Sequent is changing the smart watch game with hybrid timepieces that have an effective infinite power reserve, ensuring that you are never without the health and fitness information that a smart watch provides. The SuperCharger 2.1 Premium HR combines this supercharger technology with a sleek design, making for a good all-round watch that was more than pleasant to wear for a few days.
Conceptually the hybrid mechanism is really clever. It uses an oscillating weight, visible through the watch’s open caseback, in the same manner as an automatic movement. The difference being that instead of winding a mechanical calibre as the wearer moves, it kinetically charges an electronic power reserve that operates the smart watch functions. It’s a very efficient system and over the days I wore it, the charge never dipped below max whenever I checked the reserve display.
One thing that did take getting used to was the fact that the traditional watch display, with its two central hands and subdial, is in fact a smart watch with multiple hidden functions. I frequently forgot that it wasn’t a genuine automatic watch, jarred back to reality by the robotic movement of the minute hand, which coincidentally is precise up to 0.3 seconds a day.
The majority of the hidden smart watch functions are controlled by pressing the crown, which then activates a blinking LED under 12 o’clock that tells you what mode the watch is in. At first, I was a little lost working out the correct sequence of taps on the crown and the corresponding flashing lights that activate the function I wanted, but after a day I had it on lock pretty well. Two taps on the crown accompanied by two blue flashes to display the power reserve on the subdial – four taps on the crown with multiple red flashes to activate the heart rate monitor and so on.
All the health and fitness data is then displayed on Sequent’s own app that can be downloaded on IOS and Android. A simple Bluetooth connection makes pairing the app to your watch very easy, although if you want the data on the app to update then you do have to sync them again. The downside of which is that you can’t monitor your data easily mid-workout, having to wait until after the session to look at it retrospectively. I found the heart rate monitor and GPS tracking to be particularly useful.
Aesthetically, it’s a solid design. The matte black dial is sleek, as are the understated, polished hands and indices. The case is made from polished stainless steel with a black ring of aluminium, housing the seldom needed charging port. The case dimensions are good too, 42.1mm diameter and 14.2mm height, which a lot more wearable than some connected watches out there. Personally, I would prefer it if the case was consistent the whole way from top to bottom, without the black ring that makes it look a little cheaper.
Another thing I would change is the strap. The Eco Tide® black strap with red rubber and plain black rubber strap both look fine, but the dual-fastener system was fiddly and a pain to put on – I found myself longing for a classic pin buckle every time I put it on. I would definitely invest in an alternative strap if I were to wear one consistently over a long period of time.
The Premium HR is a hybrid in every sense: it’s mechanical and electronic, it’s sporty and relatively elegant. A real jack-of-all-trades – it even has 50m water resistance. I just think there are a few things that could be refined to take it from being a fine watch to a great one. For example, the lack of any luminescence stands out as something that could be changed on future models relatively easily and I think is sorely needed – the app has a sleep monitoring mode but I felt it redundant to wear a watch at night if there was no way to read it.
However, at an incredibly accessible £354, it’s definitely worth considering as an alternative to more expensive connected watches that in reality don’t have much more functionality than this timepiece. It’s also worth considering the fact that the Sequent app is free whereas some fitness apps require subscriptions. Additionally, some of the comments I have raised are already planned to be addressed by Sequent in the near future – there are full steel and full titanium case versions on the way with new strap options and a full glow option with the Elektron release scheduled for May.
Price & Specs:
Model: Sequent SuperCharger 2.1 Premium HR Onyx Black
Case/Dial: 42.1mm diameter x 14.2mm height, polished stainless steel case, black matt dial
Water Resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Hybrid smartwatch/self-charging mechanism with oscillating weight visible through the open caseback
Power Reserve: Kinetically charged (as the wearer moves)
Functions: Hour, minutes, power reserve display, activity monitor, heart rate monitor, distance monitor, calories monitor, sport tracking with connected e-GPS, connects with Sequent SuperCharger app
Strap: Eco Tide® black strap with red rubber
Price/Availability: £354, pre-order for end May
More details at Sequent.