MMT E-Strap Smart Module Watch Straps

MMT E-Strap Smart Module Watch Straps

MMT E-Strap Smart Module Watch Straps Luxury Items

If you're not familiar with Swiss MMT, they’re the folks behind the smartwatch technology in the connected watches from Alpina and Frederique Constant, and we’ve reviewed the Frederique Constant versions here and again here. Whether out of necessity or the desire to innovate, I do not know, but MMT has felt that being tucked into a watch case is simply not all they want to do. Instead, they want to be on your watch strap. MMT has done this by taking the guts of what they have placed into watches and instead built it into a module that is affixed to a watch strap (of their making), right next to the buckle. With this one strap, you’ve added activity tracking, sleep monitoring, a sleep cycle alarm, get-active alerts, and dynamic coaching to your watch.

MMT E-Strap Smart Module Watch Straps Luxury Items

Ostensibly, something like the MMT E-Strap allows you to wear any old watch that you want and have some smarts (the aforementioned tracking) built into the experience. This is the “best of both worlds” compromise that I would consider a logical step, and something that could actually be adopted more widely within the watch-collecting world. At its most basic level, this is a replacement strap for your watch. One hopes that they have selected quality materials that will work to make a comfortable and robust watch strap. At least, they’re good-looking based on the images we’ve seen from MMT. Oh, and they must have some measure of water-resistance built in, as the MMT E-Strap carries a 30M WR rating as a whole. We can see how they hold up if you go for regular swims. For me, though, I would hold out for the second generation.

MMT E-Strap Smart Module Watch Straps Luxury Items

This first generation of the MMT E-Strap is very much like what we saw with the first-gen smart watch from Frederique Constant in terms of functions. It also allows the battery life to be extended due to not having to constantly chatter with your phone. This leads to a seven-day battery life, which is admirable (though, that is comparable to my venerable Fitbit One, which does a whole lot more). A notable plus here is that all of your data is backed up to the cloud and can be restored from said cloud. However, as I noted in the Frederique Constant review, that data is most definitely in a walled garden - no opportunity to move it out to the site of your choice (say, to mesh with the data you capture from your running watch).

MMT E-Strap Smart Module Watch Straps Luxury Items

Smart watches exist in an odd segment of their own making. They straddle the line between wristwatches and gadgets, not quite fully comfortable being labeled solely as one or the other. For someone like myself, this intersection of horology and electronics would seem like a perfect mashup. Alas, to date, it has not been. Sure, there are benefits people can realize via the various health-related tracking these watches bring to the table. For myself, I prefer to use a fitness-specific watch (which, yes, does talk to my phone to push data over), and then a stand-alone tracker during the day. This allows me to keep my favorite traditional watch on my wrist (or whatever I happen to be reviewing) while still maintaining the activity tracking. Sure, it’s two devices (three, if you include the gym watch) but that works for my preferences and use case. If you still want to get to a single device during the day, then we get into a more interesting slice of gadgetry, things like the Chronos, Montblanc E-Strap, and the just announced MMT E-Strap.

MMT E-Strap Smart Module Watch Straps Luxury Items

I think that this first generation of the MMT E-Strap will attract attention, as it’s a new way of adding smarts to existing watches. I just hope it attracts enough attention that there are subsequent generations that add more capability (as we have seen with the Alpina/Frederique Constant watches that use the MMT modules). I also think that they’d be smart to build out an easy way for these to be attached to any standard strap (say, ends in a 20mm width) so you can buy just the module and put on the strap of your choice (as we all likely have our favorite straps for our favorite watches). For now, I’m intrigued and cautiously optimistic, and really hope this sub-segment of smarts for watches takes off.

As I mentioned, MMT had to start somewhere, and that somewhere was managing to get the tech from their watch implementations built into the MMT E-Strap. While the smarts reside in (or adjacent to) the clasp, it’s also a leather strap that comes along for the ride. This helps soften the blow of the $199 - $249 price tag that it carries as well. UPDATE: MMT has explained that the E-Strap is by itself not a product that will be sold directly to consumers, but rather that MMT intends to sell them to other watchmakers that will brand them. With that said the Frederique Constant version of the E-Strap will be available starting around April 2017. mmt.ch

What do you think?
  • Interesting (61)
  • I love it! (21)
  • Thumbs up (16)
  • I want it! (10)
  • Classy (2)
  • IG

    I wait for the smartsocks.

  • FollowPhil

    Great idea!

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    No.

  • Andrew Buckley

    Err…didn’t Montblanc try this…then quietly drop it (presumably – and embarrassingly – because no one actually bought it)?

    • Word Merchant

      And IWC had something equally hair-brained briefly too, didn’t they?

    • I think the idea behind the Montblanc e-strap is fantastic, but the execution was poor. It looked really bad. This looks a lot better!

      • To be precise Davide Cerrato said to me that the experience of wearing the E-strap -which he tried when he got to Montblanc- was “disgusting”. With that word. Supossedly they were working on the 2nd generation, but we saw -or heard- nothing of it during SIHH 2017…

  • Svetoslav Popov

    I like my watches as something completely void of electronics and I really don’t think such straps are a good idea.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Seriously ?…………

  • SuperStrapper

    Devices like this are worse than actual smartwatches, as far as I’m concerned. The intent is noble, to bring the world of ‘smarts’ to those that still wish to keep a real watch on, but to me it just seems to downgrade the appeal of either. Just because they can go together doesn’t mean the should. I don’t have a clock radio on my frying pan, I don’t need a stock ticker on my couch cushions, I have no need for my motorcycle to do my taxes, and I don’t want my watch to tell me that the phone in my pocket has a new email to read.

  • I wear multiple watches per week of not day, hence it would need to transfer from watch to watch quickly and be way less than $200. If one just wanted to count steps perfect, else not applicable since I would remove my mechanical before any non-desk activity anyhow. Love the Apple Watch and thus double wrist most of the time.

    • Word Merchant

      Simultaneously?

    • Mountainous Man

      Wait, you wear a watch on each wrist??? That’s like towing a vintage Porsche around with your Tesla. Why bother at that point?

    • Mountainous Man

      Wait, you wear one on each wrist? That’s like towing a vintage Porsche around with your Tesla. Why even bother with a mechanical at that point?

  • Anthony Dimaano

    A little pricey, but style wise, this is more well executed that other concepts that came before it. If they price was right, I could see myself trying this out.

  • BNABOD

    at the very least it looks decent and is unobtrusive.

  • WINKS

    Now, how can I used it on my Royal Oak Tourbillion?

  • Fantastic. Where can I buy this? I cannot see it on http://mmt.ch/.

    • Ariel Adams

      An excellent point that I’ve brought up with the brand.

      • Any news on where I can buy this? I really want this thing.

  • FlyingMoose

    What about all the recent research that says fitness tracking is actually more harmful than helpful?

    • Not aware of such research… links please?

      • Gokart Mozart

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39041576/10000-steps-a-day-is-a-meaningless-fitness-goal-says-science

        I saw this today on the BBC website. Most of it makes sense, as they are just basic generic apps and not specifically designed for age, gender, health etc.

        • The link you provided is pretty far from saying “fitness tracking is actually more harmful than helpful”. If anything it says that it might do harm to people who can’t do 10000 steps a day but try nonetheless. There was nothing generalizing in there except to say that 10000 steps as a goal is pretty meaningless and not supported by science. If you would have a tracker, you would see the health apps are actually not generic at all. At the very least they take into account age, height, weight and gender, all part of your account when you sign up. Some go in more depth if you have additional devices such as supported exercise equipment, dedicated weight scales and all that. Mainstream apps will track or encourage you to track your water intake, the foods you’re eating, calories you’re spending, sleep patterns, heart beat, physical activity, exercise and so on. Pay apps will add food journaling, nutrient tracking and more. All the apps have communities and support which are quite helpful actually. So trackers are actually quite useful and help a lot of people, myself included. Your initial statement here is misleading to say the least.

      • FlyingMoose

        “…a study published today in JAMA that found dieting adults who wore activity monitors for 18 months lost significantly fewer pounds over that time than those who did not.” http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2553448

        • Would be interesting to have a look at the actual study. There’s no reference in the abstract on how the monitoring was actually done. I’m not disputing the results just curious as to why the results are what they are. People get overconfident in the tech sometimes and misjudge calorie intake and expenditure. What I find odd is the fact they had the same diet yet the results were different.

          • FlyingMoose

            My personal experience matches the study. I used a FitBit for a while but gave up because I actually found it demotivating.

            If I went for a walk and it was a bit less than the goal, I would feel guilty. If I was feeling good and walking, and it hit the goal, I’d stop walking even though I would have otherwise kept going. Also, if I went for a really long walk on a weekend or something, it would then chastise me for not walking as much the next day, even if it was a busy Monday. To keep earning badges I’d have to start exercising an impractical amount.

            Now I have a fixed route that I walk and I like it much better. Although the FitBit gave me a feel for how much I should exercise, I didn’t like it for long-term use.

          • I can relate to that! In the end it’s just a tool and different people will use it differently and feel motivated differently. Much like a hammer, one can nail stuff flawlessly and another curse as his fingers keep getting mashed. My experience with my Fitbit was different. I felt motivated and energized, it enabled me to keep up with working out every day, be mindful of how much I eat and how much I spend couch potatoing. It made me feel guilty at times but I have to remember it’s just a piece of technology and the feeling of guilt is something I have to own as it is a result of things I have to muster the will to overcome.

  • I find this a good idea. As electronics are always shrinking in size, there’s a good chance trackers like these will become very discreet in the near future, thus making them more wearable in various fashion or utilitarian pieces, not only watches.

  • mtnsicl

    I like the idea of maybe being able to add this as an extension to an existing strap. I have custom leather straps on almost all my watches. And, I don’t want to give up wearing them.