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Frederique Constant could be the next classic watchmaker to launch a smartwatch

Fossil Smartwatches at CES
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
Classic watchmakers have slowly but surely been getting into the smartwatch game over the past few years — with some releasing classic-looking hybrid devices and others favoring fully fledged touchscreen-controlled smartwatches. Now, it seems like another luxury watchmaker could be preparing to get into the game — Frederique Constant.

The company has been sending out cryptic emails asking people if they’re ready for the “3.0 Watch Generation.” What does that mean? Absolutely no idea, but the graphic below makes it seems like it’ll be a pretty futuristic offering. Whatever is in the works, it will be unveiled in New York City on February 21.

There are a lot of possibilities here. It’s possible that the company will fully embrace the smartwatch and show off a device with fitness tracking and notification support. If we had to bet, however, we think whatever pops up will be a little more hybrid, blending a classic watch with smart features — again, like some fitness tracking.

As mentioned, Frederique Constant isn’t the only classic watch company to begin embracing smart features. Bulgari has its Diagono Magnesium, which boasts a typical watch design with an NFC chip. That means it can be used for things like mobile payments, which can be pretty handy. The Alpina Horological is another example — it offers a Bluetooth chip for syncing with a phone, and it can track things like activity, sleep, and more.

It makes sense that luxury watchmakers would be entering the smartwatch game. Until only a few years ago, if you wanted a decent watch, you bought a watch from a watchmaker. Then Apple launched the Apple Watch. While there were certainly smartwatches before then, the Apple Watch really brought the idea of a smartwatch into consumer consciousness and quickly made Apple the world’s biggest watchmaker. That really forced traditional watchmakers to take notice.

All this to say that it will be very interesting to see what Frederique Constant unveils on February 21, and whether or not it will be a truly smart watch, or a more hybrid approach to the smartwatch category.

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