The problem with smartwatches, if I could, is that unless you’re willing to wrist twice, they get in the way real Clocks. An additional problem with smartwatches for watch enthusiasts is their absence a soul, a poetic way of interrogating their digital insides. If you can imagine it, there’s more trouble when you own too many timepieces: wearing a smartwatch in rotation means you can’t take advantage of what the smartwatch has to offer. How can a brand find a balance here and satisfy watch enthusiasts who want more from a smartwatch—not just alerts and apps and cellular connectivity, but a smartwatch that fits into the rotation, or even a single watch that satisfies the enthusiast? That’s what Sequence smartwatches aim to do with a traditional dial layout and—here’s the cool part—a proper rotor that powers the watch through kinetic energy. Now, however, Sequent has teamed up with one of the most in-demand designers out there, Romaric Andre aka Seconde/Seconde/, for a fun take on the whole smartwatch genre.
The brand began making replacement hands for vintage Rolexes, shaped like 8-bit swords, clouds, hourglasses and more. But in the last year or two, André Louis Erard and H. Consulted and collaborated with many brands including Moser. But this partnership is a bit different. Instead of a snarky hand or crooked redesign, the designer effectively took the pen to the white-dial Sequent Elektron dial, playing narrator and personal trainer at once. Featuring 3D applied Super-LumiNova markers and loomed hands, the dial is scrawled with SmartToss “Notes to Self,” encouraging its wearer to do better no matter how well they are already doing. Functionally, the dials are similar to other analog smartwatch displays. The tracking scale displays a variety of information; When the target is progressing and SpO2 is displayed at 100 percent of maximum, heart rate is displayed above 160 (at which point you are tachycardic or dead). There’s a small dot you’ll notice at 12, which is the aperture for an LED that flashes when the watch is syncing or taking a reading from its sensor. Most smartwatches are used as fitness trackers by those who wear them, if not all the time, at least occasionally. The collaboration with seconde/seconde/ provided what most of those instruments lacked: inspiration (smile).
The Sequence Smart(Donkey) has a unique case/dial configuration from the smartwatch brand. Typically, dials with applied markers only come with a fully brushed titanium case; The Sequence Smart (Donkey) case is made of polished steel and has a black anodized aluminum caseband. In my opinion, it’s the more attractive sequence case (I’ll be honest and the perfect choice—titanium with a black caseband doesn’t exist). The case’s dimensions aren’t friendly on paper—42.1mm-wide, 14.3mm-thick and 45.5mm lug-to-lug—but the short, sloping lugs that drop below the caseback help it wear comfortably on the wrist. Can stand tall. The crown has a rubber grip and is used to sync the watch to a partner app; Depending on how many times it is pushed, it allows the watch to express different daily goals, heart rate and blood oxygen level as SpO2. The 22mm white strap is made in partnership with #tide, which uses recycled plastics to make straps for quite a few brands these days. It’s a little stiff out of the box, but will break with some wear; The quick-release pins mean it’s easy to swap, and I’ll reveal that it’s more comfortable on the gasket, despite the obnoxious length on the pass-through.
Never mind the limited seconds/seconds dial, the in-house Sequence SC 2.2 movement is truly the star of the show from a watch lover’s perspective. It uses a conventional rotor made of tungsten to generate energy from the movement of the wrist and converts it into stored electricity for the watch (like Seiko Kinetic movements). In the middle, of course, is the sensor, which protrudes from the watch but doesn’t add any noticeable height when on the wrist. The watch is accurate to -/+ .3 seconds per day and the watch lasts up to 18 months in standby mode, even when tracking your heart rate every 30 minutes. If it drops below 10%, it goes into time-only mode, a great power-saving feature to keep the watch from completely dying before you can retrieve it on the included charging stand. The watch syncs to companion app Oxygo, which displays all your data over time and can sync with Apple’s Health app. With the watch, the app tracks sleep (if you wear it at night, obviously), the aforementioned health metrics, and workouts (with GPS). I love a proper user manual (and I have to admit that I haven’t experimented with the workout feature, although I always do).
These days, there are so many smartwatch and fitness tracker options that it’s almost overwhelming. There’s something for everyone, from super-slim bracelets to smartwatches that do everything, including taking calls. Several brands have attempted to make smartwatches with analog displays; They succeeded in providing the look of a mechanical watch but not the soul. Sequent has made a strong effort to address that gap in the smartwatch market with its Kinetic Rotor. It still faces a steep slope: to get the most out of it, one has to wear it all the time, but the watch is aimed at those who want a rotor, and those are usually people with multiple watches who can’t afford to wear a single watch. All the time. The Smart(Donkey) model goes a step further, though, filling the void and making the whole idea of a fitness tracking smartwatch fun with a tongue-in-cheek dial. A little lighthearted fun never hurts, right? Sequence Smart(Donkey) Watch Limited to 160 pieces and priced at $549. Please visit for more information Row website.