Introducing The Modillian Bluetooth Smart Watch Strap Buckle

Introducing The Modillian Bluetooth Smart Watch Strap Buckle

Introducing The Modillian Bluetooth Smart Watch Strap Buckle   watch releases

The Modillian is the first “smart strap” for watches and aims to bridge the gap between traditional timepieces and the emerging smartwatch industry. If you’ve been following aBlogtoWatch’s coverage of smartwatches, then you know we typically bring up a very important question. That being, at what point we will see a smartwatch so appealing that it forces us to take off our high-end mechanical watches and put on what is essentially a wearable communication gadget? With the Modillian, many people will perhaps get to enjoy both.

What is the Modillian? Essentially it is a replacement ardillon buckle (the term for the basic pin and loop style buckle most watch straps have) for watch straps that has a Bluetooth connection and vibrates in order to alert the wearer to notification such as incoming calls, missed calls, and new messages. Modillian was created by two engineers in Israel who love the promise of smartwatches, but are also serious mechanical watch guys. For them, the Modillian is a way of enjoying both a high-end watch and a discreet way to get phone alerts without having to look at their phone.

Introducing The Modillian Bluetooth Smart Watch Strap Buckle   watch releases

Introducing The Modillian Bluetooth Smart Watch Strap Buckle   watch releases

At first the Modillian will work exclusively with Android-powered phones but an iPhone app or version may come later. The user would download an app for their phone that would control the Modillian after it was paired with Bluetooth. This replacement buckle would contain its own battery and is said to last for several days on a charge. Of course the app will allow the user to customize the alerts and only turn on those that they want to be aware of.

Modillian promises “specific vibration types” which seems to suggest that different alerts can be assigned to different vibration lengths or styles. That will allow a Modillian wearer to know whether or not they just received a missed call or a new text message. Since the current crop of smartwatches are more or less fancy notification devices, the Modillian is aimed to offer that type of functionality without asking people to replace their traditional timepiece with a smartwatch.

Introducing The Modillian Bluetooth Smart Watch Strap Buckle   watch releases

Introducing The Modillian Bluetooth Smart Watch Strap Buckle   watch releases

The Modillian isn’t trying to be a smartwatch replacement, but is meant to be a way for many mechanical watch lovers to feel as though they are able to benefit from the convenience of wrist notifications without having to wear a new or additional device. Of course, the Modillian will not work with all watches. If you have a watch on a bracelet, you probably won’t be able to use the Modillian, and it will add some heft to a strap, but not that much, given the utility.

Modillian’s founders suggest that they are going to partner with high-end strap suppliers to sell the Modillian complete with a strap that you’ll put in your watch, though ostensibly you could remove your current strap buckle and use a Modillian. Further, not all straps and buckles are the same size. Most straps range from about 18-24mm wide. It has yet to be seen whether or not Modillian will produce several sizes of the product or if just one size will be available at launch.

Introducing The Modillian Bluetooth Smart Watch Strap Buckle   watch releases

I think it is great that products such as the Modillian are being created in order to provide watch lovers something so that they don’t feel left out of the smartwatch game. Yes, the Modillian is a simple device that will not work for everyone, but it should provide an interesting use scenario and solution for many people who want to dabble in both the world of traditional watches and smartwatches or other wearables.

When will the Modillian be available and how much will it cost? The Modillian will be crowd-funded via IndieGoGo starting on June 10, 2014 and will come with a retail price of about $200. modillian.com

9 comments
jat76
jat76

It would be useful just as extra battery for a smartwatch

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

This could have interesting implications for a guy like me, making all kinds of amazing watch straps for people all over the globe. 


Looks like it is a monster though, like 24mm. Maybe 22mm. I go through a dozen each of 18mm and 20mm buckles before I use a single 22mm one, and twice or 3x that before I use a 24mm one. Most people enjoy a taper in watch straps, so even if you had a watch with 24mm lugs, which is fairly rare outside the Panerai world, 90% of people want to to get down to (usually) 22mm at the buckle. I think the most popular lug width is likely 20mm, and while I get a fair share of requests for 20/20 straps, it's usually 20/18 that people are after. So, I would question what this device looks like in 18mm format - it already looks a little think and unwieldy - not egregiously so, but you would certainly know that you are wearing this thing. If it was available in smaller widths, I wonder if that means it has to start getting thicker. And, if so, it'll quickly start becoming a nuisance, instead of a convenience. 

form4me
form4me

If it were basically a mini-pebble, with a tiny hi-res screen I think it might be an interesting bridge device—I know I'd be interested. As is, I don't believe the functionality it offers will make it a marketable product, at least not at the proposed price point.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

A fair bit smaller and it might be useful without looking too silly.  Several potential practical problems with this system.  Execution looks nice though.

PhilMaurer
PhilMaurer

Sorry make little sense in real use.  You do not want to feel your phone vibrate so your wrist vibrates?  You still need to check the phone to see why it was vibrating.  Devices that do this exact thing have been around for more then a few years, just not placed into a watch buckle, and they do not really sell.  No one bought the ring or the bracelets that do this already.

nateb123
nateb123

A great idea.  Doesn't fit under a cuff but hopefully that doesn't hinder its success too much.  Then they can look at producing thinner versions down the line.  I really hope this takes off.

sts00
sts00

Seems like a deployment buckle would be better....selling it installed on a strap would be the best route.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Set to launch on Indiegogo starting on June 10, the creators of the Modillian are targeting a $ 200 price point, with various sizes eventually being available. Since it’s designed to replace the standard ardillon buckle on a leather or fabric strap, it won’t work with watches using a metal bracelet, but the creators are optimistic that if the first version is successful, they will introduce new models later that can make any mechanical watch even smarter. [Modillian via A Blog To Watch] […]

  2. […] Set to launch on Indiegogo starting on June 10, the creators of the Modillian are targeting a $200 price point, with various sizes eventually being available. Since it’s designed to replace the standard ardillon buckle on a leather or fabric strap, it won’t work with watches using a metal bracelet, but the creators are optimistic that if the first version is successful, they will introduce new models later that can make any mechanical watch even smarter. [Modillian via A Blog To Watch] […]

  3. […] Set to launch on Indiegogo starting on June 10, the creators of the Modillian are targeting a $US200 price point, with various sizes eventually being available. Since it’s designed to replace the standard ardillon buckle on a leather or fabric strap, it won’t work with watches using a metal bracelet, but the creators are optimistic that if the first version is successful, they will introduce new models later that can make any mechanical watch even smarter. [Modillian via A Blog To Watch] […]

  4. […] When it comes to smart watches, two things become evident pretty quickly – they don’t have the classic style we’ve become accustomed to with our mechanical watches, and they’re really just wrist-mounted notifiers for what our phone happens to be doing (or at least, that’s what they are today). That seems to be the genesis of the idea behind the Modillian Smart Buckle. The tldr; of the thing is that they’ve created a bluetooth-enabled buckle that you can swap onto whatever watch you want. Then, using a smartphone app to configure the thing, you can have your watch (well, the buckle) notify you of what’s going on via differentiated vibration patterns. If you want more details on the watch, check out the article over at aBlogtoWatch. […]