Samsung & de Grisogono present their smartwatch at Baselworld Samsung & de Grisogono present their smartwatch at Baselworld Image © LUXOS

Baselworld 2016: Samsung & de Grisogono smartwatch Featured

The Samsung Gear S2 by de Grisogono is a surprising circular smartwatch framed by jewels.

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17 March 2016

The luxury watch industry is reacting in different ways to wearable technology. Some brands, like Montblanc, Bulgari and IWC, have incorporated smartwatch technology into their timepieces in one way or another. Others, such as H. Moser, have underlined the values that set traditional watchmaking apart from their electronic cousins. But on the first day of Baselworld, it was immediately clear that wearable technology remains an important theme.

Related: The Apple Watch: Is Switzerland really in trouble?

During the Hublot press conference, Jean-Claude Biver first mentioned connected watches as a Freudian slip that had him and the whole room laughing, but when questioned about the possibility of the brand making a smartwatch, said, “Hublot is a creator of eternity. In a thousand years, a mechanical watch will still be working? Will a connected watch still be working? No! They are like a glass of water and a glass of wine. It’s best not to mix them, which is why you have two glasses on the table in nice French restaurants.”

Samsung & de Grisogno smartwatchSamsung & de Grisogno Gear S2 smartwatch. Image © LUXOS

Related: H Moser takes on the Apple Watch with a single app

Then he went on to say something that shows his interest in the field. “Hublot has a patent for quick-change watch straps. So it would be a good idea to have a mechanical watch with a connected bracelet, as long as the bracelet and its display are flexible.” So that’s where he’s going, towards a more highly-evolved Garmin-style strap that displays the notifications.

Samsung & de Grisogno smartwatchSamsung & de Grisogno Gear S2 smartwatch. Image © LUXOS

Related: Geek meets chic: the best wearable technology of 2015

de Grisogono, on the other hand, has already launched into the connected watch arena in a collaboration with Samsung. Fawaz Gruosi, CEO, owner and Creative Director of de Grisogono, said, “I would never have expected to be working with Samsung. Back in 1993, when I launched de Grisogono, I went in completely new directions, introducing bold lines, light and colour into our jewellery and watches. At first they said I was crazy, but after a few years I attained recognition. This new watch is another step in a new direction: I created the design for the Gear S2.”

The Samsung Gear S2 has something original with respect to other smart watches. The gem-set bezel rotates, and it’s this rotation that allows the user to access the apps in an intuitive way. When used in the time function, the dial is very realistic, looking like a classic de Grisogono watch face, though you can choose from different formats such as time, moonphase, power reserve and so forth. Other dial options, for notifications, email, heart rate, talking etc., look more like classic smart watches. The case is in DLC-coated stainless steel, and the gems are diamonds and black diamonds, together with some gold details.

The Samsung Gear S2 by de Grisogono will retail at 14,900 Swiss francs.