Kairos blends mechanical and smartwatch technology
By David Szondy
June 6, 2014
Imagine owning an upmarket, 25-jewel, Swiss-movement mechanical watch. Now imagine one that that can display text messages, notify you of incoming calls and let you remotely control your smartphone or tablet. That may seem a bit farfetched, but Kairos Watches aims to combine a luxury mechanical watch with the functionality of a smartwatch in one seamless device.
Launched on May 15, The Kairos Watches line looks like many other upmarket timepieces. It’s available in two models: the MSW 115 that has a 21-jewel Miyota 82S7 automatic movement, and the SSW 158 with a 25-jewel Soprod A10BV-2 Swiss automatic movement. Both have a 316L stainless steel case, leather band, sapphire crystal, 42-hour mechanical power reserve, and both are water resistant to 3 atmospheres.
So far, so conventional, but under the choice of black, steel or gold finish there’s also an Arm Cortex M4 or Intel processor running Android Wear OS or the Kairo proprietary operating system. This powers a choice of either a full-color Transparent OLED (TOLED) with 40 percent transparency sitting over the crystal, or a ICON transparent display that’s 60 percent transparent, but only presents static displays and pre-selected colors. Unlike other smart/mechanical watch hybrids, this is an integrated package rather than an add-on.
The watches have Bluetooth to connect it to your digital devices, touch sensors, a 3-axis accelerometer with gesture detection, a gyroscope, and a USB charging cable with a magnetic connector. The makers say that the electronics also have a 5 to 7 day battery life because the mechanical analog hands save the smartwatch part from having to constantly display the time.
According to the specs, the Kairos watches can not only provide notifications and push alerts, but also act as a remote control for other digital devices, display fitness data, act as a chronograph and act as a GPS-enabled world time display. The company also says that it will upgrade the watch, as the technology changes, for a US$99 service fee.
Since Kairos Watches is still a startup, the company admits that there are a few bugs to work out, such as getting a microphone to work without compromising water resistance, and choosing the microprocessor. Preorders are currently being taken with prices ranging from US$499 to $1,199.
The video below introduces the Kairos watch line.