From the moment I first heard about the What? Watch I knew I had to try it out. A watch that combines aspects of the old world and the new (traditional Swiss watch making and digital, app-connected functionality) was too much to resist for a tech reviewer like me.
Why? There’s no denying that mechanical watches have a certain appeal. To the Swiss, watchmaking isn’t just an art or even a science (although it is those things); it’s a lifestyle. Generations pass on knowledge and skilled craftspeople pour their soul into crafting high-quality timepieces. And the design is absolutely classic.
But we don’t live in an analog world anymore. We live in a hyper-connected world where technology makes rapid advances routinely. For most people under twenty, a watch in an Apple Watch or an Android Wear device. That’s just the way it is.
So a watch that tries to straddle the line between these two worlds and combine them somehow is an interesting experiment (to say the least). And the What? Watch tries to do this with one interesting feature in particular…
Freezing moments in time
Each What? Watch has a dedicated button that, when pressed, is designed to “freeze” moments in time. Or rather to help facilitate the freezing of moments in time.
It works by hooking up with an app on your phone. The app is a sort of photo-centric diary or log. So when you press the button to freeze a moment it creates a time-stamped entry in the app which you’ll then be able to add a photo to.
On the watch itself, you’ll see a representation of certain moments on the watch face. This is accomplished through what I think is a pretty cool implementation of E Ink (a monochromatic display — think Amazon Kindle. This is meant to give you a glance at the amount of moments you thought were worth remembering during an entire year. Depending on how you use this watch, you might either be inspired or depressed (or thrown for a loop if you don’t actually log every important experience).
After freezing a moment using the button on the watch you don’t have to add a photo immediately — you can add it at any later time. But in my experience, if you don’t add a photo to the app right away you’re going to be sorry. Lets say you want ...