Kronaby review

Limited features, but a sturdy hybrid

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Our Verdict

The Kronaby collection of watches offer top-end designs with lots of useful hidden hybrid features, making one of these a great choice if you just want a watch that looks like a watch. High prices mean it’s not the best option for everyone, but this is still one of the better hybrids we’ve tested.

For

  • Very stylish designs
  • Hidden smartwatch features
  • Phenomenal battery life

Against

  • Limited feature set
  • Lacks extensive fitness features
  • High price for a hybrid

Hybrids are becoming a great alternative to smartwatches for people who want a step tracker and some notifications on their wrist without a bright flashing screen or a plastic fitness tracker strapped to them at all times.

If that sounds like you, the Kronaby watch may be right up your street, as it offers a beautiful design and connected features such as notifications, as well as long battery life, but with no annoyance of a flashing screen.

Smartwatches are useful pieces of kit, but hybrids are a great alternative for the fashion-conscious, and with over 40 designs available the Kronaby range should have something for almost everyone.

Kronaby price and release date

  • Variety of prices starting at £275 / $350 / AU$469 
  • Certain models cost more than others, but only design differences

The Kronaby's price may at first seem high, but considering how much money you can spend on other Swedish-made watches you’ll realize this is more sat in the mid-range of wristwear.

Prices for the watch start at £275 / $350 / AU$469 for the cheapest model with the prices rising to £615 / $795 / AU$999 for the most expensive. The photos used in this review show the Sekel Steel 43mm with a black watch face, which costs £445 / $595 / AU$779.

We've seen the watch a touch cheaper on third-party retailers such as Amazon, so you may be able to find each model for a little less. 

This watch was released in early 2017, but we’ve since seen the company add in further designs so there are now 45 options. Nothing has been confirmed yet but in future we expect the company to just introduce ever more designs rather than overhauling the experience entirely.

Design

  • Lots of different design options, may take you a while to decide
  • Three buttons on the side of the watch but otherwise very minimal design

This is a difficult watch to specifically review in terms of design as there are so many different choices within the Kronaby collection of hybrid watches. The collection is known as Kronaby and that makes up 45 different options split into four families.

The family name refers to the style of watch face you’re looking at; so there’s Sekel, which is what you can see pictured throughout this review and that's the one with the most style options.

The gallery below also shows you the three other choices, including Apex, which has a more tactical look with big numbers and lots visually going on within the watch face. Then there's Nord, which sports a simpler, cleaner design, while Carat looks like a traditional high-end watch.

Image 1 of 4

Sekel

Sekel
Image 2 of 4

Apex

Apex
Image 3 of 4

Nord

Nord
Image 4 of 4

Carat

Carat

Within those families there are a variety of watch face colors, strap materials and strap colors. For example, the Carat range has options in both gold and rose gold, but there are at least four different watch face colors as well as the selection of metal and leather straps.

Your best bet is to head to the Kronaby website to check you like one of the designs and, perhaps more importantly, check how much your favorite design is set to cost you.

The watch we’ve tested comes with a large main watch face that is, obviously, designed to communicate the time, but there are some other hidden features when you press the three buttons on the edge of the watch. 

One of these buttons is disguised as a crown, but there’s not much functionality in twisting it. Instead you'll need to press it down.

The crown and the other two buttons can be used to turn on a variety of different features. We dive into that in the interface section on the next page, but the buttons feel tactile and like they will survive thousands of presses.

Inside the watch we’ve used, there’s also a subdial that will show you certain stats. For example, we had this dial set up to show us our step count for the day. That way at a glance we could see how close we were to our 10,000 step target.

That’s useful but isn’t on all watches in the range, and you won't get that if you opt for one of the smaller 38mm options. That's a shame for anyone who wants a smaller watch.

The watch is thick in order to house all of the tech, but it doesn’t feel too heavy on the wrist and the design feels premium in the steel version we used. Again, we haven’t used all of the watches so can’t guarantee that’s the case for each one, but going by the pictures we suspect they'll all look similarly high-end.

As for the strap, we used the brown leather one. We found over a month or so of use the strap loosened and became a lot more comfortable than it was at first, we also found that it felt secure on the wrist at all times.

You can switch it out with other watch straps though, as this is designed much like a traditional watch, so once you know the size of your watch you can feel free to switch these out for the strap style you most want to wear.