Hands-On With the Sequent Elektron 2.3 and SuperCharger 2.3

When you are like me, you have tried wearing a smartwatch at least once. While they have a lot going for them, their staying power remains limited once the novelty has worn off, at least in the collection of a watch enthusiast. The difficulty is similar to that of an electric car capturing the heart of the petrol head. While the performance and technology are captivating, the way that it is presented lacks emotion. One company set out to change that, at least for watches, is Sequent. And while they are at it, they also fix the biggest downside of smartwatches: power reserve.

Sequent’s SuperCharger (left) and Elektron.

The way that Sequent does that is by letting their watches generate their own power in a way very familiar to mechanical watch enthusiasts. The back of both the Electron 2.3 and the SuperCharger 2.3 features a beautiful oscillating weight made from Tungsten. The motion of your wrist makes it run over a black ring, which is a multi-polar magnet. This creates a magnetic field that is then is turned into energy and used to power the watch. While Sequent needed only eight parts to make this kinetic system, it not only looks amazing and works efficiently, but also adds a great deal of soul to the watch. On the wrist, you can really feel the oscillating weight moving, a sensation similar to that of an ETA/Valjoux 7750.

Another interesting fact is that the movement, developed by Sequent themselves, literally has a hole in the middle to fit the sensory banks. Visually, this makes it look like an android from StarWars. Sequent delivers its watches with an external charger, but in the month that I tested them, with extensive use of their functions, the power reserve rarely dropped below 60%. Sequent worked not only on letting the watch generate its own power but also to consume as little as possible when running. It currently uses less energy an entire day than a 10W LED lightbulb consumes in 1/8th of a second. It also goes dormant when you don’t wear or move it for 24 hours, and I honestly love how fast it comes back to life once you pick it up. When fully charged, it can stay in ‘sleep mode’ for about 16 months.

The place where the Sequent is not only generating its power but where also the sensor bank is placed.

As Sequent wanted to appeal to watch enthusiasts, these watches are not fitted with an endless array of functions or apps. Instead, Sequent cleverly integrated just a few functions, all of which can be used without the app. Although the app itself is very straightforward and intuitive, and the connection with the watch is stable and fast, I really enjoyed being able to enjoy the watch offline. It is quite robust, with a case made of either titanium (Elektron) or stainless steel (SuperCharger). Next to telling the time with a maximum deviation of 0.3 seconds a day, it can count steps and map your workout (when combined with your phone). It can also measure your heart rate and oxygen level.

Thanks to two pushers and a crown, operating the watch is very intuitive. A hand placed above the six o’clock position indicates the different functions on a clever combination of two scales. The one on the left is used to show the oxygen level, power reserve, and progress of your step goal, which is set in the app. The scale on the right is used to show your heart rate. This can be done as a single measurement or constant when in sport mode.

While this may not be all that impressive for a smartwatch, the way the Sequent delivers these functions is. It has a vibe that is very close to owning a mechanical watch, just with added complications. Even the light at twelve o’clock, which confirms all the commands you give, doesn’t take away from that, but adds to the fun experience of the Sequent. The overall design is also very pleasing, and the SuperCharger 2.3 is a bit more traditional than the Elektron 2.3 with its translucent dial. Both use Super-LumiNova for the hour markers, but those on the Elektron 2.3 are actually made out of a solid block, giving a very cool visual effect.

Sequent gave a lot of attention to all the details of the watch.

The whole finishing of the case, but also the available straps and buckles, provide a luxury feel that is in line with that of a luxury Swiss watch, which is, in fact, precisely what Sequent is. While part of the watch is made in Taiwan, quite a bit is of Swiss origin, something they aspire to expand in the upcoming years. While I don’t think it is necessary for the brand, I understand their ambition.

In the meantime, the current generation not only stands its ground in the competitive market for smartwatches, but it even comes close to the appeal that its mechanical counterparts offer. More like a digital tool, the Sequent became a companion and one that I wore on far more occasions than just when I was working out. This makes me think that Sequent has not only solved the challenge of having enough power to run a smartwatch efficiently, but also how to capture the heart of a watch enthusiast.

The Sequent Elektron 2.3 in Transparant Blue is available for $849, while the SuperCharger 2.3 White costs $736.

For more info, visit Sequent, here.

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