The new Watch Urbane Luxe has a fancy name and comes in a fancy box. But is it fancy enough to justify a $1200 price tag?
At IFA 2015 in Berlin, we’ve met up with LG, who showed us the latest variant of their well-received Android Wear smartwatch series. The Watch Urbane Luxe takes what it’s pretty much a standard Watch Urbane, adds a coating of 23K gold, and an elegant alligator leather band, at a price tag that’s more than three times the regular version’s.
Developed in collaboration with the US-based Reeds Jewelers, the Urbane Luxe will be available exclusively in the US (at least for now) and only 500 units are set to go on sale. This is a very limited edition device, and LG and Reeds hope that the exclusivity will add some additional cachet to what is already a special piece of design. Each device features a serial number and comes in a nice lacquered wood box that does well to complement the Luxe itself.
Why 23K gold, you may ask? According to LG, 24K is just too soft to work as a resistant coating, so the gold is alloyed with a tiny proportion of other metals to give it strength. LG was keen to note that the Apple Watch is just 18K, though the Luxe is just coated with gold, not made of solid precious metal like Apple’s premium Apple Watch version.
The alligator band features a gold-plated “deployment clasp” invented by Cartier, which supposedly adds quite a bit to the smartwatch’s final price. The clasp looks interesting and it’s easy to adjust and use, once you figure out the mechanism, but truth be told, only watch aficionados will care about it for more than a few minutes.
Other than the revamped exterior, the Watch Urbane Luxe is the same device we’ve come to know: Android Wear running on a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 512MB of RAM, with a 1.3-inch P-OLED circular display with a 320 x 320 resolution and a 410 mAh.
The Watch Urbane Luxe is yet another experiment from a company that hasn’t been afraid to experiment with new ideas in the wearables department (just look at the webOS Watch Urbane LTE). It remains to be seen if the results of this experiment will warrant more adventures down the path of luxury from LG or its competitors.
Stay tuned for more IFA 2015 coverage!