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Traditional Watches made Smart with Sony

Press release   •   Feb 13, 2019 00:01 GMT

  • With the latest smart technology all in a smart watch strap, wena™ incorporates speedy contactless payment, advanced fitness tracking and direct link-ups for phone notifications into a luxury timepiece design
  • Offering the ultimate interchangeability, the new wena range includes two straps and five different face styles, ensuring the perfect watch to suit any style and way of life
  • The wena watch is the brainchild of a Sony employee through the company’s Seed Acceleration programme (SAP) which encourages its employees to propose and create new ideas beyond Sony’s existing business categories

Sony launches the wena watch range in the UK, bringing traditional watchmaking into the 21st Century, truly modernising the luxury of timekeeping.

The wena watch has been created by a new business creation programme within Sony, known as the Seed Acceleration Program (SAP). Launched in April 2014, the scheme encourages innovation and provides the opportunity for its employees to propose and create new ideas. The scheme also supports business operations after the new idea becomes commercialised.

wena Straps

wena stands for “Wear Electronics Naturally” and the strap has been designed exactly with this in mind. The interchangeable nature of the watch allows the technology to be isolated to the clasp of the watch strap, rather than being linked to the face.

The design of the watch not only allows the wearer to choose any watch face, but it makes everyday activities easier to do. For example, when making payments with the watch, there is no need for the wearer to twist their wrist to tap the face onto the terminal, which many find uncomfortable and unnatural – instead it can all be done with one simple, easy movement.

Key smart features include -

E-money and Contactless Payments

The new watch bands utilise NFC technology to give wearers the ability to make contactless payments with just a tap of the wrist – a simpler, faster and safer way to make day-to-day transactions for those with a busy lifestyle.

Working closely with Mastercard and NXP we will offer not only the simplest solution to make payments but also the safest.

Global digital financial technology leader Wirecard will be the launch issuer for the UK and Ireland. Using Wirecard’s boon app for iOS and Android, customers will be able to add a virtual card to the wena app and set up automatic top ups, providing a simple way for everyone to access funds, no matter who they bank with.

Caroline Casey, Mastercard’s Vice President, Innovation, Partnerships and Labs – Europe, said: “Working with partners to bring innovative, safe and secure payments to consumers is at the heart of our strategy. Sony’s wena watch embodies this by delivering smart functionality to all those consumers who favour a classical timepiece, with latest contactless paytech alongside style and mechanical precision.”

Gregor Klezin, Director of Global Mobile Payment Solutions, NXP Semiconductors, said “There couldn’t be a better example than Sony’s new wena bands to prove how any device can be a payment device with this first true end-to-end mobile wallet solution, the NXP mWallet 2GO,” says Gregor Klezin, Director of Global Mobile Payment Solutions, NXP Semiconductors. “Sony and NXP successfully completed the challenge to allow for new form factors in mobile payments while ensuring high-level device security at all times.”

Georg von Waldenfels, Executive Vice President Consumer Solutions at Wirecard, said, “The cooperation between Wirecard and Sony combines the best of two worlds by tracking your activities and making mobile payments by connecting your boon app with a fashionable smart wearable. This brings a whole new lifestyle aspect to the market for mobile payments, which is currently experiencing strong growth worldwide, and this is why we are delighted to be among the first launch partners for Sony wena. Our customers can now use their digital boon app to track their spending, make peer-to-peer and online payments plus use their favorite wearable at the point of sale – without having to take their physical wallet with them. These benefits for consumers of being able to pay with their smart device and boon mean a new level of freedom in everyday life.”

KBC Bank Ireland, Ireland’s digital first bank will be the first bank in Ireland to launch this new technology. KBC debit and credit card customers will be able to pay for goods and services on the move with the tap of their wrist using a wena strap. To add their KBC debit and credit cards instantly, KBC customers simply download the wena app and follow the intuitive prompts.

Kelvin Gillen, Director of Transformation and Innovation, KBC Bank Ireland comments on the launch “We are delighted to partner with Sony and become the first bank in Ireland to launch wena by Sony. As a society, we’re rapidly moving towards mobile payments, using our watches, fitness trackers and smart phones to do everything. For KBC customers, the addition of wena by Sony is about combining lifestyle and banking in a way that works for the modern consumer. The future of banking is changing, and KBC is responding fast. This launch builds on KBC’s growing list of innovative firsts for customers offering them more freedom and choice when paying for goods and services.”

Phone notifications

The smart watch strap also provides wearers with phone notifications including calls, mail and app notifications with a one or two-line display.

What’s more, notifications can be customised using the 7-coloured LED lighting and vibration, giving the wearer greater control of how the watch communicates with them.

Fitness Tracking

The strap is also perfect for those on a fitness push, logging steps and calories burned, whilst the wena wrist active version also comes complete with GPS tracking and heart-rate sensors to provide calories burned and distance travelled.

The strap is available in two styles – metal and silicone– with each designed to suit different lifestyles.

wena wrist pro


The metal strap, known as the wena wrist pro, has been created with the traditional watch-wearer in mind. Available in both silver and black, the 20mm band - with 18, 20 and 22mm lug attachment options included - is designed to complement the most classic of watch faces, giving the wearer the ability to add smart capabilities to any watch in their collection.

Water resistant 5BARresistance, the wena wrist pro is a strap enabled with e-money, simple activity logging and notifications, and designed to be worn for all occasions.

wena wrist active
               
The silicone strap - the wena wrist active – has been designed for those with a passion for sport. The use of silicone means that it is flexible and comfortable when working out while still looking sleek and stylish.

What’s more, the strap has the latest fitness tracking to include step tracking, GPS and heart rate sensors. And with Apple health and Google fit app integration, wearers can ensure their watch is working as hard as their body to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

With a band width of 20mm, the strap comes with 18, 20 and 22 mm lugs to match most watch faces and features a “quick release system” to remove the head during intense workouts or for comfort while sleeping.

Watch Faces

The range also comes complete with watch faces designed to match perfectly with the watch straps. Sony has worked with some of the finest Swiss watchmakers in the market to ensure premium quality.

Mechanical The classic design has a timeless beauty of its own, featuring high-performance mechanical movement and a see-through back which reveals the quality of the Miyota “905S” movement. The design includes spherical sapphire glass resistant to shocks and scratches.
Solar A model with solar movement, the Solar watch face is available in two classic designs: Three Hands and Chronograph.

Water resistant 5BAR and a spherical sapphire glass impact-resistant finish, the designs are perfect for any gym-goer. Even the smallest details were considered in the pursuit of quality with this design; the dial plate allows sunlight to pass through yet still displays a luxurious glow.

Continuous operation time is around 6 months from full charge.

Quartz
As with the Solar, the Quartz watch face is available in two styles: Three Hands and Chronograph. A thin and delicate design, the Quartz watch face blends a simple stylised look with clever design to create a classic face with a difference.

Pricing and Availability

The new wena watch range is available to pre-order in the UK from 13th February 2019. The active strap is priced at £349 and the pro strap is priced at £399, faces vary from £100 to £400.

[1] wena watch straps have a Lug width option of 18, 20 and 22mm to attach a wide range of watch faces

Notes to editors

Full pricing:

wena will be available for pre-order from Amazon, TH Baker and Sony Centres from 13th February 2019. When the wena is pre-ordered from TH Baker or the Sony Centre, customers will also receive a free watch face. Further details on this offer are available at https://www.sony.co.uk/wena and www.sony.ie/wena.

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, imaging, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, interactive entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $77 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/

All product names mentioned here are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Corporation or of their respective owners.