Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch Watch Releases

While there seems to be some doubt as to the overall viability and longevity of the smart watch segment, that is not stopping brands from rolling out new watches. While the full-touchscreen watches (such as the latest Android Wear models recently announced) get most of the attention, there is another type of watch, the so-called “hybrid” smartwatch. This is in the same vein as the Frederique Constant Horological Smart Watch we reviewed here, and it offers a long-life quartz movement (no charging!) along with bluetooth connection to allow some notifications and the like on your wrist. The most recent announcement for this type of watch is from Fossil Group brand Armani Exchange, with the Armani Exchange AX Connected watch.

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch Watch Releases

Given my exposure to the world of smart watches over the last year or so, I received this news with some, well, ambivalence - and that rather uninspired name certainly did not help things out. Then again, I suppose Armani Exchange AX Connected does tell you some relevant information: who made the watch, and the fact that it’ll connect to your phone. Specs are, unfortunately, fairly light on the phone side of the equation (we asked, and they’re not sharing much about it).

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch Watch Releases

We do know that they have a silicone case in four colors, and the watch will offer the following functionality, according to the brand:

  • Auto-time: your watch automatically mirrors your phone’s time for the correct time, all the time
  • Smartphone notifications: never miss an important like, text or snap with custom alerts from the A|X Connected app
  • Activity tracking: get cred for your street tread by automatically tracking and monitoring your steps
  • Snap a selfie: capture life’s memorable moments with your smartphone’s camera
  • Control your music: seamlessly control your smartphone’s music to start, stop, skip, or go back to your favorite track
  • Second time zone: wherever your globetrotting adventures may take you, check the time with the press of a button
  • Alarm: schedule alarms and alerts so you never miss a minute of the action
  • Ring your phone: find your misplaced phone quickly so you’re never out of touch
  • Sleep tracking: keep track of your ZZZs by monitoring your nightly sleep patterns
  • No charging: go cordless and never worry about charging your watch

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch Watch Releases

On that last bit - the no charging - I’m simply assuming that this is due to the fact that the watch is utilizing a standard coin cell battery, which also means that it is using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to keep the power consumption low. While this approach worked well for the Frederique Constant (as the Bluetooth only engaged when you pressed the crown), the Armani Exchange AX Connected seems to be going for a bit more interactivity, which makes me think battery life will not likely be measured in years.

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch Watch Releases

In terms of the other functionality, it’s pretty standard stuff - some wrist notifications (presumably via a vibration motor), step tracking, and sleep tracking. Adding in some other (really, basic quartz watch functions) gets you the second time zone (viewing one at a time), date, and alarms; these are all indicated via the subdial at 6 o’clock (which also looks to indicate step count progress as well).

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch Watch Releases

With the silicone case, the Armani Exchange Connected should be fairly light. And, as far as design-first watches go, it’s not necessarily a bad-looking watch either. As a lightweight summertime beater, perhaps that’s a path for this one to go. And, really, at $175, it’s reasonably priced for a basic smartwatch with some upgraded guts. If you want something that can be a good gym partner, or to really use as a second screen for your phone, the Armani Exchange Connected is not the watch for you.

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch Watch Releases

Armani Exchange AX Connected Watch Watch Releases

So, then, who is the Armani Exchange AX Connected for? That’s a good question. In the course of our smart watch sector analysis on aBlogtoWatch we have suggested that smart watches wouldn't really hurt luxury watch sales, but would mostly impact the low-end and fashion watch segment. Then again, fashion brand watches might be just the right fit for connected and smart watches, and we have already been seeing more and more similar products such as from Michael Kors, from Movado Group fashion labels, and others.

There would seem to be a narrow range of folks who don’t already have some sort of fitness tracker, and feel the need to have their watch talk to their phone (and don’t want to spring for something like the Chronos). But Fossil Group must have some research pointing them to agree that there is a market for this. We’ll call it the budget alternative to the Frederique Constant, I suppose. And in that regard, it’s in good company. I rather liked the FC; perhaps the Armani Exchange Connected will find it’s own fans in its own way. Time shall certainly tell. armaniexchange.com

What do you think?
  • I want it! (9)
  • Thumbs up (3)
  • Interesting (2)
  • Classy (2)
  • I love it! (1)
  • I think this type of hybrid smartwatch is the new quartz. It costs the same and if you don’t want to use the “connected” side of it you still have a normal watch. And it costs the same so.

    The Swiss Industry seems to be happy doing nothing about it and saying “it won’t affect the mechanical watches” -to which I do not agree- but even so they should keep in mind that quartz watches are around 23% of their sales, which is quite significant.

    • BJ314

      hybrid smartwatches are for individuals who aren’t into watches, but like activity tracking. no one is going to use an memorize 3-6 different vibrations sent out by an analog watch for alarms, instagram likes, and dozen other things. Most of the features won’t be used because there is no way to VIEW them on a screen. only the activity tracking makes sense.

      middle-aged people who don’t really exercise but are buying into the stupid trend of counting the number of times one of their feet moves in front of the other will enjoy it…for about 6-8 months.

      young people don’t wear watches, unless they are completely digital, like an apple or retro casio or they are symbols of wealth. this watch is neither. young people generally consider anything that looks like a standard watch to be ridiculous. it would be like going to to a rotary dial phone.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Moving swiftly on,…………

  • harveyspecter

    good article, certainly has some value for this price point. I think that it will be of interest to younger people that shops in Armani Exchange (that is mostly in the U.S.) and love the brand. A good alternative to a fashion-quarz only watch as the connected features are certainly a plus.

    • BJ314

      young people waste their money on apple watches. or they will just the fossil version which comes in better looking styles. only women who currently wear michael kors watches are going to buy these bricks.

  • Word Merchant

    I’d rather not know the time than wear one of these Istanbul knock-offs.

  • BiLL

    An Italian watch that’s “connected”? Do not mess with this Armani.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Come on. Armani watches were already cheap crap. Now they are connected and have a certain advantage. Or did you buy an armani watch?

      • BiLL

        It’s a joke about the Mafia, not an endorsement.

        • Sheez Gagoo

          Sorry

          • BiLL

            No prob.

  • Ulysses31

    A silicone case? Too expensive. Can they construct a watch from meringue? For a so-called fashion brand, this watch has no style whatsoever. It may seem cheap for a smart-watch, but then it isn’t very smart and doesn’t show you anything useful on the very limited dial. It almost feels like the Swiss deliberately churn out half-assed stuff like this so that in disgust, we consumers are driven to purchase their “real” watches. They don’t want to succeed or stay relevant – they’re already richer than god and don’t really care about consumers.

  • The Victorius Boogur T. Wang

    IMO, this ‘watch’ has a lot going for it. Making the envelope a little bigger.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    IMO,……….In my opinion opinion that’s just lazy. It’s only 3 words. …..Moving on,……….

    • JesseSifuentes

      You sure do criticize a lot. Has anyone ever talked to you about your horrendously bad spelling and grammar? Moving on.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        It’s criticise.
        All you can get me for is the odd spelling mistake ?

        • JesseSifuentes

          Where you’re from, perhaps. It’s criticize where I’m from. Also, it’s not the “odd” spelling mistake, rather, it’s the mistaking of “you’re” and “your”, “it’s” and “its”. Not to mention the abysmal grammar and excessive periods and random, oddly-placed spaces and commas. Oh well, at least you like good timepieces.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Un………………believable.

          • JesseSifuentes

            Lol. Ok, you won me over. I concede.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Well, this is a bunch of ugly watches, but I do agree with Santiago: Connected is the new Quartz. Switzerland completely missed the train, now I guess, it`s to late. Who would spend the same amount of money for a Swiss Quartz like Tissot, Certina etc. when you could get a watch, that does more for less? This is not for watch afficionados like most here on the blog (come on, most of us are nerds), this is for all the rest of the population who gives a wet crap about Tourbillons. The new Swiss Made Regulation (Lex Hayek) will not help to develop this kind of business in Switzerland. Swiss watches will be in a more narrow niche than they already are. This is the end…

  • Grumpy Cat

    Is it called a smart watch because you are smart if you don’t buy one?

  • ??????

    These are so ugly. But I do agree that connected is a huge potential niche for low- and mid-end watches. I wounder why Swatch Group and other major groups seem to avoid this absolutely logical safe circle? Are they nuts and want to ruin the industry? Citizen Holdings made their first step with Alpina and Frederique Constant connected watches below 1k, why the brands like Certina, Tissot, Raymond Weil, Epos, Victorinox, Hamilton, Louis Erard, etc. even Longines (maybe) – are oversleeping their last train? I believe, if they remain so inert and try to sell their extremely simple quartz models believing that “Swiss Made” magic will still be a factor – they are going loose again to more flexible guys.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      This is caused by the extreme arrogance of Hayek. What I do is best and when nobody buys it, then the customers are stupid. That’s it. 20 years of double digit growth causes inertia and stupidity.

  • BJ314

    No thank you.

  • Ross Diljohn

    The Fossil Group. That is all.

  • SuperStrapper

    Hole these don’t interest me in the slightest, I will say that I don’t believe the smart watch trend is going anywhere anytime soon, and so I’m glad to see the bigger push being made towards highly obtainable.