LunaTik: Nano for lunatic meets Rolex head on
The LunaTik has arrived courtesy of UPS and, thanks to the extraordinary benevolence of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs, completely without import duties, Value Added Tax or clearance charges. Must be some mistake but.... Now it is here and the Nano inserted I can report that it really doesn't feel as big as it ought. In fact, in comparison with some oversized quality watches now in fashion (T.W.Steel, for instance) it is a minnow and extremely light. It feels comfortable on the wrist and doesn't look too nerdy, much to my surprise.
Inserting the Nano is a fiddle and if you imagine you are going to be taking it in and out of the LunaTik, think again. Once in, it had better stay in. Using the twin allen keys (supplied) on the rather small securing screws is a real fiddle and I could have done with four hands.
Still, with patience it all fitted together well. The matte-aluminium finish is attractive and the rubber wrist strap, though large, fits comfortably and has a secure fastener. There is a rather strange glue-sniffer smell about the LunaTik which initially made my eyes water; I presume this is from the rubber strap something that will go away soon. Otherwise I'll soon be facing withdrawal symptoms. All in all, I'm quite taken with the LunaTik Nano and will probably risk wearing it outside without danger of frightening the horses.
I've heard it said that the Nano makes a poor wrist watch but I don't agree. The main clock face is classic with clear time, seconds and day/date display. You can move the display to any of four orientations by twisting the screen just like using a trackpad. Swiping once to the left brings up the stopwatch function, which is actually a big improvement on the facilities available on real watches. A second swipe to the right brings up the timer function. Again, straightforward, pretty and easy to use.
If you are travelling abroad you can easily change the time zone. The Settings function is just like on your iPhone: Navigate to General, Date & Time and you can choose your time zone, 12 or 24-hour clock and a white or black clock face. In fact, as a watch I think this is pretty good, even against the Rolex GMT Master II Ceramic shown in the photograph for comparison purposes. (Apologies for the poor photograph; I was holding the camera with one hand).
Eat your spring out, Rolex
While telling the time is the primary function of a wrist watch, this LunaTik performs additional tricks, such as receiving FM radio (quite well), playing music and podcasts, viewing photos and, if you're feeling energetic, linking to Nike's versatile running shoes. Eat your spring out Rolex.
There are three major snags: Firstly, the Nano goes to sleep after a few seconds, so you have to press the wake button in order to see the time. I can imagine this will become a nuisance, particularly when you are carrying something in the other hand. Secondly, to listen to the radio or music you obviously need to plug in the earphones. The cable acts as an antenna and, while the radio works after a fashion with my expensive Etymotic hf3s the Apple-supplied earphones produce a stronger radio signal. Thirdly, if you are listening to music on the Nano you have to take out the earphones to take a call, unlike with the iPhone where you can simply press the call button. For that reason, anyone making lost of calls could soon tire of the LunaTik Nano.
On the positive side, the cable comes out of the left side of the LunaTik so it can be routed up the shirt sleeve and direct to the ears. Quite a neat arrangement because you wouldn't want the cable flapping around as you move your hands.
The bottom line
Bottom line is that the LunaTik looks the business and will sell. While the combination of LunaTik and Nano is sounds expensive, it is actually quite cheap in watch terms. The LunaTik itself cost me $79 (including $9 for international shipping) so, let's say, £50, while the 8 GB Nano was £131. This adds up to £181* which isn't at all bad. The analog Rolex would set you back £4,650 and it doesn't even play music or tune in to BBC Radio 4.
In the USA the LunaTik ships for $70 and the Nano is $149, a total of $219 before local taxes. Bear in mind that the British price for the nano, £131, includes 20% tax. Note that the TikTok, a cheaper version, costs only $40 and would make it easier to slot in the Nano.