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Designer Gábor Balogh Asks, “Why do Smartwatches Have to Look Futuristic?”

gabor smartwatch

There is no denying that Android and the mobile world are in the midst of a wearable technology craze, with every OEM trying to figure out what makes a smartwatch look and function well. Samsung’s Gear watches or Razer’s Nabu project are taking it into the futuristic realm, but why not try and keep it closer to the timepieces that we already wear on our wrists? Gábor Balogh thinks it is possible. 

In a post on his Bēhance page that features a concept for a much more classically designed smartwatch, Balogh asks why are we throwing out the years and years of watch design for smartwatches? His design certainly reflects the typical look of an upper-class watch, but would function just as well as any smartwatch that has been announced to date. By keeping the watch’s dials that set time and date, Balogh found a way to control your apps and screen without smudging it. The bezel also responds to touch for even more interaction.

Gábor watch

However, the face of the watch is not actually a traditional watch face. It would feature a screen that could easily swap between different apps like weather, music and health related information. The design looks great and there are surely people out there who would jump at this over something like a Gear 2 or Gear Neo. If you are more interested in the design, check out the source link below for Balogh’s full description.

How much would you pay for a smartwatch like this?

smartwatch concept

Via: Gábor Balogh
Cheers Justin!
  • Good luck with that circular screen.

  • wtsamatta

    Don’t like watches. Wouldn’t wear one, but this is one good looking smart watch. Might tempt me if the price is reasonable.

  • Michael Harrison


  • Anon

    I have said this again and again. Current smartwatches are ugly. I want classic style in a watch; if I can’t get it in a smartwatch, I don’t get a smartwatch.

    Have a Citizen’s Eco-drive military chronograph now. I’m hard to please with watches.

  • Chris

    because they can.

  • mog386

    The question that should be asked is not, “Why do smartwatches have to look futuristic?” but “Why doe smartwatches have to look anything remotely close to a watch?”

    When you start to think about the designs of smartwatches from that angle, you get some pretty interesting concepts.

  • JudyOMiller

    The nine new colors are purple, hunter green, blue, dark teal, orange, golden yellow, red, smoke, and slate. There are also three new accents of metallic orange, purple, and green. The College Collection can be found here; new MotoMaker colors here. http://num.to/5177*8826*7842

  • Daniel Walsh

    Damn, that’s nice.

  • Alex

    $250 is top of the line for me. Pretty much for any add-on gadget that is the top for me.

  • dizel123

    Somebody gets it

  • John Motschenbacher

    This I could do. Other ones are pretty stupid. Price would depend on if it can do data so I don’t have to be around WiFi 100% of the time…pointless if it doesnt

  • MH

    With a proper steel bracelet, $250. The Pebble steel was a huge step forward, as in it’s not woman repellant (like the orig pebble, gear, etc…). This is another leap. Hopefully these are reasonably priced and functional. Gabor gets it. Not everyone that likes technology wants to look like a geek.

  • trevorsalienarms

    I still don’t want a ‘smart watch’ but that’s a hell of a lot better than what’s been offered up to date.

  • LionStone

    nice! My main gripe about other smart watches are they are square. I’d have a hard time wearing a “square” watch of any kind!

    • MH

      Im ok with squarish, but this is FAR better.

      • LionStone


  • bionicwaffle

    They should not look conventional because it’s a completely different device and it’s not logical, and probably not efficient, to have it fit the same form factor, round for example, or work using the same dials or buttons.

    I would ask, why do they need to look old/conventional/fashionable?

    • OF

      Im not sure if serious… These look much better than the futuristic smartwatches that we are getting now.

    • trevorsalienarms

      They don’t “need” to, this just looks better. Nothing about this display shape or the button configuration is going to compromise the intended usage. In fact, I’d say having a big open circle for a screen makes for better options than the forced-futuristic shapes currently in use.

      Also, there is something to be said for the familiarity of this type of design. Might make more people interested in checking one out as it looks like something they would wear, not some goofy angular chunk of aluminum and plastic that looks like it should be part of a Daft Punk show.

    • MH

      This looks so much better than any other smartwatch to date. You wouldnt be embarrassed to wear this with a suit or dressed down with a button up and jeans. Other smartwatches relegate you to wearing a tshirt (or you look silly).

      • bionicwaffle

        I agree, these look awesome! The problem is it may not be such a practical design. For instance, if you want to read short messages on the display or scroll through any list a rectangle or square is just much more practical for displaying text. Also, the limited buttons on a conventional watch may not give the best user experience for controlling a smart watch. I’m sure there’s a market for this but when the technology is so different, UI changes and input controls may need to be changed to fit the new functionality better. Those watches work great, they just may not be as functional or easy/fun to use as they could be when constrained to conventional design elements like the side buttons and the round face.

    • trevorsalienarms
  • That looks amazing.

  • jaylanPHNX

    That is dead sexy!

  • I think the biggest issue is the design of the main circuit boards. They are much easier to cut square or rectangle vs. Round, this also changes where all the components and devices get placed. I think as tech gets smaller round faced digital will more of an option.

    I wonder if Rolex or high brand names will make the switch to digital or will they continue the route they are in.

    • MH

      Rolex, et al will continue making watches the old fashioned way. There is a huge market for them.

    • trevorsalienarms

      lol. As if Rolex has just been grinding along with dated, analog technology just waiting for the ability to switch to digital displays.

      They barely made any quartz models either; they sure as heck aren’t going to jump on this sort of thing any time soon.

    • trevorsalienarms

      Round PCBs are literally everywhere. You know how many millions of LED flashlights have round driver boards in them- not to mention countless others electronics?

      Looks like it’s not “the biggest issue” afterall: http://www.droid-life.com/2014/03/18/moto-360-in-360-degrees-gifs/#more-135103

  • FAL_Fan


  • Michael Ouellette

    I would absolutely buy this watch!

  • archercc

    That is more like it!

  • Jeff C

    considering i dropped a lot of loot on my watch, it would take something like this to get me to switch over to a smart watch.

  • BigFonz

    Wow that looks really nice. I would seriously consider this watch

  • Nexoduss

    Wow what a surprise. Someone at droid life talking shitt on a samsung product. Meanwhile writes 5 articles that day about the moto x and how much they love cumming all over it. I wonder how much they paid you to praise it like this because it’s honestly not as great of a phone as you make it out to be. I should know because I had one. Everything about it was average; battery, screen, camera, etc.

    • Chris M

      but yet here you are……….smdh

      • Nexoduss

        Yeah I came to read about a watch not a bash against samsung. They’re sucking motos dick around here far too much. Good thing for those of us that can’t stand it is that motos dick keeps getting shorter and shorter

        • Chris M

          guess i missed where they were bashing samsung in the article. when you really have an innovative product people respond to it. This site is not the only site that said the X was the best Android phone last year. If im not mistaken almost all Android sites did and CNET too. Sorry you love Samsung so much and not everybody agrees with you. That’s just life though.

          • Nexoduss

            There’s a sly stab at them for their design language when I believe the design of the gear is excellent both in terms of quality and size. I don’t love samsung so much. I just hate the fact that all this site has become is bashing the top oems that actually make sales for android and praising the oems that do absolutely nothing to help android get in the hands of more people.

          • cns2007

            You’re way too sensitive and reading too much into that sentence. I’m sure they only mean the Gear are very modern looking, while this has more of a classic approach.

          • Nexoduss

            I know it’s not a drastic stab at samsung but I think we are all in agreement that they hate on everyone but moto. I mean look at the answers for the q&a. Not one person was excited about lg? Come on we all know the g3 is more than likely to be the phone of the year.

    • cizzlen

      Yeah this site used to be fun before all the constant negativity. Stock this, Moto that or gtfo blah blah blah blah blah. That average ass phone is still somehow being compared to 2014 flagship phones…like how do you even.

      • Nexoduss

        You can compare it but it’s like comparing a Chevy cruze to a Ferrari. I just don’t think Motorola did something spectacular with this phone. They made something safe that would make a few sales and keep them in business so Google could sell the off.

        • cizzlen

          It’s just stock Android with touch-less control and customize-able backs. The difference between Moto, before and after Google is night and day.

  • Drew Chapman

    I am a watch enthusiast and this is just what I’ve been waiting for in the smart watch scene. I own 6 watches now and this is one I’d actually add to my collection!

  • jamaall

    I’m hoping when Motorola said they were going to make a stylish watch, they meant something like this. I guess I have high hopes

  • ChrisCorp

    I would like to add this movable picture to the collection below:


  • Shadowstare

    That face with a two tone band and you have a deal. Thank GOD somebody thought about this.