If Jacques Cousteau wore a smartwatch, this would be it

The ScanWatch Nova looks like a diver watch.
(Image credit: Withings)

I’m a sucker for good watch design and also a big believer that fitness trackers and smartwatches needn’t look so geeky. I get especially excited when brands like Casio lean into their horology roots — or just horology in general — and produce models like the Move DWH5600, a fashionable fitness tracker that looks just like a classic G-Shock.

Of course, a rubber watch like the G-shock, whether smart or not, isn’t going to fit everyone’s taste or go with every outfit. I only sport formal wear a half dozen times a year. When I do, I always ditch my Fitbit or Apple Watch for a “real” dress watch. (Nothing screams “dork” like an Apple Watch with a suit). But I apparently can have my cake and eat it too: The fitness-focused tech brand Withings makes a sleek line of stainless steel watches that look just like classic sport and dive models. And the brand’s latest release, the Withing ScanWatch Nova, is their most handsome model yet (IMHO).

In fact, from a glance across the room, one could easily mistake the ScanWatch Nova for an Omega Seamaster or perhaps even a Rolex Submariner. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? 

ScanWatch Nova – health and fitness features

The ScanWatch Nova looks like a diver watch.

A small OLED screen is tucked just below the 12 position.  (Image credit: Withings)

Good looks or not, this watch is packed with the latest health and fitness tracking tech, including an onboard ECG sensor, pulse oximeter, skin temperature sensor, and SpO2 sensor for monitoring blood oxygen saturation. 

Of course, it also tracks movement and activities as well as the quality and length of one’s sleep. It can even alert users to any detected disturbances in breathing patterns. Back to the fitness side, an impressive number of activities can be tracked, from surfing to squash. The device pairs with the Withings smartphone app, which plays nice with both Apple Health and Google Fit.

ScanWatch Nova – design and materials 

ScanWatch Nova on the left, Omega Seamaster on the right.

The Nova (left) reminds me of a classic divers watch, like the Omega Seamaster (right). (Image credit: Future)

Here’s where things get exciting. The ScanWatch Nova boasts an all-stainless steel case and back with anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass. The rotating bezel is also stainless steel with a ceramic insert. And while the watch’s depth rating is nowhere near that of a Rolex or Omega, 100 Meters of water resistance means it’s more than suitable for swimming, snorkeling and other near-the-surface water sports. 

Health and fitness data is provided via a small monochrome OLED display just below the 12 position. The fact that it looks like just another subdial is something I quite appreciate. By the way, the lower subdial is used to track activities.

For easy viewing at night, the hands — including the subdial — and indexes are luminescent. Battery life is good for up to 30 days. And Withings says it should take just two hours to fully charge up.

The ScanWatch Nova comes on an oyster-style metal bracelet that starts at 20mm and tapers down to 18mm for an elegant appearance. Folks also get to pick out a secondary strap for free on the Withings site.

ScanWatch Nova – price and availability 

The ScanWatch Nova looks like a diver watch.

The ScanWatch Nova is 42mm in diameter.  (Image credit: Withings)

Available in three variations, black, blue, and my favorite, green, the Nova is available now for $599. That’s about $9500 less than a (used) Submariner and roughly $4000 less than an Omega diver. Not too bad! 

We look forward to getting this one in and putting it through its paces both in the gym and on the ballroom floor (don't worry, it automatically detects dancing). 

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.