Sequent Elektron: Sequent is back for more!
Invention of the hand-wound smartwatch. Now, the brand is pursuing its quest to achieve “the best of both worlds” with the Elektron, which continues to be supported vociferously by a Kickstarter community that is keener than ever
The simplest ideas are often the best – and that can also make them the hardest to imitate! Which could help to explain why Sequent remains more or less alone in its chosen segment. Sequent invented the first smartwatch that completely solved the battery life problem, thanks to a recharging mechanism powered by a traditional rotor, as you would find in a mechanical watch. Simply put, this watch will run indefinitely, provided you wear it from time to time.
This 100% independent brand founded in 2015 made its name in 2017 with the SuperCharger, which was supported by its own mobile app. The watch debuted the first self-winding smartwatch movement, thanks to the enthusiastic support of over 4,000 people who invested 1.2 million francs, via Kickstarter, to fund its development.
Elektron © Sequent
The SuperCharger came in two versions – you can read what we thought of the first iteration here. Today, we were looking forward to seeing a new model, and that’s exactly what we got: the Elektron. The latest Kickstarter project raised over €425,000, with a funding goal of €20,000 – that’s 20 times more than they were hoping for! What new features does the Elektron offer?
In terms of construction and aesthetics, there are no major changes. What does stand out is the completely new titanium case – a first for Sequent. Titanium brings the same benefits we’re familiar with from the mechanical watch, notably shock resistance, scratch resistance and a considerable weight reduction. Looking at the dial, anyone feeling nostalgic for a mechanical watchmaking aesthetic will be delighted to find luminescent indices, like the Super-LumiNova-filled markers that are familiar from traditional watches. The decision to use lume on the dial and titanium for the case is cleverly gauged. It’s as if the brand wanted to take the best of traditional watchmaking aesthetics, and combine them with latest-generation materials, bridging old and new in this witty rendering.
Elektron © Sequent
Behind the scenes, the watch is based on the SuperCharger 2.2 module. It offers the same incredible precision of +/- 0.3 seconds per day, and a battery charge that will last two years in standby mode. The genius here lies in placing the heart frequency monitor in the dead centre of the rotor, on the back of the watch. With this deft positioning (which is extremely difficult to execute), Sequent has succeeded in preserving the aesthetics of a traditional mechanical watch, with its oscillating weight that can be admired in motion through the sapphire caseback.
As Harry Guhl, the brand’s co-founder, noted: “The Elektron represents the culmination of all the Sequent watch innovations. It proves that, in terms of design, sustainable development doesn’t need to look backwards. It can push us in new directions.”
One model, four variations
The Elektron comes in a number of different versions. The Elektron is the base version, similar to the SuperCharger but with a titanium case and luminescent markers. The Elektron HR has a heart rate monitor and a blood oxygen monitor. The Elektron HR VIU is semi-skeletonised, with a smoked dial through which it is possible to glimpse some of the few mechanical components in the watch (there are just eight in total).
Elektron © Sequent
And finally, for those who have their feet on the ground and their head in the clouds, Sequent has announced a NASA special edition, with a dial duly approved by the US space agency. Just 1000 of this model will be produced. They will be very simple, with a completely white dial featuring the logo in red, and one red hand. Sounds like a collectible in the making.