When we talk about smartwatches, we usually think of Apple Watch or Samsung smart watches and the other ones which don’t look like a watch. What I don’t like in the smart watches is that it looks like a small screen with lugs and strap. They even don’t try to make the design cool or just take a nice analogue watch design and somehow put in the smartwatch module. I have tested the Apple, Samsung, Huawei smart watches and they all are fast and all that, but I better take out of my pocket my phone to read the message rather than looking into the 1inch screen to read it. I never had a smartwatch, I never had any need to have it. But if I had a smartwatch, I would like it to look like a regular watch, vibrate when a message or some kind of notification has been received. And the main point would be that you don’t need to recharge it every day.
So I went on searching on the Internet to find the perfect smartwatch. I looked at some interesting pieces from Mondaine, Withings and other options with great value. They all looked great, but not the watch that I was looking, and when I almost gave up on finding the perfect smartwatch I got a message from a fellow watch friend and he showed me this brand “Kronaby“. It was in the price range I like and it looked very nice with this classic watch look.
So I contacted the Kronaby and got myself the Kronaby Apex watch. They have many versions called Carat, Nord and Sekel. The Apex is their most expensive and best model out of all line up. I also think it looks the best on the brown leather strap and stainless steel bracelet.
So the Kronaby Apex came from Sweden to Latvia in 3 days. The packaging was quite small for the watch that costs 495euro, but you need to remember that the watch is the main reason why we are here. The box actually was really good made. I liked the colours they used. You open the box which is lined with linen and here sits the watch. The first impressions were that it is quite bulky and heavy, but it felt nice. It felt like a proper watch and not a plastic feel smartwatch. I liked the dial and the skeletonized hands. The case was interesting too.
So let’s start with the app and how the “smart” functions work. I hope I will explain it good enough to understand how it works. So you go to your AppStore or Google app store and get the Kronaby app. Pretty easy and fast to do. You activate Bluetooth and launch the app, then it will contact your watch and you will need to calibrate the hands. The hands will need to be calibrated to 12 o’clock. Then it sets time to your phones time and then you can choose the pushers and crown function. You can set only one thing that each pusher does, and there are about 3-4 options each can do.
- Auto Time Zone
Always on time
Keeping track of time is a full-time job better left to Kronaby Watches. It doesn’t matter how many time zones you cross, this watch can handle it all and automatically displays the local time accurately and fast.
- Battery Life
The watch comes with a standard battery that lasts up to two years (this is dependant on usage), you’ll never again have to put life on hold while searching and untangling charging cables.
- Filtered Notifications
Never miss what matters
There is a fine line between staying connected and procrastinating. this is exactly why Kronaby Watches lets you choose to be notified only by who you want and when you want, giving you full control over the interactions you receive.
- Get Moving
Take a stand
Get up and get moving – there is increasing evidence that we need to spend less time sitting to maintain a healthy physique. With a Kronaby watch, you can get small gentle buzzes and notifications to remind you when you’ve been inactive for too long.
- Reject Call
Decline with a tap
In the modern age, touch responses are common, prioritising incoming phone calls is an inevitable modern-day nuisance that only stops you from concentrating from the better parts of your day. Kronaby Watches just made it a little less of a hassle through the Decline Call button on your wrist.
- Silent Alarm
A gentle wake-up call
By switching on the silent alarm before you go to bed you can get a gentle wake up in the morning whilst also not be disturbing anyone else enjoying a few winks.
Watch Face Features
- Additional Time Zone
In sync with the world
Kronaby Watches keeps you connected with any country in the world by letting you select an additional time zone to be displayed on the watch face.
- Daily Hundred
Every step counts
Statistics shows that activity is a key for a healthier life. Set an exercise goal and monitor your progress directly on your wrist. Let your smartphone analyse your activity helping to give you detailed insights into your exercise routine so you can improve and refine your workout to improve your health.
How many times a day do you ask someone for the date? Knowing the current date is a daily requirement that Kronaby watches make readily available through the push of a button.
Proper time management is hard to achieve without the right tools. A timer allows you to box your chores and find your focus. Done right, time management is life management.
- Camera Remote
The built-in camera remote lets you be the photographer and the model, allowing you to be in the photos rather than taking it helping you share the moment with your friends in front of it. It is sure to make for a prettier picture.
- Find Phone
Never lost again
We can all have busy days and when we rush we sometimes forget and misplace things. The innovative intelligent pusher on your watch reveals your phone’s whereabouts, saving you the involuntary scavenger hunt.
- Music Control
Kronaby Watches gives you instant access to your favourite music, whenever and wherever you want. The push to start/stop button gives you full control over the music you want when you want.
- Remember This Spot
You were here
Part of living is trying new things and experiencing the beautiful sights that the world has to offer. Before you leave, make sure to press the GeoTag button so you can be sure to find your way back to the spot whence you embarked upon that new adventure.
- Walk Me Home
Feel safe 24/7
Being free to move around safely should be everyone’s prerogative. It’s perfect for parents who want to give their kids some freedom whilst also making sure they are safe. A push of a button sends a signal to a loved one, letting them respond and follow your every step. It’s like having someone walk you home but from a distance.
You can also track your activities with it. The subdial counts how much steps have you made. And you can also choose between three types of vibrations for the notifications, for different apps and types of notifications.
Overall I think the functions of the watch are great, of course, it lacks some features I would like, but we need to remember that this is a hybrid, not a smartwatch all they way. So let’s look at this watch as to a regular timepiece.
So the case is made from stainless steel, the diameter is 43mm, so it is on the big side of watches. It is also 14mm thick so it sits very high of the wrist. At first, the case looked like it was made from two watches. There are this lower part and upper part. The lug width is 22mm. The finishing mainly is brushed, but the edges are polished. The finishing is really good, better than most of the real watches I reviewed. The case back is a screw on and has some etching of specifications and logo. Very tastefully done. On the right side of the watch, you will find the two pushers and one crown that acts not like a crown usually do but as a button. The pushers feel very mechanical actually, you can feel that they are moving some parts, not like in other smartwatches/hybrid watches where it is just a button that has almost no feel or touch screen. On top of the case sits an AR coated sapphire crystal. The AR coating isn’t the best I would say because it’s still very hard to do wrist shots with the camera, but good enough. The crystal is double domed, and I liked that they went with double domed crystal, as it looks a lot better on a watch. If this had a flat crystal, it would look cheap and the dial wouldn’t pop so much. The water resistance is pretty nice, it has 10ATM or 100m water resistance, which is plenty enough for everyday use.
The dial is really what made me choose this exact model. I think it is the best dial they have from al of the lineup of watches and they have a lot of them. The dial is black. Around the dial, you have chapter ring which is in black and white, kind of creamy colour seconds track with numbers going. The hour markers are in this creamy white,, and are raised and really gives the dial a good look, just like on the Sea-Gull Tank Commander I reviewed two years ago. On 6 o’clock you will find the subdial. It has two hands as it can show the second time zone, but now it is set to one hand to show the activity. The subdial is styled just like the main dial. The hands are skeletonized and also in this creamy white colour. There is no seconds hand on this watch. The lume isn’t the best, this is probably one place where this watch lacks, but I like the blueish colour it has.
The movement inside the watch is Kronaby connected movement BT001. It is their own designed and made a movement. It has 2 pcs 2- hand-bi-directional micro-stepping motors, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (BLE), vibration motor and accelerometer. And the best part is that it has a battery life of 2 years, not like on your standard smartwatches that you need to charge every day. The strap is really nice on this watch. It was buttery smooth and I liked the colour it has. The buckle is a standard shape, made from stainless steel and in brushed finishing. The buckle is also signed. Actually, my last watches all had great straps, seems that many watch companies have stepped their game up.
Overall I really like the watch and it has been sitting on my other wrist all the time, it is really cool to do photos by clicking a button on your watch, makes you feel like James Bond 😀 But yeah, it has some useful features. Although the vibration was sometimes too weak to sense, but overall it does its job. Improvements? Well, there are plenty of stuff to improve. I would like much more functions on one pusher. I want to know what type of notification I have received by just looking at a watch because it’s hard to tell from vibration. Also, the strap could be modular with quick release spring bars. But yeah, I really like the idea of the hybrid watch, it has great potential in the future!
43 mm, Stainless steel 316L
Double domed sapphire crystal with AR coating
Matte black with white Super-LumiNova® numbers and markers
Matte white with Super-LumiNova®
22 mm brown Italian vegetal tanned leather strap, Stainless steel buckle
10 bar/100 metres
Kronaby connected movement BT001, 2 pcs 2- hand-bi-directional micro-stepping motors, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (BLE), vibration motor, accelerometer
Battery Life up to two years (depending on use), CR3032 coin cell
Kronaby App working with (or later version) Android 5.0 and iOS 9