Hands on: Skagen Holst review

One for those who don’t usually like wristwear

What is a hands on review?

Early Verdict

The Skagen Holst looks to be the perfect watch for those who don't want something heavy weighing down their wrist but also want to be able to track their step count in style.


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    Super light design

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    Minimalist look


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    Limited features

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    Doesn't show many stats on watch

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Skagen has a long history of making simple yet stylish watches and the company has begun experimenting with smartwatches with the Skagen Falster, but it's also trying hybrids.

The company has used Baselworld 2018 to reveal a brand new hybrid and it's called the Skagen Holst. It attempts to combine that simple and elegant design Skagen is well-known for with some of the basic features you’d expect from a normal smartwatch. 

How does the Holst stand out from the hundreds of hybrids on the market? It has one of the lightest and slimmest designs we've seen on a hybrid watch, making it an absolute must-see for anyone who wants a watch that you forget about even when it's sitting on your wrist.

Skagen Holst price and release date

We know the Skagen Holst is set to be part of the brand's summer looks, but there's no specific release date for the new watch yet.

As for the price, you'll be paying  $195 in the US (about £140, AU$250) for the metal version, while the leather strap version is set to cost a bit less at $175 (about £125, AU$230).


Skagen’s Holst is a hybrid watch, which generally means most people won’t notice you’re wearing something that can track your step count and connects up to your phone.

The watch face itself is clean and simple with the main purpose being to show you the time. In the bottom left there's a smaller semicircle that shows you what percent of the way you are to achieving your step count for the day.

If you set your step count to be 15,000 steps a day (you can do that in the app) it’ll show at the 50% mark on the watch when you’ve hit 7,500. This is the most insight you'll get into your fitness stats without opening up the app on your phone.

Apart from that small counter, you’re just looking at a normal looking watch. 

Compared to a lot of other hybrids we've tried, this is remarkably slim and incredibly light. We’ve yet to learn the exact weight and size of the watch, but you immediately notice how light it is on your wrist when you try it on.

There are two design variants that will appeal to different people. There’s a titanium watch with chain links that comes with a black watch face, or if you want a lighter strap you can have the brown leather option with a dark navy blue watch face.

We particularly liked the contrast of the brown leather with the blue watch face, but both sit comfortably on the wrist. If you want a watch with heft, click away now.


As it’s a hybrid watch, the Skagen Holst isn’t going to offer you any groundbreaking smartwatch features like you'd get on Wear OS or an Apple Watch 3. Instead you’ll just have your step count monitored and get limited notifications.

If you set it up within the Skagen app you’ll be notified of when people are calling you and when you get a text message.

One of the best features of this watch (which we've seen on previous Skagen hybrids) allows you to set different phone numbers to positions on the watch face.

If you set a loved one's number to position three, when they call you the watch hands will all point toward three and you'll get a vibration on your wrist. That way you know it’s someone you’ll want to talk to… or perhaps not talk to.

There’s no heart rate tracker, GPS or other features here that will encourage you to get fit, just the aforementioned step counter and notifications. We also don't know the estimations for battery life on the watch yet, but as it's a hybrid we expect it to last over six months from a single watch battery.

Early verdict

Looking for a smartwatch but don’t want something bulky? If you put fashion ahead of functionality in your wristwear the Skagen Holst may be for you.

If you’re happy with the functionality of a hybrid watch, we can’t stress enough how remarkably light and comfortable the Skagen Holst is.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.