Hyetis Crossbow Swiss Mechanical Smartwatch + Interview

Hyetis Crossbow Swiss Mechanical Smartwatch + Interview

Hyetis Crossbow Swiss Mechanical Smartwatch + Interview   abtw interviews

We know that smartwatches are definitely an in thing (and if you don't, here are some of our articles on the topic), and of course Swiss-made watches are something we're all keenly aware of. To-date though, those have been mutually exclusive descriptors. And that makes sense, as smartwatches are generally full of radios and other bits of silicon - not exactly conducive to something mechanical. Though, the Crossbow watch by Hyetis will change that by offering what the producers believe to be the best of both worlds.

Arny Kapshitzer and his company, Hyetis, are setting out to change that with their Crossbow Watch - and below we have an exclusive interview with him about Hyetis. While it would be cool to think about a battery getting recharged by a spinning rotor (and those do exist), this is a much more conventional sort of application (if I could call it that). For the Swiss-made part of the watch, Hyetis is planning to utilize a Swiss automatic mechanical movement (the ETA 2836-based HY01), guaranteeing the precision we've come to expect from a mechanical movement - even if the batteries go dead. The dial of the watch will actually be a digital screen, with the mechanical movement underneath it. Only the hands will float above the screen.

New rendering added November 29:

Hyetis Crossbow Swiss Mechanical Smartwatch + Interview   abtw interviews

That leaves us with the smart functionality of the watch to consider - and there is quite a lot of it. Even though the watch portion will run without batteries, everything else requires some juice. For that, Hyetis will be including two rechargeable batteries, housed in the metal attachments of the NATO-style strap. Speaking of that strap, they're also planning to include biometric sensors as well. Should you not want to know how you're doing, and are instead more interested in your surroundings, the Crossbow has you covered, as it also manages to pack in an altimeter and thermometer.

Once you've got the right conditions, what if you want to take a picture? Sure, you could use your smartphone for that (since you'll have it along to lash to the watch). Or, you could instead use the included 41 megapixel (yes, 4-1 - I didn't misplace a decimal point) camera that has an included ring flash. That's certainly not something any other smartwatch has attempted. Sure, they can control cameras, but actually having a camera on-board? That's a new trick. Time will tell if that particular feature is more than just a spec-list feature.

Hyetis Crossbow Swiss Mechanical Smartwatch + Interview   abtw interviews

Now, how are you going to read all of the information the sensors are picking up, preview the pictures you're taking, or get all of the notifications from your phone that we're expecting a smartwatch to be able to handle? Simple - look at the dial. While we've got a traditional handset spinning around, the dial itself isn't like any you've seen before - it's actually a 40mm 160 dpi color display - which means, along with communicating a variety of things, you should have a nice bit of control in customizing the look.

Topping that display you have a sapphire crystal (as you'd expect from a Swiss watch), surrounding that you have a touch-sensitive bezel, which I imagine will be put to use controlling various functions of the watch - including the sync to your iOS, Android, or Windows phone. It's not just simple Bluetooth connections that this watch handles, either - they're going to build in both NFC and WiFi.

Hyetis Crossbow Swiss Mechanical Smartwatch + Interview   abtw interviews

That leaves us with the case design. As we've seen with previous models, it's something that gets left as almost an afterthought. The Crossbow also has quite a bit that it needs to fit into the case. While it does measure in at 46mm, it's made of grade-5 titanium and ceramics, so weight should actually be kept down. Talking dimensions and materials is only part of the picture with this case, of course. Take a look at those pictures - have you ever seen a case quite like this? I'm not quite sure what to call the shape, so I'm going to call it a shield case.

By itself, it would be a bold style, but when you add on the protuberances for the camera and (I believe) sensors, it takes on a very science fiction sort of look. On paper (and in the renders), I'm going to say I'm cautiously optimistic about the design of the watch. A design like this will attract attention, and will no doubt be polarizing. Ultimately, I have a feeling that this is one we will actually need to see in the flesh (or at least some good photos) to get a better feel for it... more »

21 comments
Intellectua1_Intellect
Intellectua1_Intellect

Take the camera off this puppy and round out the corners and this would make a decent watch.. Oh and maybe drop the price from $1200 to about $750

CHATO
CHATO

if Runkeeper can be installed since it has GPS it's a winner


basnobua
basnobua

how long does an average swiss made automatic watch survive? how long does your average piece of silicon tech survive? Even quartz movements are longevity overkill on a smartwatch, but at least they are cheap.

uhrenbasel
uhrenbasel

Waiting to get the watch in Switzerland soon...

ripshop
ripshop

Holy Watchnado! Arny, repeat after me "Thou shalt not model my own watches"

Ryan B
Ryan B

I work at a hospital and this watch would be a huge HIPPA violation.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

There is absolutely zero chance this watch could be any uglier. I love the ambitiousness, but the design execution is laughable.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Putting a "high end" camera on a device with absolutely no way of knowing where it's pointed (no viewfinder) is pointless.  These people claim to be passionate about photography and then say that they added a uselessly small ring flash because "it's really cool".  Does this guy even know what a ring flash is for?  You shouldn't do stuff just because you can, otherwise the stupidity would never end.  Where's my dream watch that integrates a radon detector and a shoe buffer?  This isn't an Artya watch.  Claiming to try and match the image quality of a Canon 5D is pretty hilarious.  In optics, size matters.  The latest Nokia Lumia phone proves you can take nice pictures with a "small" camera but even they wouldn't claim they could match the huge multi-element lens of a Canon.  

This watch is an expensive jumble of features that has no clear purpose or direction overall, justified by flowery marketing because there are very few logical or technical reasons for the design choices made. 

doxashark
doxashark

I listened to the HourTime podcast. So, the designer wants the camera to record constantly, as you go through your life...  Great.  A bunch of nerds who buy a wrist camera that catches every time they surf the Interwebz one-handed.  fap fap fap

PhilMaurer
PhilMaurer

wow love the idea... ditch the clunky camera and I would pay 1500 easy for one.

aperez71
aperez71

The camera ruins the watch.  Otherwise pretty interesting.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

Looks like a bull head TAG chrono on steriods. Can't say that its pretty but perhaps the functionality will make up for it. Love it or hate it, I'm sure it will be an interesting watch for an hands on review then the time comes. Thanks for the preview and especially the interview Patrick.

gotoran1
gotoran1

@Ulysses31 If you watched the video, you'd understand that the face of the watch becomes the viewfinder. Duh.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@doxashark Worse, it will record all of the porn the nerds watch (but not smoothly if you catch my drift). Isn't it bad enough that Facebook  and Instagram exist so that the Internet can be just one big photo gallery of what people had for lunch and dinner? What will this watch bring to the web? Photos of guys taking a leak and scratching themselves? (and that's the least of my worries).

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@gotoran1  That's a stupid comment.  I wrote what I did months before that video was available.  The video showing the screen as a viewfinder was posted November 29th.  All previous renderings show that it is a hybrid LCD type floating display like we've seen on plenty of Casios.  Sorry if my time-machine isn't as fancy as yours.  Having a matrix-based LCD display as the face of the watch with a hole in the middle for the hands would be tough to achieve (since the conductors are arranged as an uninterrupted grid usually), and I so far know of only one company that has managed to pull off that technical challenge.  I'd be genuinely impressed if he could do this, though even if he could, having a viewfinder with hands in the way would be annoying.  Everything we've seen so far makes this project appear dubious.  I'll be convinced once I see a functional prototype. 

doxashark
doxashark

@MarkCarson @doxashark Good point.  I didn't think about all the scratching!  lol.  So...This must be a new phenomenon of the 21st century; we now have a new form of garbage.  Digital camera junk that we recorded, it's taking up space, and is never looked at.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@gotoran1 @Ulysses31 What the hell is wrong with people posting on this article?  It has a mechanical movement to drive hands on the front of the watch - that's one of the main selling points.  If you actually read the article it says: "Hyetis is planning to utilize a Swiss automatic mechanical movement (the ETA 2836-based HY01), guaranteeing the precision we've come to expect from a mechanical movement - even if the batteries go dead.  The dial of the watch will actually be a digital screen, with the mechanical movement underneath it. Only the hands will float above the screen."  Now shut up.

gotoran1
gotoran1

@Ulysses31 @gotoran1 There IS NO hole in the face of the watch. The only hole is in your head. The hands are a digital image.

Ryan B
Ryan B

@doxashark @MarkCarson  Great now the NSA will have even more pictures of peoples junk. I Wouldn't wanna be the guy who's job is to sort through all that.

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