It was only a year ago that Pebble released its first smartwatch at CES 2013. Now at this year’s event the company has launched its second generation model, the Pebble Steel.

At $100 more than the original, the Pebble Steel looks stylish and a little more like a traditional watch than its predecessor, yet is still built around the high-end materials.

Pebble Steel

Eric Migicovsky, CEO for Pebble, has said that whereas the first smartwatch had a sporty feel, this time round the design has gone back to more classic aesthetics, with a steel-based look. He added that the Steel is more suited to formal occasions, without compromising on practicality. The hardier shell and Gorilla Glass screen give the impression of greater durability.

Pebble has come a long way since first releasing its smartwatch. The small company had never before been to China, spoken to mass manufacturers or considered the implications of industrial design and production efficiency. Yet here we are a year on, with Pebble users numbering over 300,000. Migicovsky says that Steel’s design is a lot more modular, so if any parts are not produced to spec, then it is not necessary to scrap the entire watch, proving that the company has learned a great deal on its journey.

The Pebble Steel comes in a choice of natural steel grey or black and comes with a leather strap to match whichever colour you decide on. Included in the packaging is a full set of tools for adjusting the new straps and a new magnetic charging plug. The whole thing just has a more premium feel.

The Steel is noticably smaller than the original, yet has the same display and is slightly heavier. The company has also added an RGB LED to the front of the watch, which is used to display the charging status, although this will be made available to app developers.

Internally the Steel remains pretty much the same. It has e-paper display,  a battery and a memory that has been increased to 8MB.

Migicovsky is hoping that in the future there will be more apps available to expand the Pebble Steel’s functionality as a smartphone companion. Apparently more than half of the company’s staff are working on software for the wearable devices and the CEO won’t stop “until we have Drugwars on the Pebble.”

[Image via ablogtowatch]

SOURCE: http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/6/5276698/pebble-steel-launch-interview-ces-2014