Kronaby refreshes its smartwatch for the new season, teases contactless payments

Swedish watch brand Kronaby has updated its range of connected watches for the new 2018 season, and wowed us with a beautiful revision of the Sekel model, which now sports a stunning reflective blue face and a choice of leather or metal link straps. In addition to the eye-catching Sekel, the sportier Apex now comes with two subdials, and the company has announced a partnership with bPay, a contactless payment system.

The Sekel caught our eye instantly, due to the sunray brushed blue dial matched with a polished stainless steel case, and it’s covered in sapphire crystal. The Sekel range is made to reflect traditional Scandinavian style. The case size has also been reduced down to 41mm for the new season, and it visually balances out very well.

For the Apex, Kronaby has added a second subdial to the watch, increasing the sporty look and providing more visual information for the wearer. It operates in the same way as the single subdial on the existing Apex, with functionality added through the app. It can show the date, world time, step count, and other information. We also liked the suede leather strap, which is very soft and comfortable to wear, and the black, stainless steel, and sandy color scheme is a truly classic combination.

Kronaby also shared plans to integrate contactless payments into its watches from May, in select markets. Using a chip placed in the strap, Kronaby has partnered with bPay, a Barclays Bank payment system that despite the name, operates with many different credit and debit cards. All you’ll need to do is wave your watch at a compatible contactless payment terminal to pay.

kronaby tracker

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The contactless payment plan joins a pair of other Kronaby initiatives — an invitation beta program to test out new features in the app, and a range of keyring-like Bluetooth trackers which send alerts to the watch itself. These are still in development, but the early prototypes we saw shunned the recent obsession with making this kind of product tiny, and instead made them visible and stylish. Definitely more for attaching to a bag, than hiding in a wallet.

Kronaby’s new 2018 season watches will be released in April, with the 41mm Sekel with the blue dial costing 575 euros, and the 43mm Apex with dual subdials priced at 595 euros. Its Nord range has also been refreshed, and starts at a reasonable 295 euros.

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