Turn your expensive dumb watch into a smartwatch for $99 with Chronos

Smartwatches still haven't garnered the attention many expected. Thanks to the upcoming Chonos disc you will soon be able to turn your existing watch into a smartwatch for about $100.

A few years ago my wife bought me a nice Citizen Eco-Drive watch as an anniversary gift. I feel bad seeing it in my desk drawer as I test out various smartwatches, but thanks to the upcoming Chronos disc I may soon go back to using my Citizen watch while also experiencing many benefits of a smartwatch.

(Image: Chronos)

While there are some good smartwatches, none of them beat the quality of my Citizen watch. The Eco-Drive never needs charging and is water resistant to 200 meters. Many people own standard watches and prefer them over the smartwatches we have available today. People have spent a considerable amount of money on watches, have passed down classics from generation to generation, prefer the fit and finish of their watch, or like having watches that they don't have to worry about charging nightly.

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The Chronos device is a small rechargeable disc that fits right onto the back of your existing watch. It's just 3mm in thickness and 33mm in diameter, designed to fit on over 80 percent of watches sold today. Specifications of the Chronos include:

  • Stainless steel casing
  • Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy integration
  • Water-resistant construction
  • 36 hour battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Accelerometer
  • Haptic vibration and LED notifications
  • Non-residue micro-suction adhesive backing

While you won't need to charge up your watch, you will need to top off the Chronos every day to use the smartwatch functionality. I take off my Citizen watch every day anyway since it's not comfortable to sleep with so don't mind charging up the Chronos.

The Chronos will connect to iOS and Android smartphones when it launches in the spring of 2016. The app will let you manage and view notifications, sync up the fitness data collected by the Chronos, and even let you setup and use gestures from your standard watch.

The Chronos captures daily activity data, including steps, distance, stairs climbed, and active calories burned. There are even LED lights on the Chronos so you can customize up to six colors. Up to eight vibration patterns can be setup for different notifications too. The folks at Bloomberg were able to spend some time with the Chronos and it looks very promising.

You can pre-order the Chronos now for $99. There was an early bird special for the first 250 orders for $79 while the regular launch price will be $129. There are double pack and other options. I pre-ordered the Chronos for my Citizen watch and look forward to turning my nice watch into a smartwatch while making my wife happy that I am wearing my gift again.