It's been a big year for smartwatches. We got an award-winning Apple Watch with life-saving health features, a Fitbit smartwatch with mass appeal, one of the best Samsung smartwatches we've lived with and, of course, we were flooded with more Wear OS watches - largely thanks to the Fossil Group.
So, what do we have in store for 2019? Well, there's new smartwatches we know are coming and, more importantly, when they're coming. There's also connected watches that didn't quite manage to make it to release in 2018 and that we expect to show their watch faces next year.
We've picked out some of the high profile smartwatches that are tipped to land in 2019, and we're starting with a big one...
Swatch Swiss OS smartwatch
ETA: Early 2019
We thought Swatch's answer to the Apple Watch and the rest of the smartwatch fraternity would land in 2018. However, Baselworld came and went without a whisper of the Swiss watchmaker's first Swiss OS-packing watch. As we approach the end of the year, there's still no sign of a Swatch smartwatch, so all eyes are on it dropping in 2019.
Swatch told us back in October that it still has plans to launch Swiss OS no later than early 2019. And Swatch CEO Nick Hayek first revealed that it was working on a smartwatch operating system named 'Swiss OS' way back in March 2017, if you need a reminder.
Swatch has shared no details on what its first smartwatch will look like, but has revealed that it will require fewer updates than its smartwatch rivals and "Swiss vault"-grade protection of user data. It should also be less battery hungry, another way it could trump Wear OS and the Apple Watch. Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer to find out exactly what Swatch has been working on for all this time.
Puma Wear OS smartwatch
Back in April of this year, Fossil Group and Puma announced a 10-year agreement to work on smartwatches, with the first set to land in 2019.
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While Fossil Group has its own sporty smartwatches in the shape of the Misfit Vapor 2 and the Fossil Sport Wear watches, this is the first time it has partnered with a sports brand to work on new wearables.
The Puma-Fossil partnership is set to run until 2028, so it's likely that we'll see several iterations of Puma's smartwatch line, as well as 'dumb' watches, but only time will tell if the upcoming devices gather the same steam as some of Fossil's fashion house designs.
Citizen hybrid smartwatches
Along with its partnership with Puma, Fossil Group also tied up a similar deal with Citizen with the focus on going big on hybrid smartwatches.
The two companies have entered into a multi-year licensing partnership - one which will see Citizen build new hybrids using the tech featured in Fossil Group's own hybrid watches. It also means that the two will work together to build hybrid smartwatch movements that can be sold and used by other watch brands.
The partnership will also see the two working together on bringing further innovation to the smartwatch space, though that doesn't seem to extend to launching proper smartwatches running an operating system like Wear OS.
That's right, the partnerships keep on landing. BMW smartwatches are coming in 2019 and Fossil Group is going to make it happen.
The watch brand inked a deal with the motor giant to launch a range of watches (smart and dumb) starting in 2019. It's likely that a BMW smartwatch will run on Wear OS, bringing the standard features we've come to expect from watches running on Google's operating system. We imagine some themed BMW watch faces will be thrown into the mix, too.
As well as a 'proper' smartwatch or two, we also expect to see BMW hybrid watches with analogue watch faces, alerts, pusher functions and activity tracking as part of the collection.
The TicWatch E2 appeared on Mobvoi's own website back in September, leading us to think an announcement was imminent. Instead, we got the TicWatch C2, an affordable Wear watch that was all about keeping things stylish.
So, it may well mean that the E2 will be pegged for a release in 2019. Looking set to be a follow-up to the surprisingly decent TicWatch E, not a lot is known about the E2 aside from the fact it looks likely to pack a swim-proof design.
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The E was all about keeping things sporty, so we expect the E2 to do the same, and hopefully Mobvoi has some interesting new features to show off when it does get officially announced.
New Louis Vuitton smartwatch
When Qualcomm launched its new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor - one that looks set to be packed into most of the Wear OS watches we see in 2019 - it was revealed that a new Louis Vuitton smartwatch would benefit from the new chipset.
Louis Vuitton's first smartwatch was a bit of hit here at Wareable HQ, with its travel-centric extras and proving that luxury smartwatches can look the part too. The new LV smartwatch didn't make an appearance in 2018, so we expect it to surface in 2019.
Hopefully LMVH, who are also responsible for Tag Heuer's stylish smartwatches, will build on the first watch and give us a smartwatch that is equally as desirable.
Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30
ETA: 18 January 2019
ETA: 18 January 2019
Here's one we know for definite is landing in 2019. The Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 is the digital watchmaking giant's third outdoor smartwatch that runs on Wear OS.
This time, it's slimming down the design, bulking up the battery life and increasing the outdoor features you can switch to in its less power-hungry monochrome display.
It will, of course, run on the latest version of Google's operating system, with Casio bundling in a bunch of features that will help you when you're out braving the elements. The new Pro Trek will set you back $550 if you want to pick one up in the new year.
Timex smartwatches with Huami
Timex is no stranger to the world of smartwatches, having already launched a bunch of hybrids. Now it's going to team up with Huami, the folks that brought us feature-packed watches from its Amazfit brand and helped bring Xiaomi's Mi Band to life to make more smartwatches.
The partnership, which was only recently announced, will see Huami bring its technology and AI to the table, while Timex has the watchmaking know-how to make a 'new generation' of smartwatches. Quite what that means, we have no idea. But, clearly, the two have big plans.
What we do know is that Huami has already revealed it's planning a "revolutionary" wearable for 2019. It also unveiled its new AI-powered wearable chipset that includes a cardiac biometric engine, ECG, ECG Pro and a Heart Rhythm Abnormality engine. So it's possible that Timex will be able to take advantage of this new tech through the partnership.
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The usual suspects: Apple Watch Series 5, Samsung Galaxy Watch 2 and a new Fitbit
We don't know what they're going to be called, but we think it's fair to assume that we are going to see a new Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch and new Fitbit smartwatches in 2019.
We'd also imagine Garmin has more plans for its sporty Vivoactive smartwatch range, and it's probably a safe bet we'll see Fossil's 5th Gen smartwatches running on Wear OS with those new Qualcomm chipsets under the hood. Maybe we'll see the big return of tech brands like Huawei and LG, too. Bottom line: we think there's going to be a lot to talk about in the world of smartwatches next year.