Pebble doesn’t just want its smartwatch to just be on a few hundred thousand wrists. So how does it make the wearable more appealing? Redesign the device as a piece of jewelry. With Pebble Steel, introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, that’s exactly what it has done.
Instead of housing the e-paper display in plastic like the original Pebble, the new Steel edition is built with stainless steel; both in the watch face as well as the new link-style bracelet with traditional watch clasp. Pebble also added a small LED light for charging status under a corner of the Corning Gorilla Glass watchface.
Of course, there’s a premium price to be paid for jewelry of any kind and Pebble Steel is no exception. The new model is available now directly from the company for $249, or $100 more than the original Kickstarter-backed edition. For the additional money you also get a second watch strap in black leather and your choice of color: Brushed Stainless or Black Matte.
Pebble says it now has 300,000 people wearing its smartwatch, which is compatible with both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android devices. The premium look of the new model could provide a significant boost to that figure as the capable smartwatch doubles as a fashionable accessory and finds its way to traditional watch wearers.
Pebble Steel works with the existing Pebble apps of course, and the company says 3 million apps and watchfaces have been downloaded for the prior model. Later this month, Pebble opens up its app store to make it easier for developers and Pebble owners to connect. And among the newest apps will be those from new partners Pandora, ESPN and MercedesBenz all of which are showing off their Pebble software at this year’s CES. With the new Pebble Steel, you can run those apps with a little style.