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Sequent - The Best Of Both Worlds

Sequent The Best Of Both Worlds

WorldTempus tests Sequent’s SuperCharger², the answer to those hesitating between a wearable and a traditional watch.

Ever since smartwatches and fitness trackers have been introduced to the public, there have been two schools of thought in the watchmaking industry: smartwatches will either wipe out luxury mechanical watches and should be seen as direct competition, or will inherently increase the value of mechanical watches to niche consumers as a younger generation uses smartwatches to get acquainted to the concept of wearing something on their wrists.

The best of both worlds

The SuperCharger² © WorldTempus/Joy Corthesy

Both those theories have driven numerous well-known brands in the watch industry to pursue the clients who could more easily seduced by smartwatches, resulting in a straps with buckles that measure your daily activity, “mechanical” smartwatches or mechanical “smartwatches”, and luxury smartwatches that can be (almost) entirely customised by the client (for a price). And in the scramble for a viable candidate to bridge the gap between wearables and mechanical watches comes Sequent, a Swiss-based company producing smartwatches powered by automatic self-charging battery systems. Having recently launched the SuperCharger², WorldTempus gave me the chance to test Sequent’s latest piece, putting it to the test right next to my Fitbit tracker.

The best of both worlds

The SuperCharger² © Sequent

Why Sequent?

If you’re a fully embedded enthusiast of mechanical watches, as most of WorldTempus readers are, you may be forgiven for not knowing a whole lot about Sequent. In 2017, the young brand became the most successful Swiss campaign on Kickstarter, raising a whopping $1.2 million and counting for their SuperCharger, a smartwatch that played both the part of a watch (while still looking like a watch) and fitness tracker. Ever since, Sequent has gained in popularity, both for its minimalistic design, price positioning, innovative movement technology and environmentally friendly approach (its straps, for example, are made from plastics recycled from the oceans). In 2019, Sequent won a Red Dot Design Award for its hybrid charging system.

The best of both worlds

The SuperCharger² © Sequent

Sequent presents itself as the answer for those wrestling with the duelling ideologies of wearables VS mechanical watches. In the last decade, what’s become increasingly evident is that it’s doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. Wearables are not here to replace watches. Apple has become the biggest retailer of “watches” with its Apple Watch breaking sales records in 2019, but people have also continued to buy and value mechanical watches. The actual truth is that more often than not, there’s enough room for both products on the market, and in the best of times (pandemic aside), enough demand for both as well. If anything, Sequent is here for those hesitating between daily wearables or investing in a luxury watch—it serves as proof that it’s possible to marry the mechanical aspect that we love about traditional watches with the increasing demands of a daily, active lifestyle.

The best of both worlds

The SuperCharger² © Sequent

The SuperCharger²

While I’ve been in the watch industry for a few years and have done my share of reviews and articles on mechanical watches, you may be surprised to find out that what you’ll find on my wrist is, without fail, a Fitbit tracker and my trusty Seiko Presage. The Seiko is fo tell me the time and because it looks good, while the Fitbit is purely utilitarian—it tracks my daily activity, reminding me to move when I’ve been at my desk too long, and to track my sleep, letting me know when I should be getting to bed. I don’t even have one of the latest Fitbit models—I have an old model that has since been discontinued and that doesn’t even have a screen, simply because I despise getting constant notifications on my wrist about when I should walk, drink water, or when an email or WhatsApp message comes in. And while this has worked for me for the past three years, I was more than a little intrigued by the idea of a watch like the SuperCharger², a do-it-all that doesn’t need to be charged every other day (an inconvenience of the Fitbit and any other wearable, in my opinion).

The best of both worlds

The SuperCharger² © WorldTempus/Joy Corthesy

The SuperCharger² (I got the ‘Snow White’ version) has a 42mm stainless steel case, water-resistant to 50 meters, with a white matt dial and polished hour markers. It looks, for all intents and purposes, like a normal watch. However, the dead giveaways that it’s so much more than a normal watch are the two metal pin points on the left of case, where you would place the charger for the movement when you first set it up, and the open caseback, where you can see the rotor made of premium grade tungsten, a part of the innovative electro-mechanical system that transforms your movement into electrical energy to power the watch and track your activity. This makes the watch, in essence, infinitely autonomous—as long as you wear it, it’ll keep running.

The best of both worlds

The SuperCharger² © Sequent

I wore it every day for a week, with my Fitbit on my other wrist to compare the daily activity tracking. The SuperCharger² kept up with me as I went running (I’m trying to get my 5km time to less than 30 minutes), as I walked from work to the train station, and throughout my workouts at the gym with my personal coach. While the 42mm case took some time to get used to (the Fitbit is barely noticeable while my Seiko is 36mm), the SuperCharger² is also wonderfully light for a sizeable watch. I connected it to the Sequent 2 app, which relays all the tracking information in a clean interface that uncluttered from gimmicky “fitness challenges” or ads, and found that the daily activity tracking only got better the more I wore it. And a plus over my Fitbit was the daily step count indicator directly available on the dial of the watch which, to the untrained eye, just looks like a small seconds or power reserve indicator.

The best of both worlds

The SuperCharger² © WorldTempus/Joy Corthesy

And the best part of it all: I didn’t need to charge it once after the initial set up. My movements just kept powering it, and even when I took it off to sleep, the hands just moved to the right correct time as soon as I picked it up in the morning. There’s also a feature, available on the app, that will convert your activity into “SQ coins”, a crypto currency that can be used to unlock advantages for additional health services and products.

To be honest, I didn’t generate that many “SQ coins”. I probably need to work out more to earn more, but this isn’t the SuperCharger²’s most interesting feature (though its potential is certainly intriguing). The SuperCharger²’s strongest attribute is, by far, its technology that beats wearables at being wearable—it will keep working as long you as do. And honestly, that’s all you really need a watch/fitness tracker to do.

 

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The brand

Sequent has revolutionised the smartwatch world by creating the first models that can be recharged using the natural movement of the wrist. Borrowing the principle of a winding rotor from mechanical watchmaking, the SuperCharger models are the only smartwatches in the world with no battery limitations and no cables, which makes them better for the environment.

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