If you've been looking at the current crop of smartwatches and said, "meh, not fancy enough for me", we recommend you take a look at the Kairos smartwatch. The watch aims to combine a traditional mechanical automatic movement watch with a custom smartwatch overlay that's compatible with Android and iOS. What makes the watch interesting (at least in its current render form) is that the display is a transparent OLED layer over the hands and exposed movements of the watch. But the Kairos does not look to come cheap, especially for something that we've only see in renders.
First previewed a week ago, the Kairos has a much more traditional appearance to it than most smartwatches. We'll reserve judgement on the aesthetics, though we know the look isn't for everybody. Inside that stainless steel body will be a Bluetooth 4.0 LE radio, 3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor, and a 180mAh battery that Kairos claims to be good for 5-7 days life (which is a pretty ambitious claim).
The transparent OLED display is under a sheet of sapphire crystal and includes a touch sensitive layer for basic interactions. When not in use, the display goes blank, exposing the hands and movement below.
Speaking of that movement, customers will have the choice between a 21-jewel Miyota 8257 Japanese automatic movement with or a 25-jewel Soprod A10BV-2 Swiss automatic movement. Both offer a 42-hour reserve for the watch portion of the smart watch.
So how much will a Kairos watch set you back? They start at $1199 with an estimated delivery of December 2014, though if you preorder now you can get it for $499 instead. That's for a Kairos in stainless steel with a leather band and the Miyota movement. If you want one in gold with the Swiss Soprod movement, you'll be looking at a list price of $2149 (or $1199 if you preorder). Preorders for all models of the Kairos watch are open through the end of June, so if you want one, we suggest placing your order now before the prices mode than double.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.