Toby Hodges looks at the first smartwatch designed for sailing
Price €399 (£311) for the watch and app and €400 (£312) for the multiplexer
This is the first smartwatch I have seen that is designed for sailing – and it’s as neat to use as it looks, fusing the sailor’s thirst for gadgetry with high-street technology. The Astra Esa watch means you can view your instruments on your wrist – if at a rather dinky size. It uses wi-fi to connect to onboard instruments so the watch can display performance information.
The Astra Esa watch has pre-installed software to allow it to show real-time performance data including TWA, speed and polar target data. It will also function autonomously using its own built-in GPS, including an excellent pre-start screen that includes time to burn. It is possible to use both an existing onboard router or Astra’s own Gamp multiplexer.
This is not to forget, however, that the Esa watch is still essentially a smartphone, offering full Android capabilities. So it includes a SIM card for calls, text and email, as well as a camera, so can be used just like a modern mobile. The fact that it is wrist-mounted may suit those on the move, whether on the foredeck, or up the rig.
The small screen size does make it a bit fiddly to operate for those, like me, who lack dainty digits. But the resolution is crisp enough to make for a quick and novel way to glance at the numbers.
This high-tech sailing watch is waterproof and shockproof, is available in three colours – and I’m rather put out that I didn’t get one for Christmas.