NOWA is a relatively new watch brand in a category that is best described as the hybrid smart watch or smart travel watch.  In this case the watch looks like a conventional minimalist analog watch, but when linked to your smart phone with Bluetooth the watch can do many things that not too long ago did not exist to a timekeeping device worn on the wrist.  The company was started in 2016 in Paris, France by Eric Gizard and claims that the watch is the thinnest hybrid analog smart watch available.  The watch is barely noticed when worn on the wrist since it is 40mm in diameter and only 9.75mm thick, with lugs that taper from 24mm to 22mm and are a standard 20mm lug width.  Lug to lug on this watch is 47mm.  Powered by a standard CR2025 watch battery, the watch is expected to run up to 8 months before battery replacement.  No charging is needed.

For this review I have their newest model of the watch simply described as Black.  The watch is black except for the 12 white indices and face information.  The simple stick hour and minute hands and a small electric display circle on the lower part of the watch face is bright indigo blue.  The 316L stainless case is tastefully finished.  The bevel of the case adjacent to the flat, sapphire coated crystal is in gloss black as are the top surfaces of the 20mm lugs and the gear edge push button crown.  The back of the bowl shaped case, the sides of the case and bottoms of the lugs have a brushed or sandblasted black finish except for the polished and etched stainless steel case back.  The case back is very informative and detailed.  The watches are serial numbered, something that is rarely found in affordable watches.

Powering the watch is a Swiss Ronda quartz movement.  The black Italian calf leather strap is very supple with one fixed and one movable loop. The perfectly proportioned gloss black signed buckle and strap quick releases make strap changes very simple.  The highlight of this watch is what it can do for you with the app that is downloaded to your Apple or Android smart phone.  It will take me some time to master all of it’s capabilities, which, when connected to your phone, allow tracking of sleep, exercise time and distance, calories burned, remote control of your phone’s camera and more.  For frequent long distance travelers, the time of the watch will automatically change according to time zone changes received from your phone.

The coolest part of this watch is that it looks like a well done minimalist analog watch without indicating it’s true capabilities, which is what most watch people prefer.  I do not want to look at a black screen or a watch with a display that requires constant charging to keep operating.  As an alternate to a conventional analog watch, the NOWA Shaper Smart Watch makes a lot of sense.  The watches come with a 24 month warranty with free worldwide shipping.  Depending on the model chosen, the watch ranges from $199 to $229.

Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.