I’ll be honest, it took me a very long time to jump on the smartwatch bandwagon. Up until designer brands like Michael Kors and Kate Spade started creating their own lineups, I always felt like I had to sacrifice style for features — especially if that meant accurate health and fitness tracking. Most of the options offered by brands like Fitbit, Polar, and Garmin looked too clunky or rugged for my taste. These eyesores often ruined my beautiful assortment of carefully curated arm candy, instead making it look like I was headed to the gym or going on a hike.
But this year, smartwatches have truly stepped up their game to the point where the ones I’m dying to wear are waaaay out of my budget. From Montblanc to Louis Vuitton, designers of all types made timepieces equipped with all the features you’d find on a standard smartwatch— from in-depth health and fitness tracking to app notifications—without sacrificing the most important thing of all: luxury, darling.
Whether you’re in the market or just browsing (out of curiosity, of course), we’ve gathered all of the fanciest smartwatches of 2019 just for you.
And, to make it easier to stomach what you probably can’t afford, the following options are listed the same way you probably filter your online shopping: by price, going from the lowest to the highest. You’re very welcome.
Garmin Vívomove Luxe ($549)
If you can’t let go of that traditional watch you always wear, but also want to get with the times (ha, see what I did there?), a hybrid smartwatch will give you the best of both worlds. The Vivomove’s virtual watch hands and dial sit on top of a hidden AMOLED touchscreen display. Swipe the screen and they disappear to show you all the things smartwatches normally display: health metrics, texts, social media notifications, and your calendar.
But that the super nifty display isn’t the only reason you’re shelling out almost $600. If you couldn’t tell by its name, this baby is luxurious. Made of 18k rose-gold stainless steel with a mesh band to match, it’s premium all around.
Movado Connect 2.0 ($695)
If you’re willing to cough up $700 for a smartwatch, chances are you can probably afford to throw in some diamonds, too. But with the Movado Connect 2.0, you can save your money! It comes equipped with a watch face and dials that basically look like the real thing. Fake it till ya make it, right? The light gold ion-plated stainless steel case and watch strap are pretty stunning, though, and the crystal Gorilla Glass display adds a nice (and durable) touch.
Under the hood, it runs Google’s Wear OS and tracks activity like step count, heart rate, calories burned, and more. It’s also fairly customizable. You can program the side buttons to launch any app of your choice, like Spotify or Google Fit. And, if you get tired of the gold on gold look, you can swap out the watch band for something more subtle or glitzy, depending on your mood.
The Montblanc Summit 2 doesn’t come with any crazy features that make it worth a grand, so you’re essentially paying for the name with this one. It’s also the sportier version of the original Summit 2, with a titanium case and ceramic bezel attached to a silicone rubber strap … because anything can be sporty so long as you attach a silicone strap to it!
The luxurious smartwatch also comes with a few exclusive apps. Those who travel a lot will find the Timeshifter app useful, which creates a plan to help you fight off pesky jet lag. There’s also a Workout Coach app, which provides you with a fitness score you can improve over time.
Other than that, it runs Google’s Wear OS platform and comes with all the same features you’d find on a far less expensive watch.
Apple Watch Series 5: Hermès Edition ($1,400)
If I took a shot for every time I saw someone wearing an Apple Watch in 2019, I’d be drunk for days. But I’ve reviewed plenty of smartwatches to know the Series 5 is the best option out there right now. Pair it with an Hermès watch strap and that’s what I consider a winning combo.
For the price of $1,400, you get the latest Apple Watch with an always-on Retina display and a stainless steel case. But the showstopper here is the double-wrapped leather Hermès watch band that comes in a ton of colors with fancy names like Fauve, Noir, Brique, and Étain.
And wait! That’s not all! Apple also includes a silicone strap in the designer’s signature orange color. Ya know, for when you want to go to the gym or opt for a more casual, sporty look, but don’t want those around you to forget you’re wearing an Hermès Apple Watch.
If you ask me, golf can be very, very boring. But for those of you who absolutely love it, you can get a smartwatch completely dedicated to the sport! For a cool $1,850, that is. If you couldn’t already tell that this is a golf-specific watch, the words “Golf Edition” etched along the bezel might tip you off. To represent each hole in a round of golf, the watch face is engraved with numbers 4 through 18 (with 1 through 4 covered by the words “Golf Edition.”)
To take advantage of all the watch’s features, you’ll have to download the companion Tag Heuer Golf app. This gives you access to 2D and 3D course mapping, along with the ability to record scores, shots, and distance. You can also store all of the information on your watch, in case you want to brag about your skills later.
Garmin MARQ Driver GPS Smartwatch ($2,500)
The Garmin MARQ Driver GPS smartwatch is perhaps the most durable watch on this list. Made of titanium and ceramic, this watch can outlast plenty of accidental drops. But unless you’re a race car fanatic, its greatest features are useless for ya. The watch includes over 250 famous racetracks from across the globe, ranging from the Red Bull Ring in Austria to the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in New Zealand. I’ve never heard of any of these. But, if you’re into this kind of thing, you can geek out over the full list here.
And, if that’s not enough, it also comes packed with features like a track timer, a virtual wall pit to hear audio reports of every lap, and summaries of your last race with total laps, maximum speed, and fastest lap times. And, for the true enthusiasts, it also has a tachymeter and chronograph to time cars and calculate speeds at the track.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon ($4,510)
This year, Louis Vuitton dropped its first-ever smartwatch and the fashion house didn’t hold back. Its well-known monogram logo isn’t just featured on the watch band — it’s also sprinkled around the bezel, making this one bad boy that can be ID’d from a mile away.
I’m sure you’re also wondering why it’s the most expensive smartwatch on this list. Well, like they say, you get what you pay for. And, in this case, you’re paying for a lot of sapphire glass. The Tambour Horizon comes with a sapphire glass back and a 1.2-inch AMOLED touch screen made of the same material. The leather watch strap is also available in a variety of different patterns and colors, but some are a lot more expensive than others.
It also comes with all the standard capabilities of a smartwatch including the ability to track health metrics, receive calls and texts, and social media notifications. If $4,000 is what you call affordable, then have at it! But don’t come crying to me when it stops receiving updates or the battery depletes over time. Ya know, just things to take into account.
The gilded bottom line
Regardless of the price though, each of the luxe smartwatches mentioned above brings its own set of unique features and design elements that make it worth the high cost. And if you’re trying to stand out amidst the sea of standard Apple Watches and Fitbits, they make for an obvious buy.
For everyone else, well, congrats on making it through this entire roundup without crying on the inside about how broke you are! Just imagine how tough it was to write this list.
Besides, 2020 will likely bring along tons of better, more expensive options, which means … these will … hopefully go on sale?