Hardware

Which is the ugliest smartwatch?

Ugliest smartwatches
These smartwatches won't be going to the ball

If you’re going to wear something on your wrist every day, you better make sure it looks good. Unfortunately, while there are stunning smartwatches around, there are also plenty that will raise eyebrows amongst your friends, family and strangers on the bus. So which is the ugliest smartwatch?

To find out, we’ve rounded up nine of the ugly ducklings of the smartwatch world. And, because we’re all about the scientific method here at The Big Tech Question, have given each wearable an ugliness rating measured in ogres. A device with one ogre could even be considered good looking, while five ogres will make you want to pick up your pitchfork and join an angry mob.

Obviously, the opinions below are based entirely on appearances and personal preference. If you disagree, get in touch in the comments section.

Apple Watch Hermès (Series 3)

Apple Watch Hermes

With its “Fauve Barénia Leather” strap (a mere £339 extra) taking design cues from the classic Hermès driving gloves, Apple’s high-end offering screams Alan Partridge. It’s like a 1980s Jaguar for your wrist, a fact that’s reflected in its stratospheric £1,149 price tag. Like a peaty whisky or monkey tennis, it’s an acquired taste.

Ugliness rating: 👹👹

Asus ZenWatch 3Asus ZenWatch 3

Wow, just wow. According to Asus’ website, “in order to achieve gorgeous looks and all-day comfort, we specially selected genuine Italian leather for the watch strap”, but I think the company owes Italian cows a grovelling apology. Part-bling extravaganza, part-industrial chic, the ZenWatch 3 is a Frankenstein’s monster of shininess. You need sunglasses to look at it, which can’t be a good thing. 

Ugliness rating: 👹👹👹👹

Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic

If you thought the ZenWatch 3 was bad, behold the Fitbit Ionic – one of the least attractive wearables I’ve ever seen. The model above is clad in “Slate Grey” and “Burnt Orange”, which is the very definition of polishing a… smartwatch. The strap has a strange queasy colour, like the colour of the sea at Hastings on a particularly grim winter day. To give Fitbit the benefit of the doubt, the “Charcoal/Smoke Grey” and “Blue-Grey/Silver-Grey” versions are comparatively inoffensive, but we’re not letting the company off the hook for the creation above.

Ugliness rating: 👹👹👹👹👹

Garmin Vívoactive

Garmin vívoactiveQuite why Garmin put an “í” in the name of its Vívoactive is anyone’s guess, but the device itself looks hórríblē. Despite excellent reviews from people far more knowledgeable than myself, the grey and black version still looks like something that would be handed out to employees on their first day in the Death Star. The plasticky grey strap certainly doesn’t help. Luckily, there’s a better-looking white model.

Ugliness rating: 👹👹👹👹

Huawei Watch 2

Huawei Watch 2Ow, my eyes! While the black version is okay in a let’s-put-every-possible-feature-on-the-face kind of way, its orange brother looks like it was designed by JCB. Yes, I realise that it’s designed primarily for exercise and that it’s a case of function over form, but I’d rather not head out for a jog with a strip of orange peel around my wrist.

Ugliness rating: 👹👹👹

LG Watch Style

LG Watch Style

The LG Watch Style has won a lot of fans with its simple, sophisticated design and thick bezel – as you’d hope for a device that literally has style in its name. However, I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve seen the silver version somewhere before. Ah, I know…

If it’s good enough for Mr Flavor Flav, it’s good enough for me.

Ugliness rating: 👹

Pebble Smartwatch

Pebble

Things have moved on since the early Pebble wearables (or not, if you look at the next entry in this list), and time hasn’t been kind. Still available on Amazon for £37, the Pebble looks like the product of an unholy union between a Tamagotchi and BlackBerry.

Ugliness rating: 👹👹👹

Pebble Time Steel

Want to get that old-fashioned vibe, but with all the bells and whistles of a modern smartwatch? Never fear, Pebble is here to help again. Despite being a fan of the minimalist watch face, the metal strap looks more 1970s East End gangster than 2017 East End hipster.

Ugliness rating: 👹👹👹

Tambour Horizon Monogram 42

As Charlton Heston cries at the end of Planet of the Apes (spoiler alert): “You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!” It was a sentiment I shared after seeing the Luis Vuitton-branded Tambour Horizon Monogram 42 smartwatch, which, apparently is “designed to travel the globe in style”. It’s difficult to decide what’s worse: the over-the-top face, candy floss strap or the fact that this exists in the first place. Actually, scratch that – the strap is far, far worse. The cherry on the cake? The Tambour Horizon Monogram 42 will set you back £2,140.

Ugliness rating: 👹👹👹👹👹

Images:  apple.co.ukasus.com/ukfitbit.com/uk/home, garmin.com/en-GBconsumer.huawei.com/uk, lg.com/ukpebble.com, and uk.louisvuitton.com

About the author

Max Figgett

Max has written for numerous websites and magazines over the years. Whether it’s about ancient hardware or software secrets, no Big Tech Question is too obscure for him to tackle.

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  • not only are the Pebble watches ugly but they are also redundant. Fitbit bought the company at the end of 2016 and closed it.
    Like the Ogres: are they Chinese or Japanese?

    • Indeed, but Fitbit haven’t learnt from Pebble’s design mistakes, judging from the Ionic.

      They’re Japanese ogres called Namahage, a kind of terrifying version of Father Christmas… or so Wikipedia tells me.

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