Withings is finally settling into its niche by offering smartwatches for people who sniff at the squareness of the Apple Watch and can't stand the look of the Garmin Fenix series. If you haven't got the money to buy a Tudor Black Bay but would like something fancier wrapped around your wrist, may I suggest taking a look at the new Withings Scanwatch Horizon?
It's not like the original Withings Scanwatch was a terrible looking hybrid smartwatch. I liked it, for what it's worth, not as a running watch but as a fancy dress watch that also measures basic health metrics, like a fitness tracker. But the Scanwatch went further by offering a 'medical-grade' oxygen saturation level in just 30 seconds and ECG right on the wrist.
And while the new Scanwatch Horizon doesn't expand on the digital features the original Scanwatch had, it certainly makes the tech look even classier, thanks to the rotating bezel, luminous indices and hands, and sapphire glass lens. Not to mention the packaging of the watch: the box contains two wristbands and a complete set of tools to make you feel like you work in a Rolex repair shop.
Withings Scanwatch Horizon: Price and release date
The Withings Scanwatch Horizon is available globally from 17 May 2022 at Withings US (opens in new tab) and Withings UK (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price of $499.95/£499.95. AU price and availability TBC.
The watch is currently available in two colourways, green or blue. Apart from the colour of the watch face/bezel, both versions are exactly the same.
Withings Scanwatch Horizon: Deep dive into style
I'm not going to lie; I always felt more comfortable wearing a running watch over a smartwatch. Not just because I train a lot but also because they fit better and perform better under certain conditions. After all, I need my data to be accurate to train and recover more efficiently.
That said, I always had a soft spot for the Scanwatch. It looks and feels fantastic on the wrist, and if at any point I have to dress up for an event, you can bet you'll find me wearing the watch. I don't much care about the ECG or the SpO2 measurements – I'm a healthy guy who runs a lot, so these readings generally don't provide me with any additional data – but at least the watch tracks my basic health stats and sleep well.
I wasn't sure what to expect of the Scanwatch Horizon, though: it looked way too posh for me. But because I tried the first iteration, I was curious to see how well the new version stacked up against its predecessor. Can the Scanwatch Horizon deliver a premium smartwatch/dive watch experience without for half the price of the Garmin Fenix 7X?
As it turns out, it can. The Withings Scanwatch Horizon looks super-premium for a sub-$/£500 watch. It has all the characteristics of a dive watch, including the rotating bezel, the stainless steel case that's water-rated to 10 ATM (the original Scanwatch was 'only' rated for 5ATM), the metal bracelet and so on. Not to mention the flat sapphire glass lens!
On top of this, you get all the perks of a hybrid smartwatch, including the PMOLED display, 30-day battery life, integrated altimeter, smart notifications, Bluetooth connectivity, different sports modes, and the ECG and SpO2 sensors mentioned above.
This is all dandy, but my favourite feature is when the luminous arms cover the PMOLED display, they actually move out of the way when you press down the crown so you can see the display better. So modern. So clever. So unnecessary! Above all else, this feature turns the Scanwatch Horizon from a run-of-the-mill hybrid smartwatch into a proper digital dive watch for the masses.
Not everyone needs a hybrid smartwatch, and indeed, not everyone needs a high-end hybrid smartwatch for this much money. But considering how premium this watch looks and how much cheaper it is compared to similar-looking watches from Turod and Rolex, it's hard not to recommend it to people who need a smartwatch to smarten up their attire.
Remember: this is not a dress watch, so make sure you use that kit included in the box to adjust the metal bracelet to ensure the watch sits properly on your wrist.