Montblanc Summit 3 Specifications:
Advertisement: 1.28-inch AMOLED (416 x 416)
Size: 1.65 x 0.55 inch
Battery life (estimated): 18-24 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, NFC
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Timepiece traditionalists might finally find a worthy smartwatch in the Montblanc Summit 3. The $1,290 wearable promises all the craftsmanship of a sophisticated watch with the intelligence of a connected experience powered by Wear OS 3.
It’s actually the first Wear OS 3 smartwatch I’ve worked with since my Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review, as the other Wear OS 3 smartwatches running on the same Snapdragon 4100+ chipset as the Montblanc Summit 3 must who still get full software upgrade. I bet that will change with the launch of the Google Pixel Watch; But for now, the Summit 3 lets me step out in a sleek Wear OS wrist candy.
The burning question: is it the ultimate smartwatch showpiece or just a pretty face? I have to do a full review of the Montblanc Summit 3 to come to a conclusion. In the meantime, here are my first impressions and what we know about the latest Montblanc device.
Montblanc Summit 3 price and availability
The Montblanc Summit 3 is available now directly from Montblanc (opens in new tab) for $1,290 / €1,250. That price is one I don’t often see among the best smartwatches, although there is a small collection of luxury brands that offer high-end Wear OS watches in particular. The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition ($1,800) comes to mind as one I tested. And a handful of Garmin devices are nearly as expensive with the highest-end configurations.
Montblanc Summit 3 hands-on: Design
In contrast to the modern, sporty-looking design of the Apple Watch 7, the Montblanc Summit 3 oozes European elegance. It comes in a unique 42mm size with three finishes: silver, black, and two-tone titanium. The case’s subtle texture is said to be hand-etched, while the insignia on the digital crown and detailing on the back are other touches that stood out when I tried the smartwatch on.
Perhaps more so than even the best Apple Watch straps, the straps appear to be an integral part of the Monblanc Summit 3 experience. Each watch comes with two straps, an activity-friendly rubber option and a hand-stitched leather strap. They can be interchanged with a range of other Montblanc straps depending on your preference, replicating some styles you might find on non-smart Montblanc watches.
Watch faces are another standout design feature of Summit 3. There are 11 watch faces ranging from timeless to technical. All watch faces can be customized by background color, hands, complications and more. A select few in particular can be personalized in a way that even those who would never consider replacing their watch with a smartwatch will appreciate. With the always-on mode, I could see many mistaking the gadget for a regular old wristwatch.
Montblanc Summit 3 hands-on: Wear OS 3
As a Wear OS 3 watch, the Summit 3’s user interface is one I’m fairly familiar with. It navigates less like the One Watch UI or the Samsung skin on the Galaxy Watch 4 and more like Fossil and Mobvoi wearables. There’s no digital bezel, but a series of swipe gestures and the side buttons made finding menus and apps easy enough. Apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and you will find well-known programs such as Spotify and Strava.
Oddly enough, the Summit 3 uses its own health tracking apps (instead of Google Fit) so you can see your heart rate, steps, sleep, stress, SpO2 and body energy data, as well as your metrics while you exercise. While you can review your data in each of the respective wellness apps on the watch, there’s still no way to view your collected data in a single interface on your wrist or in the companion Montblanc app. According to the company, however, starting in September, the Summit 3’s health data will be displayed on Montblanc’s smartphone app and synced to Apple Health or Google Fit.
I don’t see the MontBlanc Summit 3 as a viable fitness tracking smartwatch. Despite the durable design, the overall look can’t be roughened up in the gym or in the great outdoors. Instead, I imagine it’s better for things like sleep tracking and step counting, although I’ll have to try those to see how the data compares to the Apple Watch Series 7, Fitbit Sense, and other smartwatches I wear regularly use.
As well as fitness tracking, the watch has NFC for mobile payments (via Google Pay) and a few other welcome programs like Google Maps. But there’s no Google Assistant, or voice assistant for that matter, which I’d consider a downside. Luckily, you can still dictate texts and answer calls from your wrist when paired with an Android phone. iPhone owners can also set up the Summit 3 through the Wear OS app and benefit from most of the watch’s features. That’s more than can be said for the Galaxy Watch 4 and what we know about the Google Pixel Watch’s compatibility options.
Montblanc Summit 3 hands-on: battery life
Montblanc hasn’t released specific battery life estimates for the Summit 3, but reps told me to expect a day’s battery life and a full charge in an hour. That’s the equivalent of a whole host of smartwatches with always-on displays, workout tracking, and incoming notifications. I have to test the endurance myself to see how long it really lasts or if it keeps up with my daily activities.
View of the Montblanc Summit 3
Part of me suspects that the Summit 3 prioritizes form over function, but that might not be a bad thing. It’s okay if style is at the heart of the experience sometimes, if that’s what matters most to you. The smartwatch is an intimate device designed to have you with you at all times, so it’s natural to want something that looks good. The Summit 3 certainly hits that mark while still offering smaller conveniences like message notifications and mobile payments.
Is it as full-featured as more popular smartwatches? No, which at $1,290 makes it sound like a hoax. But I don’t think anyone buys the Montblanc Summit 3 to get an industry-leading smartwatch – they want a beautiful Montblanc-branded watch with some handy smarts on the side.