Skagen this fall will debut its first line of wearable tech accessories, starting with a smartwatch and an activity tracker.
The line, called Skagen Connected, includes the Hagen Connected hybrid smartwatch, which will be available this September, followed by the activity tracker in October.
The Hagen Connected watch is considered unisex and will be in four styles. It will be $195 and is designed to mimic the familiar look of an analog watch — thus the “hybrid” designation. The watch works with an app on the wearer’s smartphone, with either iOS or Android.
The functions, said senior creative director Thomas Bennedsen, were designed with the daily scenario of the wearer in mind. “We wanted to ensure that we were using the technology as a tool to keep people connected to the things they care about without creating additional complications,” Bennedsen said. “We believe that our solutions will speak to an audience that is embracing the new technology but is not driven by it.”
The watch is battery operated, meaning no charging is required, and performs functions such as tracking steps and water intake, providing haptic vibrations when the wearer receives an e-mail or text notification, lets the wearer control music and take a photo by linking to the wearer’s smartphone and automatically updates the current date and time.
The activity tracker, also battery operated, tracks metrics like sleep and steps and is linked to the wearer’s smartphone. It lets them perform functions such as taking a photo, ringing their phone and controlling music.
And, as wearable technology accessories have begun to be more reflective of personal accessories rather than tech devices, each offers personalization. The watch’s four styles allow for a leather strap that is interchangeable with other leather, steel-mesh and silicon straps, and the activity tracker has leather and silicone straps.
Skagen connected will be available at Skagen retail locations (of which there are eight in the U.S. and Europe), online and in wholesalers.
This debut is part of the plans by parent company Fossil Group Inc. to introduce wearable tech accessories this year. Fossil is still in the process of integrating the acquisition of wearable tech company Misfit, which it bought for $260 million in November 2015; Misfit technology was used in the Skagen designs.
While the watch category in general has been struggling, Fossil is forging ahead with smartwatches and other “smart” accessories such as fitness trackers. Earlier this year, Fossil said that it planned to launch 100 wearables products that will be available in 40 countries and more than 20 languages by the holiday season.
The wearable products from brands including Chaps, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Misfit and the Danish-inspired Skagen will feature display and non-display watches and trackers.
This May, sales in Fossil were flat, but the company did see growth in Skagen. “Our performance in Fossil and Skagen, particularly in our international markets,” said chief executive officer Kosta Kartsotis, “continues to give us confidence in our long-term strategy to grow our owned brands and leverage our competitive and strategic advantages to restore growth to our portfolio.”