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Montblanc’s smartwatch strap brings luxury brands into the wearables market

Luxury brand Montblanc has unveiled an innovative watch strap that will provide smartwatch features without compromising on style.

The strap comes with a small display that lets the user see any notification, as well as controlling their music and smartphone camera remotely.

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The e-strap comes as an optional addition to the Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed collection and features a leather strap with a carbon fibre texture dubbed "Extreme Montblanc Leather." An electronic module, available in a number of size and colour options, is designed to sit under the wearer’s wrist.

The Montblanc strap does not include any fitness tracking capabilities, usually a key feature for smartwatches, but this is understandable since most consumers don’t exercise with a luxury thousand-pound watch on their wrist.

One of the main issues facing the wearables market is that, while functional, the majority of smartwatches on the market look clunky or overly geeky when compared with traditional timepieces.

As well as the Montblanc strap, watch firm Kairos has also developed the Tband, which turns normal watches into smartwatches using a similar design. While the Tband is available to anyone, the Montblanc strap can only be purchased by Montblanc customers, meaning you may have to fork out somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000, plus an additional $300 for the strap.

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While the price tag may rule out mass market appeal, the development of high-tech straps that effectively turn ordinary watches into smart ones, could open up the market, allowing consumers to combine their favourite watch with cutting edge mobile technology.