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At CES, smartwatch makers realize importance of fashion

One of the early criticisms of the early smartwatches has been they’re so overtly nerdy that the average consumer won’t even give them a thought.

All that’s about to change as two of the early smartwatch pioneers – Pebble and Metawatch – launch new generation watches targeted largely at appealing to those who want a better looking watch.

First came Metawatch’s announcement of its new Meta line on Sunday night. The watch is designed by Frank Nuovo, the former head of design of Nokia, and looking at it it’s apparent the Meta is definitely more fashionable than most smartwatches out there.

Not to be outdone, Pebble announced their new Pebble Steel a day later, creating a high-end SKU that seems to be aimed at all the standard criticisms of the original Pebble: cheap, plasticky, nerdy.  From an initial look at the watch, it looks like they’ve accomplished their mission.

I’ve long been writing that smartwatches are just as much fashion piece as technology, and it looks like two of the earliest players recognize this as they look to broaden their addressable markets.