Your Rolex Can Also Be a Smartwatch With Sony’s Wena Straps
Make contactless payments, track activity and get notification
Before today, you had to pick sides: you’re either a smartwatch person or a traditional watch person. One gets all the latest technology, the other gets the higher horse (and better looking timepieces, if we’re being honest). But thanks to Sony, you no longer have to choose.
This week, the company announced Wena Wrist, two new wearables that let you wed smartwatch technology with your Rolex, Seiko or other non-smartwatch timepiece. How? All the tech is located in the strap. Yes, this is a palm-meet-forehead moment.
The name Wena stands for “wear electronics naturally,” and these watch straps achieve that by essentially hiding the technology on the back of your wrist so no one would be able to tell your $323K Rainbow Daytona is also counting your steps.
Sony Wena (2 images)
At launch, the two available models are the Pro and Active. The Pro is a classic stainless-steel strap with a screen in the clasp that “allows you to make contactless payments, log simple activity and also see basic notifications,” according to CNET. The silicone Active strap takes after your run-of-the-mill smartwatch (and can act as a standalone activity tracker), but also includes more capabilities, including GPS and a heart-rate monitor.
Along with the straps, Sony is launching Wena-branded watches — from chronographs to simple three-hand designs — should you want the whole package. But they’re rather unremarkable, and from where we’re standing, the whole reason to own one is so you can incorporate smartwatch functionality into your “dumb” timepiece collection.
Unfortunately, Sony’s announcement coincides with a U.K. rollout (they’ve previously been available in Japan), so if you’re reading this across the pond you can preorder one now for £349 to £399 (or about $446 to $510). Here’s hoping it comes to the U.S. soon.
All images via Sony