After being originally released in Japan last summer, the fashionable Sony FES Watch U is now gearing up for its debut in Europe where it will launch in mid-September. Unlike most other smart or hybrid smartwatches on the market, the FES Watch U is quite unique in that it relies on E-Paper technology for both the watch face and wrist strap, allowing users to customize the wearable to great extent, with monochrome designs uploaded from a connected Android or iOS smartphone.
Sony's first fashion timepiece features a stainless steel case and buckle and will launch in two different options – a silver model with mineral glass and a black variant featuring sapphire glass, titanium ion-plating, and anti-reflection coating. In both cases, the watch is powered by a rechargeable battery and boasts an IPX5/7 ingress rating for water resistance, all while featuring a circular E-Paper display on the face, as well as a rectangular E-Paper panel running across the wrist strap. Both panels can be customized using the FES Closed smartphone application which features more than 100 pre-loaded designs, but users also have an alternative in creating their own greyscale designs from scratch or by relying on existing photos which will then be converted into the supported color scheme. Either way, Sony claims that it is partnering with numerous designers who will continue to bring new ideas to the FES Closed application every month.
The FES Watch U was initially born in Japan back in 2015 as a crowdfunded project stemming from the company's Seed Acceleration Program, which encourages start-up projects from both inside and outside of Sony. The product first made it onto shelves in Japan last year when it was released for nearly 50,000 Yen or the equivalent of $450 at that time. The FES Watch U is now expected to go on sale in the next couple of weeks in countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. The silver model equipped with mineral glass will cost around £529, while the premium black model with sapphire glass will be available for £699. To further demonstrate how e-Paper can be used as a fashion statement, Sony and 247v2 are showcasing a pair of concept shoes at IFA in Berlin, boasting an e-Paper outsole and "N" logo.