasts who, generally, don’t like to stray from tradition. For them, this seems like a very tempting alternative.