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In the past several years since smartphones first debuted, wristwatches, pocket watches, and other forms of time-telling devices have drifted further and further into obscurity. Nowadays, watches are a status symbol of tradition, or a statement of wealth.

However, in 2013, wristwatches are making an epic comeback.

The story of the next-generation wristwatch began in 2012, when a few enterprising individuals came up with several really neat concept ideas that merge traditional clock devices with the future of mobile technology. Some of them allow you to control your phone through your watch; others are aesthetically beautiful and ecologically conservative.

The first on our list is the Pebble E-Paper Watch (pictured) for iPhone and Android. This device came to life through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter in early 2012. The wristwatch is easily customizable to fit your lifestyle. You can program it to control your music, display mileage during a cycling or running workout, even use it as a golf rangefinder.

Of course, the Pebble also tells the time, which is its main feature. The wristwatch is available from the manufacturer’s website for $150 pre-orders.

Our next favorite wristwatch is the CST-01, from Central Standard Timing. Touted as the “Thinnest Watch In The World”, the CST-01 is indeed a feat of engineering. While not as comprehensive as the Pebble, this watch still provides quite a bang for your buck.

It’s electronic, which means it comes with a charging station/dock. However, the neat part is that the CST-01 only takes 10 minutes to fully charge, and will last you an entire month on that single charge. It has a big typeface with large numbers, so you’ll never have to squint at your wrist again.

With the Pebble and the CST-01 leading the charge into the next-gen wristwatch market, one can’t help but wonder if perhaps this is the future evolution of mobile technology. Not only are they programmable and useful, they’re also ecologically sound, and economical viable.

Traditional watches may last for a long time, but the batteries certainly don’t. Once they die, they’re gone forever, and become acid-filled waste in dumps across the globe. These smart watches have rechargeable batteries, and don’t suck energy like their smartphone counterparts.

Maybe we won’t be holding our wrists up to our ears to make a phone call anytime soon, but they will definitely have a major role in wearable technology for years to come.

Image: www.getpebble.com

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