Luxury watch maker reveals smart strap design for analogue watches

Luxury watch-maker Montblanc has launched a new smart strap that adds step tracking and a smartphone-pairing features to its traditional analogue watches.

In a bid to take on the growing wearables and smartwatch market, the German manufacturer has decided against creating a part-analogue, part-digital smart hybrid. In order to retain its traditional gears-and-springs credentials, Montblanc has created the e-Strap: a 22mm wide OLED screen that sits on the underside of regular watch strap.

Connecting to an Android or iOS phone via a partnering app and Bluetooth, the e-Strap provides notifications for calls, text messages, emails, music controls, along with a range of activity monitoring features. A vibration will notify the wearer of a received message, which they can then read on the monochromatic display.

While the e-Strap doesn't boast as many features as most existing smartwatches (there's no GPS tracking, for instance), Montblanc has included some interesting functions: Smartphone photographers can use the e-Strap as a remote camera trigger (eliminating the need for selfies?), while the app will provide updates on how close the wearer is to reaching their fitness goals.

Revealed on A Blog to Watch, the e-Strap will come as a strap option for the 2015 Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed watch range, or as a standalone wearable for around £250 - a sizeable sum compared to similar smartwatches, but a relative steal in comparison to Montblanc's other timepieces.