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Baselworld 2018: Day 1 - Smartwatches

by Steven Waltzer | Mar 22, 2018

Baselworld 2018 is underway in Switzerland and we’ve noted a rather muted smartwatch turnout with fewer vendors and product releases than in 2016 or 2017.  Meanwhile, hybrid feature watches are gaining popularity and account for the majority of newly announced connected devices coming from of the show floor.  Today’s blog covers smartwatch announcements so far at Baselworld, with several blogs forthcoming covering the various hybrid feature watch launches.

  • The Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is the first smartwatch to launch with Google’s re-branded Wear OS on board.It will be worn by the referees during this summer’s World Cup and will only offer 2,018 units to the general public.Priced at over $5,000 USD retail this oddly named and oversized device is clearly more of a promotional item, rather than a mass-market wearable.
Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia:




  • Casio has continued to specialize on the ruggedized smartwatch space with the newly announced WSD-F20SC.This special edition of the WSD-F20, which was originally announced at CES 2017, will run Wear OS as will and be released in limited volumes (700 units).It adds an ultra-durable sapphire crystal display as well as a more durable strap for the most extreme adventurers.

Casio WSD-F20SC: 

 

These two vendors represent the entire smartwatch showing at Baselworld 2018 so far. As the Swiss watch industry continues to struggle, it seems smartwatch brands are looking to distance themselves from the struggling watch and jewelry show and align themselves more with the tech industry. The larger smartwatch news leading into Baselworld this year was the launch of Fitbit’s second smartwatch, the Versa, as well as the re-branding of Google’s Android Wear into simply ‘Wear OS’.

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