In the last year we’ve seen a lot of watches that are smart, but none of them were really built for us outdoor kids. Sure, there were plenty of rugged watches that had a smart feature or two (like notifications), but a smartwatch that does not make. Well, last month, Nixon announced The Mission, and if my wrist could drool, it would.
The Mission is the first smartwatch that’s waterproof down to 100 meters (most are just splash resistant). That right there should give you way more confidence when getting outside and doing what you do. It’s also going to partner with Trace, which will enable it to do things like track your waves (number, speed, and distance traveled) while surfing, your runs while snowboarding or mountain biking, and then check your stats when you get back home.
Want more outdoorsy goodness? The watch will also be able to provide surf and snow forecasts and conditions updates through partnerships with Surfline and Snocountry, respectively. The watch’s body is made from stainless steel and polycarbonate, the band is silicone, and the screen is made of tough Corning Gorilla Glass crystal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a built-in heart rate monitor like many other smartwatches, but it can pair with a chest strap, should you decide you want to track that. The chest strap will give you more accurate results, but we still wish the Mission had a built in option.
Under the hood, the watch will use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 2100 system on a chip (SoC), which will allow the watch to be thinner and yet 25 percent more power-efficient than smartwatches that use older chips sets. It will have a round, AMOLED display, which produces bright whites, inky blacks, and vibrant colors. It will run Google’s Android Wear operating system which has hundreds of apps and is compatible with both iPhones and Android phones.
To top it all off, it’s pretty damn handsome. Now, of course, it remains to be seen how well it works, how long it lasts, and how tough it really is, but if Nixon can pull off what it claims, then this is the watch I’ve been waiting for. The Mission will be out sometime in the fall of 2016 and will retail for $400. That’s $100 more than the Apple Watch, but for all the extra things it can supposedly do, I think it’d be worth it.