Move over Withings — 5 reasons why the Pininfarina Senso is my new favorite hybrid smartwatch

Pininfarina Senso hybrid smartwatch on a person's wrist
(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

Motorsport enthusiasts may be familiar with the name Pininfarina. Founded in the 1930s in Turin, Italy, Pininfarina is best known for designing and building car bodies for Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

These days, after several rounds of sales and restructuring, Pininfarina has emerged as a multi-faceted design studio, still based in Italy, and dabbling in everything from espresso machines to gondolas, sports cars to fancy-looking smartwatches

The Pininfarina Senso Hybrid is the studio's first take on a smart wearable and it packs a lot of tech into a classic-looking, elegant package. Designed in-house, for the technical stuff, Pininfarina tapped Globics Technology, a Hong Kong-based smartwatch developer.

I've been rocking the watch for several days now — in Mercure Grey on a lovely brown leather strap — and I'm hooked. Here's why it's my new favorite hybrid smartwatch. 

The Pininfarina Senso Hybrid in Mercure Grey

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

1. I love the classic chronometer design

Hybrid smartwatches look like traditional analog watches but are actually smartwatches in disguise. Withings is perhaps the best-known hybrid smartwatch manufacturer with several classy-looking models, including the Scanwatch 2 and the dive watch-inspired Nova.

However, my favorite watch style has and continues to be chronometers, which Withings doesn't make. Originally designed for mariners but quickly adopted by race car drivers — and later, astronauts: the Omega Speedmaster chrono was famously the first watch on the moon — these timepieces traditionally double as stopwatches and almost always sport matching start/stop pushers on the side of the case. 

Pininfarina Senso Hybrid smartwatch: $399 @ Amazon

Pininfarina Senso Hybrid smartwatch: $399 @ Amazon
One of the sharpest smartwatches available in 2024, the Pininfarina Senso Hybrid looks like a classic Italian chronometer complete with an all-steel case, sapphire crystal, twin side pushers and a circular brushed face. Don't be surprised when you get more than a few compliments on this premium-looking device. 

Given Pininfarina's rich history in auto design, launching with a chronometer-style smartwatch makes a lot of sense. It's also executed quite nicely, with lots of retro charm, including the twin pushers and stylized Pininfarina signature on the dial. 

However, by default, the pushers do not start and stop the watch's timer; you'll need to jump into the settings and do some customization to make that happen. 

2. It wears beautifully

Pininfarina Senso hybrid smartwatch.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

The styling and attention to detail on this $399 watch impress me. The case and bezel are both made entirely from 316L stainless steel, which has anti-corrosive properties. Water resistance is just okay at 50 meters, though you do get a super scratch-resistant sapphire glass crystal. 

The Senso Hybrid comes in four varieties, each with a different finish on the dial. The mode I'm testing has a circular brushed appearance that catches the light nicely giving off a sunburst effect. 

The hour markers and hour and minute hands have a decent amount of lume applied, making it possible to tell the time in the dark. The lower subdial, meanwhile, is customizable but sports no lume. You can set it up to track running seconds, record your steps, or progress toward fitness goals.

Pininfarina Senso hybrid smartwatch

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

The digital "subdial" is where you view, navigate and select the watch's fitness and health-based smart features. The black and white LCD is on the smaller side but I found it's fairly easy to read, even in bright light. A push of the crown wakes it up and a twist in either direction lets you scroll through the various menu settings and features.

At 44mm, the Pininfarina Senso wears a tad large on my wrist but I frankly don't care. I'm a huge fan of cushion-style watch cases like this one: I used to own a chunky Seiko Prospex "Turtle" dive watch, which I miss quite a bit, and this gives off similar vibes.

3. Lots of fitness and health tracking tech

The Pininfarina Senso Hybrid is jam-packed with health and fitness tech. You can monitor heart rate, perform ECGs, and check blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) all with just a few button pushes. Heart rate measurements are near instantaneous while SpO2 and ECGs take about 45 seconds. The Senso also tracks daily physical activity, sleep quality, stress levels, calorie intake and more. 

For workouts, there's a respectable though somewhat random array of profiles to select from. These include running, cycling, walking, treadmill, skipping, soccer, rowing, yoga, free training, cricket, boxing, weights, interval training, hiking and elliptical training.  

4. Great battery life

Pininfarina Senso hybrid smartwatch

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

Battery life is up to 30 days, though this assumes you're largely using the device as a means of timekeeping. With health tracking enabled, you can expect closer to seven days. Still, compared to smartwatches like the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Google Pixel Watch 2, the Pininfarina Senso smokes them all in longevity. 

Compared to more direct competitors, battery life is essentially a match with the Withings ScanWatch 2. By the way, for charging, the Pininfarina snaps into a cradle that connects via a standard USB-C cable, included in the box. 

5. Plenty of styles to choose from

With four distinct watch styles to choose from including Slate Grey, Sunburst Rose Gold, Moonlight Silver and Mercure Grey — each with a different texture on the face and case finish — there's something to match nearly any style or suit jacket. 

You can also customize your hybrid smartwatch with one of eleven straps, including several sharp-looking leather ones. Personally, though, I'd go with the Slate Grey dial on a high-performance rubber strap. Something about leather and working out doesn't mesh in my mind.

Pininfarina Senso Hybrid – price and availability

Though my time with the Pininfarina Senso Hybrid has only begun, it's been nothing short of lovely: My sense of fashion is slightly elevated, my vital signs are completely in check and the compliments keep raining down. This is to say, I look forward to continuing to put this classy Italian hybrid smartwatch through its paces. 

Want to check one out for yourself? The Pininfarina Senso Hybrid is available now for $399 via Pininfarina directly and Amazon

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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.