Count your steps, measure your heart rate and still wear a bangin’ watch – no one will ever know what your watch is up to because it looks like…a watch! A fitness watch that looks good with a Tux and works with a swimsuit.

My Quick Take:

In theory, the fitness-on-your-wrist movement was genius and gave users a new level of control over their health.  But in order to count steps and your zzz’s, you had sacrifice your style for a utilitarian – and frankly –  ugly accessory.  Jawbone and Fitbit have done their best to blend in with minimal design but, in turn, everyone looks like their wearing a type of criminal monitoring bracelet.  Even the Apple Watch, with its bells and whistles, doesn’t satisfy the inner fashionista in me and goes too far to the techy side of things in its design.

Leave it to the Europeans to mesh all of our interests together.  Enter the Withings Activite’ watches, designed in France and made by Swiss watchmakers (they know a little about this stuff).

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What It Is:

With an 8 month battery life thanks to a standard watch battery, the Withings Activite’ is a handsomely crafted watch with fitness watch features. It has a good-looking, Swiss-made stainless steel case and a leather wristband which can be interchanged with a sports band that is water resistant to 5 ATM. With its analog dial, it looks like an authentic watch but with better-than-an-average-watch features like a silent alarm that vibrates instead of buzzes, so as to not wake your bed-mate up (thank you, Withings!).  Only the watch face reveals signs of what it is really up to, with a separate dial that shows what % of your footstep goal (10k as a default, but you can modify) you have reached.

…function(s) as an excellent fitness watch that will go with a Tux as easily as (it’s waterproof) a swimsuit. – iTunes Reviewer

The watch’s data shows up in the Withings Health Mate tracker app which is robust with charts, graphs and colorful imagery to map out features of your stepping, sleeping and fitness.

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One of the most innovative features is the app’s ability to monitor heart rate using your iPhone camera. Simply press your finger against the flash and get your pulse rate.  Sleep is monitored and you are even given humorous messages to the effect of: better luck tomorrow night! Enter your height, weight and goals and let it track your progress. Combine it with Withings other products like weighing scales and you can loop in data and find trends (when you don’t sleep enough, you gain weight!)

Fine Print:

Style always comes with a price and the top of the line Withings model prices at $450 though there is a more affordable version, dubbed Pop, priced at $149 with less splash.  Price is the biggest barrier here.

And while the watch may look good, there are reviews that the app needs some work in order to make it compete with the big guys. And Android users complain about compatibility with Google Fit and other Android programs:

Rather than pulling from (Google) Fit, it keeps bugging you to turn on its step tracking. Why not use the data already there? – Google Play Review

Get It Now:

Starting at $450, you can purchase one directly from the Withings Store