Review: Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch Notify for Women

IDG.TV | Nov 28, 2016

Frederique Constant's second-generation smartwatch has more beauty than brains.

I wear an Apple Watch every day, and while I love it, it’s very obviously an Apple Watch. When I’m dressing up for a nice dinner or an event, I long for a watch that’s more subtle and elegant but can still track my steps and sends me notifications. Frederique Constant’s new Swiss smartwatch promises to do just that, but what it has in looks it lacks in smarts.

This Bluetooth watch has a built-in accelerometer so it can track your steps and sleep, but you can get that for a much lower price. Frederique Constant’s smartwatch will cost you $1000, and it feels as luxurious as its price tag would suggest.

This stainless steel and rose gold-plated women’s version has a sapphire crystal display and a silver dial with mother of pearl accents. It’s beautiful. This watch also achieves what few smartwatches do: It manages to look good on small wrists. The women’s version is 34mm in diameter, 4mm smaller than the Apple Watch.

There are two features that set Frederique Constant’s second-generation smartwatch apart from the original. The first is the dial. Instead of showing your step and sleep goal percentage in a subdial on the watch face, the new watch shows them on the main dial.

Press the crown once to see how close you are to reaching your activity goal, and twice to view sleep. This sounds great in theory, but the dial displays these percentages by moving the long hand to the activity or sleep icons on the outer edge of the watch face, the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions. The short hand moves to numeral that corresponds with the percentage—6 for 50 percent, 9 for 75 percent, etc. The hands stay in place for two seconds before moving to show you the time.

Then there are the notifications, which you set up in the MMT-365 app for iOS or Android. Your watch is supposed to vibrate when you receive a phone call, text, or email. I toggled on notifications for phone calls so my watch would vibrate while the watch hands moved to the phone call icon on the outer edge, but I had some trouble with this feature. I finally had to unpair and pair the watch to my phone again, but realized that the watch doesn’t notify you as you’re receiving a call so you can answer it. It only alerts you after the fact, with a vibration so subtle you might miss it altogether. This isn’t very useful.

The watch also vibrates to remind you to move if you’ve been sitting for a specific length of time or if you want your watch to wake you with gentle wrist vibrations. The weak vibration motor wasn’t very effective for me.

I love Frederique Constant’s Swiss aesthetic, quality materials, and perfect fit. If all you want is a high-end Swiss watch that can count sleep and steps, then $1,000 may be worth it. Meanwhile, my never-ending quest for a stylish and truly smart watch continues.