The tech firm on Wednesday expanded its Engineered by HP program with the brands, all of which have watch licensing agreements with Movado Group Inc.
The watches use HP-provided technology, hardware and software that incorporate the signature design elements of the brand’s watches — an arrangement that’s become the standard push-pull between form and function in the wearable tech market.
“Customers want smart accessories that make everyday tasks easier and allow them to stay connected without forcing them to compromise on style,” said Bill Geiser, general manager of wearables and smart platforms at HP Inc. “Engineered by HP enables top fashion labels to keep their brand’s design aesthetic and still support the digital essentials that make a smartwatch experience compelling.”
The smartwatches, which include a separate battery-powered analog watch, connect to both iPhones and Android-powered smartphones through an app, Engineered by HP. Features are delivered through OLED or LED displays and haptic vibrations, including customizable notifications for incoming calls, texts, e-mails, social media updates and calendar reminders.
The new watches, which also track the wearer’s activity, range from $195 to $325. They become available Oct. 27 at HP.com, some Macy’s locations (with the exception of Juicy Couture), Amazon, Dillard’s, and some licensor boutiques, as well as on the brands’ web sites. The styles will be sold in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
HP already makes smartwatches for Isaac Mizrahi and Titan and fitness trackers with Misfit. Engineered by HP is an incubator for tech company, and its first product, the Michael Bastian Chronowing, launched in 2014 and sold out on Gilt.com.
HP is wading in deeper to a market that’s steadily filling up.
Other wearables launching this fall include a smartwatch version of a popular Michael Kors’ wristwatch, and new models from Fitbit, which vastly expanded its offerings of fitness trackers and introduced a smartwatch. Apple added a waterproof Series 2 Apple Watch, expanded its band offerings and lowered the price of its original Apple Watch. Smaller brands such as Caeden and Amazfit have also entered the market.
The International Data Corp. projected that total smartwatch shipments would rise 3.9 percent this year to 20.1 million units, with unit volume growing to 50 million by 2020. IDC research manager Ramon Llamas said this growth would be driven by lower prices, untethering from a cell phone and designs that resemble traditional watches.
So far, Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch among consumers, who rated Apple Watch the highest out of a group of six of the best-selling smartwatches from Apple, Citizen, Garmin, LG and Motorola in a study by analytics First Insight.
Still, the IDC also reported that basic wearables, meaning devices that do not support third-party applications, were more popular among consumers, and amounted to approximately 83 percent of the shipments in the second quarter.