SKAGEN_Falster_Lifestyle

Skagen may be known for its Danish minimalist design on the outside, but on the inside, its complications are multiplying.

The Fossil-owned brand announced its upgraded, techier touchscreen smartwatch, the Falster 2, at the international consumer electronics show IFA in Berlin on Wednesday.

Like its parent company’s latest Fossil Q smartwatches, the Falster 2 will launch — on September 12 for $275 — with new features, including heart-rate tracking, untethered GPS, fast-charging, water resistance and mobile payment capabilities.

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Skagen’s new Falster 2 smartwatches come with several new features, including heart-rate tracking and NFC-powered mobile payments.  Chris Ossenfort

The latter comes courtesy of Near Field Communication, which allows devices in close proximity to transmit data like payment details, transit passes, tickets and other information. It’s the technology that makes tap-to-pay features in smartphones and smartwatches work by bumping them against a terminal.

Like all Wear OS devices, Falster 2 also allows for smartphone notifications, as well as Google Assistant-powered voice commands.

The gadget itself sports the clean lines and modern sensibility that fans of the brand are familiar with — although it does appear a little thicker in depth, compared to the super-thin profile of the brand’s non-smart watches. Still, it’s unmistakably a Skagen, especially with the optional steel-mesh strap. The magnetic and adjustable watchband looks like it could have come off of one of its traditional timepieces.

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Skagen’s Falster 2 with adjustable, magnetic mesh strap  Chris Ossenfort

“The Falster 2 represents everything Skagen stands for: beautiful, design-focused products that are functional for the way people live,” said Frederik Thrane, the company’s creative director. “An appreciation of simplicity and a thoughtful approach to how your time is spent are key elements in the Danish way of life — and we capture them in our smartwatches through minimalist execution and customizable function.”

Indeed, two of the device’s three buttons are programmable, so users can launch specific apps or features quickly and easily.

Skagen aims to show some real thoughtfulness in its approach. Its hallmark minimalism carries through to the smartwatch’s simply designed dials, which includes a new one created specifically to spare battery life. The company also invited feedback from original Falster owners and used the input to inform new features like the heart-rate tracking, which was the most requested.

This signals that consumers beyond early adopters are becoming more sophisticated tech users. They’re not just aware of the latest smartwatch features — they’re actually demanding them.