The seconde/seconde/ Smart(ass) makes you love to hate yourselfBorna Bošnjak
The popularity of smartwatches has risen massively over the last few years. Where they fail to strike a chord with many watch enthusiasts, however, is that with their added functionality and high-resolution screens they usually need to be charged on a daily basis. Sequent chose to put a different spin on a smartwatch by powering theirs with their in-house Supercharger 2.2 module that harnesses mechanical power akin to an automatic movement, with a standby time of up to a year with a fully charged cell. Touting accuracy within 0.3 seconds per day, the Swiss-assembled movements have a claim to being the first smartwatch of its kind. Add a touch of self-deprecating French humour to the package, et voilà – the Sequent x seconde/seconde/ Smart(ass).
Getting right into it, we shan’t avoid the watch-shaped elephant in the room. Just what the hell is that dial? The large register taking up the entire lower portion of the dial serves as a daily step counter, ranging from “still in bed” to the often-recommended 10,000 steps per day. The scale is split into two, yet serves three functions. The aforementioned step counter is the first, while there’s also a power reserve scale and heart rate indication.
It’s not the simple fencepost hands or the pill-shaped, luminous markers, however, that attract attention on the Smart(ass). We’re both here for the intrigue of the trash-talk scribbles, courtesy of seconde/seconde/. Threatening my already fragile self-confidence, the Smart(ass) does its best impression of a drill sergeant exhorting you to get up and go.
There’s plenty of Smart(ass) to go around, as well. With a 42mm case diameter and height of 14.2mm, it’s a noticeable presence on-wrist, though the supremely compact 45.4mm lug-to-lug makes for a pleasant wearing experience. The 50 metres of water resistance proved plenty for sweat-soaked workout and badminton sessions, as well as a post-exercise shower – as expected from a watch of this sort. The Smart(ass) is a tough cookie, as the profanity-graced dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, the whole watch cased in polished stainless steel, with a black anodised aluminium band interrupting the otherwise plain design.
The greatest intrigue of the Smart(ass), apart from the dial, of course, is the way it’s powered. The SC 2.2 movement uses a tungsten rotor that translates mechanical energy from movement into charge. Some of this is visible through the open caseback, with copper wire coils sitting underneath the skeletonised rotor. The power reserve of the Smart(ass) is dependent on the way it’s used, however. On stand-by, the watch will continue ticking for 18 months, but if you’re using continuous activity tracking and heart rate reading in the shortest available interval, the reserve is a much shorter 30 days. Throughout my time with it, I’ve never run out of juice, even on the thirstiest of settings.
If my years of studying electrical engineering have taught me anything, *fixes glasses*, I’d assume that the spinning of the rotor induces a magnetic field with the coiled wire, creating charge that’s stored by an internal cell. Whether or not I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars only to completely butcher the first professional application of my degree thus far, it’s a cool system nonetheless.
On the smart side, the Smart(ass) makes for an awesome daily companion. I’ve really enjoyed watching the little red arrow go from insulting my very self to being only slightly disappointed in me, while the sleep tracker made for a great way of visualising my awful sleeping habits. With three presses of the large red crown, you can also enter the sport tracking mode, which I enjoyed using during my weekly badminton sessions, purely as it would be one of the rare times I felt like I lived up to the scrutiny of the Smart(ass).
So how did a smartwatch anti-enthusiast, if there is such a thing, get along with the Smart(ass)? As you may have already assumed if you’ve read this far, I’ve grown very fond of this watch, both for its unique appeal and actual smartwatch and mechanical guts. I haven’t had a single issue pairing the watch to the app, while the synchronisation took mere seconds once paired. I was also happy that Sequent didn’t include any notification functionality, as I glance at my phone way too often regardless, though I can see how some may see it amiss in a smartwatch.
On the fitness side of things, while the dial writing is clearly little more than a cheeky artistic expression, I couldn’t help but feel a little more inspired to keep grinding away for those sweet, sweet gains every time I looked down and saw my watch swearing at me. While I’m not sure whether my time with the Smart(ass) was the cause, at least one badminton racquet felt a release of the pent up frustration from the consequent (see what I did there) abuse.
It’s one of the shortest verdicts I’ve written to date. While definitely not for everyone, this is a cool freaking watch, and one that made a smartwatch cynic soften to their appeal.
Sequent x seconde/seconde/ Smart(ass) pricing and availability:
The Smart(ass) is available now from Sequent as a limited edition of 160 pieces. Price: CHF 549
|Sequent x seconde/seconde/
|42mm x 14.2mm x 45.4mm
|White with self-deprecating scribbles
|White fabric or black rubber
|In-house SC 2.2 movement, mechanically-charged battery