On Android Wear, there are many ways of getting a different watch face on to your device, and those that have been here since the beginning will no doubt be well-versed in Facer and WatchMaster. Both of which are ways of tapping into a huge community pool of designer watch faces, some original, and some "homages" to the classics from Rolex, Breitling and others. One other option that most of you will have heard of is WatchMaster, and they're doing something similar, that is tapping into the looks of traditional watches, but in a legitimate and intriguing manner. Rather than turning a blind eye to watch faces that copy classic designs, WatchMaster is partnering with companies all over the world to give Android Wear – and now Gear S2 owners – a taste of these companies' traditional, "proper", watches.
Users that download the WatchMaster app can choose from thousands of different watch face designs from talented artists, but they can now also choose from watch faces that ape the design of real world, mechanical watches. This all started some time ago with the new "Brand" section found within WatchMaster, and now sees the Archimedes and Romanson brands from none other than Switzerland itself. This gives users on Android Wear a way to get access to some great watch face design, and it also gives these two – relatively unknown – watch brands a way of connecting with a new, modern audience.
It's kind of brilliant when you think about it, and while these two brands aren't the TAG Heuers and Rolexs of the world, they still have a lot to offer, and the watch faces look great. The kicker for the likes of Archimedes and Romanson is that for each watch face they license to WatchMaster, they list real watch model numbers. The Premier face that I'm wearing at the moment for instance, can be found in the PL5A03RM mechanical watch, which seems pretty difficult to find online, but looks like a decent watch and doesn't seem to be too expensive. So, while I now like the Romanson brand, or at least some of their admittedly not-too-original watch faces, I can get a little taste of what one of their watches is about without having to go and find one, or even pay for one.
This is a model that is probably not likely to catch on, after all there's a reason that sites like Facerepo are handed cease and desist letters from the Swiss giants. This copying and "paying homage" to these classic watch faces is great fun – I do it all of the time – but it does devalue the work and craftsmanship that goes into these devices, no matter how much you think these Swiss watches are overpriced by. It is however, an interesting example of what could be a great way of connecting with a younger, more skeptical audience, and one that the Swiss guard might not want to ignore entirely. For those that haven't tried out WatchMaster, they can install it from the Play Store for free, and try out some watches for free.