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This Apple Watch Competitor Is Just $179

Timex’s new Metropolitan S is a 36mm smartwatch with plenty of bells and whistles, and it’s less than half the price of an Apple Watch Series 5.

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Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

If you’re a traditional mechanical watch nut, an Apple Watch (or indeed, any type of smartwatch) may be a difficult thing to wrap your head around. Do you really want to do away with the inherently fascinating little mechanical world ticking away on your wrist, in all its antiquated, expensive glory? Do you really need notifications that you already receive on your phone to suddenly show up on your watch, buzzing you while you’re in the midst of holding a hot cup of coffee? Do you want the CIA to be able to track you on the way to the grocery store, secretly buying Oreos to stash away in your desk so that your wife doesn’t know about them? Will she read the caloric data on your smartwatch while you’re sleeping? Will she know you’ve been cheating on her with Nabisco?

Maybe this is a transition that you’re not sure you can easily make. Or maybe you like the idea of a smartwatch, but only for something ultra-specific, such as fitness tracking. In that case, you should check out the new Timex Metropolitan. Unabashedly Apple-inspired, it costs $179, comes in two colors (black or rose gold), and features a surprisingly amount of functionality for something that rings in for less than the cost of a basic Apple Watch Series 5. Its ultra-light, 36mm-wide aluminum frame is barely noticeable on-wrist, and a 9mm height means it can fit easily under a cuff. A single button, a Gorilla Glass display and a simple, quick-release strap make for a comfortable wearing experience, while the watch itself is packed with typical smartwatch features.

Using a high-res AMOLED touch display, you get 24/7 activity tracking including step counting, distance, calories and sleep, plus an on-wrist optical heart rate sensor, onboard GPS, and multiple workout modes. A magnetic charging cable provides 14 days of battery life, while on the watch itself you have access to over 20 dials. There are multiple workout modes, notifications, and easy pairing with the Timex Smart app on your phone via bluetooth — which is surprisingly detailed and comprehensive. For $179, the Metropolitan S (it’s also available in an “R” configuration that looks more like a mechanical watch) maybe the perfect smartwatch for the mechanical watch aficionado.

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