With the release of the Apple Watch, smart watches, once a futuristic niche, are becoming mainstream. But many reviewers are skeptical of the usefulness of a smart watch. For people in that camp, as well as admirers of the centuries of handcrafted refinement and design that have gone into the best analog watches, there's now a low-key alternative to the smart watch—the smart strap. Specifically, the Unique watch strap.
The Unique watch strap is both minimalistic and completely customizable. It features touch controls that allow you to accept and reject calls and send pre-written text messages, NFC capability, fitness monitoring, and tethering to your phone that reminds you if you're about to leave it behind. And it accomplishes all this with just a tiny multi-color LED light on its exterior.
Other smart bands like the Kairos and Montblanc's e-Strap do provide the benefit of using your Rolex or your Patek Philippe face, but with their brightly flashing screens mounted on the band, they seem more like an apology for wanting to stay connected than a smart way to filter information.
The creators of Unique are committed to the aesthetics of their product, yet they recognize that it would be impossible to manufacture enough different bands to successfully match every type of watch out there. That's why they have a sophisticated website and app that let you order a bespoke band, customizing everything from color and shape of the leather to the type of stitching to the buckles. They are collaborating with the factory MK Leathers to provide this wide range of options, as well as some sweet perks for supporters, like leather card cases and notebooks.
With their commitment to the aesthetics of the future wristwatch, Unique's Poland-based creator uBirds have truly hit upon something special.