From the watch company that rocked the watch world in the 80’s Swatch’s Zero One watch is the one smartwatch which was specifically designed to be a hit with beach volleyball players. This stands to reason, as it is the Swiss watch manufacturer’s most sponsored sport. They support others, but none so sexy as beach volleyball.
As a smartwatch, the Zero One may seem gimmicky, but it’s actually quite sexy, comes with a boiled down line-up of sensible technologies aimed at their target audience, and yes, it’s a Swatch. Only active folks need apply.
Sporting a touch screen display housed in a waterproof, squarish frame, this watch is a departure from the collectible round faces from Swatch’s past. That said, the brand image isn’t lost completely. We’ll come back to that.
It may look square, but the Zero One’s bright colorful highlights are definitely reminiscent of the Swatch-style of wrist color splashes. There exist eight styles from which to choose, currently.
In case you didn’t know, style is a big deal to beach volleyball players. It has to be when you are playing one of the sports with the least amount of clothes.
The styles range from flashy yellow to subdued grays, but even in the most conservative trim, you’ll probably not wear this device into the boardroom. It’s clearly made for the beach.
The Zero One doesn’t track your heart rate or location on the planet. If you’re playing beach volleyball, you know what your heart is doing. It’s racing. You know where you are; the beach.
It will, however, track your steps, calories burned, measure the number of hits you make, their speed, and even count your hand claps. Zero One wants you to be as good an audience member as a player.
The screen for the Zero one is a touch screen with easy navigation options, like swiping and tapping. It offers three different coaching styles, from lazy to strict, and super coach, but rewards you with digital ice cream for hitting your goals. Silly, but probably effective.
The battery is a replaceable quartz battery, which lasts about eight months. This may seem low-tech, but it beats forgetting to recharge your watch every six hours.
The watch pairs with your smartphone and their proprietary software, but it does alright on its own too. As they say, it’s a Swatch, so yeah you can expect all the features of a watch, like time, chrono, date, timer, and time zones.
As a device, the Zero One represents the Swatch brand beautifully. You will look good wearing it on the beach or wherever. It marries all of Swatch’s Swiss design with the fun-factor you’ve come to expect from Swatch.
They didn’t fail to inscribe the classic “Swiss” branding that only true Swiss made watches are allowed to bear. It’s a distinction which matters to those who would only wear something Swiss.
That said, outside the beach volleyball world, there won’t be too many ordinary folks interested in this over the other smartwatches on the market.
It would be impossible to estimate the potential market share, but like soccer (fútbol), volleyball is played around the world in either two or six-man teams. Not a bad move for Swatch, considering there is nobody else going after these hard bodies.
Of course, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are one of those hard bodies. Beach volleyball players are determined people, playing in the direct sun, on burning hot sand.
If beach volleyball separates the dedicated from indoor players, then Swatch’s Zero One, at the very least, brands those who would wear one as tougher than nails. That might be reason enough to consider buying one, even if you don’t play beach volleyball.