Diesel knows their audience well and a product like this shows it. While clearly not being the smartwatch for everyone, the Diesel On Full Guard (“Diesel On” is what the brand’s smartwatches are called) hits the mark for cool, techie, and masculine fashion tool smartwatches. It isn’t the fanciest smartwatch on the market, but it makes good use of its Google Android Wear 2.0 operating system that has its own nice ecosystem of functionality and adds exclusive software designed by Fossil with lots of good faces that have meaningful customization options.
Fossil, who is the licensee partner of Diesel who produces the products, have entertained some arguably heinous design directions for Diesel watches over the years. If anything, the brand was most certainly not afraid to take design risks (fearless they were). With that said, enough of the time, Fossil hit the nail on the head for Diesel’s core buyer demographic, and thus the watch partnership continued to be very fruitful for both entities. Now that Fossil is making everything “smart” and “connected,” all of its brands, including Diesel, are getting their own smartwatch products.
In exploring that topic elsewhere on aBlogtoWatch, I mentioned how Fossil was going to reference its old playbook, taking a popular item and giving it a pop culture fashion sheen to appeal to a particular audience. The Diesel On Full Guard, with its hip tech-punk-style design right out of a video game, and neat looking animated dials is just what the brand’s mostly young male demographic is all about.
Some neat user interface choices include things like the HUD, which is really just an optional on/off data overlay that has information such as weather, battery life, and time. It is meant to remind people of similar data screens from video games with military-style elements. Diesel created the name “T-ON-I” to represent this system and it stands for (time, organization, notification, and intelligence). The idea is for it to be a “wingman” on the wrist, which is Diesel’s way of saying that the app and its tools are meant to be cool-looking but also useful for the wearer.
The fashion element of T-ON-I and the overall Diesel-On experience comes into play when you see the vast customization options that allow the user to “change the color of the glass.” The idea is to replicate in software what it would look like for the crystal to be in various tinted colors such as yellow, blue, or orange (and a lot more). There are even bi-color “glass” choices which use the accelerometer sensor in the watch to simulate the look of moving the watch dial in the light as the colors change. This is all fun cosmetic stuff, but remember that the hallmark of a good watch is that it is both a good timekeeping tool (and a lot more these days) as well as a fun to play with toy.
You might not want to be the guy with the gold-toned Diesel smartwatch (make sure you can pull that one off if you are drawn to it), but the Diesel On Full Guard is a great connected smartwatch option for the hip under 25 year-old male that likes urban/industrial chic brands like Diesel (or actually Diesel).
My one gripe after checking it out a bit is the charging dock. This is a small disc-style magnetic dock that you rest the watch on. Fossil is by no means the only one guilty of this – the design clearly came from Apple most notably. I just get really irritated with all these ultra fragile charging solutions for smartwatches. Accidentally hit the watch and it sweeps right off the dock and won’t be charged only to be discovered when it is too late. Smartwatches need smart charging solutions that are more durable and reliable. Why not a large clip that goes over the watch? So that if it gets knocked off a table it is likely still charging. Imagine all the people whose mobile phones would be dead all the time if they needed to be charged exclusively when positioned on a small table mat.
The Diesel On Full Guard watch is 48mm wide by 54mm tall, and is rather comfortable and wearable for a device like this. The case is in steel, and reasonably well-made for the price with a strap that is 24mm wide. The first of the Full Guard watches to be available is the reference DZT2002 in black on the brown strap (and it will be a Macys.com exclusive to start). The other models are the DZT2001 (two-tone steel and black case), DZT2003 (black case and black strap), DZT2004 (black case and matching black bracelet), and the DZT2005 (gold-toned case and bracelet). Availability for the Diesel On Full Guard begins with the featured model with sales starting August 29, 2017. The rest of the models will be available starting on September 25th elsewhere. The Diesel On T-ON-I app is said to be available on October 25th. Prices for the watch start at $325 USD. diesel.com