US Designer Taped For Technology Collaboration With Gilt

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) hopes to have made wearable technology more appealing to fashion buyers by drafting in American designer Michael Bastian to create its first luxury smartwatch.

The unlikely pair has teamed up with premium online retailer Gilt to roll out the web-enabled timepiece, due for release later this year.

It features interchangeable straps – with previews showing black rubber, brown leather and olive green nylon webbing styles – as well as a 44mm circular stainless steel case and water resistant customisable digital face.

Early reports also hint at a limited edition all-black version with extra luxury touches.

The device will be compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems, allowing wearers to check stocks, weather, calendar appointments and sports results; see incoming calls, texts, e-mails and social media messages; and control external activities such as music.

Council of Fashion Designers of America award-winner, Bastian explained how a watch-first approach to the design will give the product an edge over its competitors.

“With the early devices I’ve seen, the design and feel of the watch take a back seat to the technology… I really felt there was a need for a device that looked and felt like a stylish watch.”

The Uniqlo-collaborator later likened the functions to the dials of a car dashboard, describing them as “a personal dashboard for your digital life”.

News of the project comes after Amazon launches a dedicated platform for the sale of wearable technology, including Wireless charging trousers designed by A. Sauvage.

The Michael Bastian smartwatch by HP will be available to buy in autumn. Price points, release date and further specifications are expected in the coming months.

Michael Bastian Smartwatch by HP