9 Sexiest Apple Watch Alternatives

Jaws dropped when Apple announced the extravagant $17,000 price tag for its high-end Apple Watch Edition smartwatch. Sure, Apple's watch is pretty and sports an 18-karat gold case. But pricey luxury watches have been around forever. As a result, legacy watchmakers have a better grasp on what makes good wristwear than a tech firm does, and many of them have recently announced their own smartwatches with looks that put the Apple Watch to shame. Tag Heuer even teamed up with Google and Intel to take on Apple, though it doesn't have details or images to share yet.

In the smartwatch beauty pageant, the Apple Watch can only hope to take Miss Congeniality against these head-turning stunners that are sure to sweep up all the prizes.

1) Frederique Constant / Alpina Horological Smartwatch

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Expected price: $995 (stainless-steel version) - $2,495 (diamond-studded model)

Expected date: June 2015

The Frederique Constant and Alpina smartwatches are the epitome of understated elegance. Laser-cut dials are surrounded by a stainless-steel (or rose gold-plated stainless steel) case, which is fastened to a leather band with a stainless-steel buckle. The analog timepiece runs on the new MotionX-powered Horological smartwatch open platform, which uses a second analog wheel on the watch face instead of a digital display. The Horological system tracks your health, fitness and sleep, sharing that data with a companion iOS or Android app for analysis. The tracked info is represented in real-time on the second analog dial.

MORE: The Best Smartwatches Money Can Buy

2) Vector Smartwatch

Expected price: Not yet known

Expected date: Not yet known

This gorgeous timepiece features a round 44mm stainless-steel case with hardened mineral crystal. It can be paired with either a solid stainless-steel bracelet with butterfly closure, a lined leather strap or a silicon one. The Vector Luna runs a proprietary operating system on a black-and-white screen designed to extend battery life. It is compatible with iOS, Android and Window devices, integrates with IFTTT and serves up notifications that you can "flick" away. The Luna can flick away raindrops just as easily: it's water-resistant up to 50 meters (or 5 atms).

3) Breitling B55 Connected

Expected price: Not yet known

Expected date:Reportedly hovering around $8,000

Breitling's B55 Connected looks mind-bogglingly complex in the sexiest way. Its titanium case has a black carbon-based coating, and its case and face both feature intricate markings for a variety of measurements. A sturdy, blue rubber strap adds a sporty touch to the timepiece. Aimed at aviators and pilots, the B55 Connected tracks flight information such as elapsed time and shaft rotation speed while packing countdown and count up timers, among other tools. The data can be sent to a companion smartphone or viewed on the watch's two backlit LCD screens.

4) Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smart

Expected price: CHF 850 (US$878.44)

Expected date: Fall 2015

Web designers and hipsters will love the Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smart. The follow-up to the original Helvetica 1 has the same focus on the beloved typeface that got its own movie and even an exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art. Running the same Horological system as the Frederique Constant / Alpina, the Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smart will track your sleep and fitness and display that info on a second analog dial at the 6 o'clock point. With a brushed matte steel case, sapphire crystal and leather strap, the Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smart is modern and classic all at once.

5) Bulgari Diagono Magnesium (Concept)

Expected price: Not yet known

Expected date: Not yet known

Although apparently just a concept watch for now, Bulgari's Diagono Magnesium is also one of the more intriguing smartwatches from a fashion house. The company teamed up with Internet security company Wisekey to create a privacy-centric device that will keep your smartphone and sensitive data safe. In a demo video, the NFC-capable Diagono Magnesium was used to secure a "luxury wrist vault" of personal data on a smartphone as well as open a car door. The timepiece features magnesium moto-lac coating and a ceramic bezel. Other models of the Diagono line sport a mother-of-pearl dial set with diamond indexes and 18-carat pink gold case. While Bulgari hasn't announced a price for the Diagono Magnesium yet, other watches in the Diagono line cost around $24,000.

6) Guess Connect, powered by Martian

Expected price: $250 - $300

Expected date: May 2015

Available in various styles, the Guess Connect smartwatch is made of materials ranging from silicon to leather and rose gold-toned stainless steel. While not necessarily a high-end product, the Guess Connect timepieces are simply gorgeous to look at. Powered by the Martian smartwatch system, the Connect can serve up notifications from iOS or Android, find your missing smartphone and carry out voice commands. And since it's basically a regular analog watch with a notification bar at the bottom of the face, you'll have the best of both smart and traditional worlds.

7) LG Watch Urbane LTE

Expected price: Not yet known

Expected date: End of April 2015 via AT&T

Not only is the stylish Watch Urbane LTE a handsome polished metal timepiece, it's also a fully functioning smartphone, thanks to its built-in LTE radio. This means, unlike the Apple Watch, you won't have to be tethered to a phone to make calls, send and receive messages or browse the Web. Available in silver or gold tones with a rubber or stitched leather band, the Watch Urbane supports NFC for easy pairing and mobile payments at brick-and-mortar stores. Fitness fans can track their speed, distance and heart rate, thanks to an onboard heart rate monitor, and you'll never get lost, thanks to GPS capability. Running LG's webOS, the Watch Urbane LTE also supports fully functioning apps.

8) Gucci + Will.i.am Puls smartband

Expected price: Not yet known

Expected date: Not yet known

Will.i.am's Puls smart cuff was a chunky monstrosity of a wearable, but the musician/entrepreneur's recently announced collaboration with Gucci could change that. While details are still sparse on what that partnership will bring, Gucci Timepieces has said it wants to launch a wearable device that is a fashion accessory. It's very likely that the fashion house's influence could make the band sleeker and prettier. The Puls operates independently of a smartphone, thanks to built-in 3G support, and can send and receive phone calls, text messages and emails as well as storing and playing music. It runs an Android-based system that supports full apps such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We'll probably see a more finished version of the Puls from Will and company soon, and we can't wait.


9) Intel MICA

Expected price: $500

Expected date: Already available at Barney's

More a smart bangle than a smartwatch, Intel's MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory) boasts a list of materials that reads like a gem collector's must-have list. One style features black water-snake skin, pearls and lapis stones from Madagascar, while the white-based version uses white water-snake skin, tiger's eye from South Africa and obsidian from Russia. MICA's sapphire-glass touch screen sits on the inside of your wrist, and the smart band lets you send and receive calls, thanks to its 3G radio (on AT&T). The Intel wearable acts as a personal assistant, fielding notifications to only display those from important contacts, reminding you about upcoming Google and Facebook calendar events and suggesting Yelp listings around you.

Staff writer Cherlynn Low needs a smartwatch because she keeps losing her dumb watches. Follow her @cherlynnlow. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide on Facebook.

Cherlynn Low

Cherlynn is Deputy Editor, Reviews at Engadget and also leads the site's Google reporting. She graduated with a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University before joining Tom's Guide and its sister site LaptopMag as a staff writer, where she covered wearables, cameras, laptops, computers and smartphones, among many other subjects.