Although the world eagerly awaits Apple’s debut on the smartwatch scene, Korea’s technology giant Samsung is already on the third iteration in its series of smartwatches. This fact in itself shows that the major producers of smartwatches are keen to continue the policy of “programmed obsolescence” that sees us buying new mobile phones every couple of years.

This is one of the reasons why Slyde wants to distance itself from the smartwatch crowd. Above all, however, apart from its high-resolution touchscreen, the Slyde offers none of the functions of a smartwatch either. You cannot make phone calls with it, you cannot take photos with it or connect it to your phone.

The best way of experiencing the difference between the Slyde and a smartwatch is, of course, to test one. The people at Slyde kindly provided one for Worldtempus to test, which I have been wearing for the past month. Here are my first impressions.

Getting to grips with the Slyde
The Slyde requires that you take time to get to know it before you can wear it. After unpacking the box and admiring the handy travel pouch, you need to assemble the elegant charging stand to give the Slyde its first dose of energy. The Slyde attaches magnetically to the stand and is charged using a sturdy cable, which can be connected to a computer with the USB connector or directly to an electrical outlet using the mains adapter. A full charge lasts from a few days to up to one week, depending on the level of use.

 

Slyde charging stand

The charging stand for the Slyde. The watch attaches to a magnetic plate to which the USB cable is connected. © Paul O'Neil/Worldtempus

 

After downloading the Slyder app from the Slyde website, I was able to configure the Slyde using the USB connection to my iMac. The Slyder app allows you to configure the watch, run diagnostics and load the different engines that are available for the watch. Once I had loaded several of the engines, I was ready to go…

No touch and see
You can configure the duration of the time display using the Slyder app, from short to long, which will display the time for between two and five seconds, depending on your choice. Just as you see the time on a more traditional mechanical watch the moment you turn your wrist, so the Slyde’s display magically springs into action the moment you rotate your wrist. Alternatively a quick tap anywhere on the screen will also instantly display the time.

 

Slyde engine

The Slyde with its digital tourbillon display. © Paul O'Neil/Worldtempus

 

The now-familiar swipe gesture is used to scroll between the different functions of the watch: time, time zone, date, current week, coming week and moonphase when you swipe down; chronograph, countdown and engine selector when you swipe up. Changing the engine is as simple as holding your finger on the engine selector, then swiping to choose the engine you want. You can also swipe between various personal images that you can load on to the watch.

Luxury look and feel
Like any luxury timepiece worthy of the classification, the Slyde is built to last. It has a PVD coated stainless-steel or titanium case in a sleek design that follows the contours of the wrist. It comes with a choice of leather or rubber straps with a matching PVD-coated foldover clasp. The wide straps, both ends of which are split into two halves that align around the centre of the folding claps, are firmly secured to the case by three screws on either side, yet are simple to change, as I discovered when I switched to the rubber strap for the summer months.

 

Slyde straps

The rubber and leather straps, and the PVD folding clasp, are inserted into the four supporting pins visible on the case and screwed in with three screws. © Paul O'Neil/Worldtempus

 

In conclusion, because of its look and feel, the Slyde definitely is not a smartwatch. You can happily buy one now in the knowledge that you will not have to replace it in a year or two like your phone.