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Would You Put a $39 “Smart Buckle” on Your Rolex to turn it Into an Apple Watch?

Paul Altieri

A company called Smart Buckle has launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a gadget that can “convert any watch into a smartwatch” for just $39. Even a Rolex, as long as you don’t mind switching out the Oyster bracelet for a rubber or leather strap. It’s designed to integrate seamlessly with traditional watch straps, offering the features of a connected timepiece, but without disturbing the aesthetics of your beloved mechanical watch. The cleverly designed gadget, made of high-grade stainless steel, uses 3-Axis gyro, angular velocity, and motion sensors to calculate steps, pace, distance, calories burned, and monitor sleep patterns via a custom-designed app.

Smart Buckle
Kickstarter is featuring the “Smart Buckle”. (Credit: Smart Buckle Team)

Rolex Bracelet Variations

Rolex now offers a number of variants of its classic bracelets with varying clasp mechanisms, including the Oysterlock, Oysterclasp, Glidelock and Crownclasp. The iconic three-piece link Oyster Bracelet was first introduced in the late 1930s. The five-piece link Jubilee bracelet, introduced for the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust in 1945, is distinctly different from the three-piece link President Bracelet.

Smart Buckle
The Smart Buckle is made of high-grade stainless steel and it uses 3-Axis gyro. (Credit: Smart Buckle Team)

The President Bracelet created in 1956 was made specifically for the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date. The Glidelock is the most recent innovation. It is made for diving watches like the new Sea-Dweller that was launched at Baselworld 2017. The Glidelock made it easy to adjust for wearing your watch over wetsuits. Replacing an Oyster bracelet with an alligator, crocodile, leather, rubber or nylon strap is a matter of preference and usually style – speaking of straps, have you seen the new Bob’s Watches leather straps yet?

Smart Buckle
The Smart Buckle is a lot of technology in a very small piece of stainless steel. (Credit: Smart Buckle Team)

Smart Rolex Watch

Will the Smart Buckle create converts? It seems a bit of an unusual mix to wear one of these with a Rolex, but if you absolutely must track every step you take, it certainly beats wearing a Fitbit or other clumsy contraption which detracts from the elegant look of the Rolex on a wrist. It seems fairly inconceivable at this point that Rolex would ever introduce a “connected” watch of its own, but who’s to say what could happen in 10, 20 or even 40 years’ time? Rolex is widely known for their innovation, and if they can figure out a way to offer it as a feature without impinging on their mechanical heritage, it just might happen someday. Do you think this unique Kickstarter campaign will be a success?

Smart Buckle
Would you add the Smart Buckle to your Rolex watch? (Credit: Smart Buckle Team)
Paul Altieri
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