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Wearable Tech

Guess partners with Martian for fashion-conscious smartwatches

Get ready for snazzier smart wearables: Guess announces a partnership that seems to be part of a trend.

The Martian Notifier Smartwatch. Sarah Tew/CNET

Fashion watches powered by smart tech? It could be the way wearables are rapidly headed -- or at least be the immediate trend for next year.

Timex-owned Sequel AG, which distributes Guess watches worldwide, has announced a partnership with Guess and smartwatch developer Martian Watches to make "interactive, voice-command wrist accessories" for early 2015.

"Of the smartwatch developers we've observed, Martian has captured what we believe is the essence of blending fashion with intelligent features," Sequel CEO Cindy Livingston said Wednesday in a press release. "Their technology will help make our sexy designs 'smart' -- not just smartwatches that try to mimic the smartphone. It's the beginning of an era where wrist accessories will be able to do much more than tell time."

We liked the Martian Notifier , an affordable and stylish $119 smartwatch, when we reviewed it this past spring. Back at CES, it was clear that Irvine, Calif.-based Martian was aiming for a mainstream approach, perhaps with the goal of partnering with larger watch manufacturers. The "powered by Martian" moniker will appear on these future Guess watch products. Martian watches currently work with both Android and iOS, and serve up simple vibration-enhanced notifications along with a traditional analog watch display.

Perhaps better style will be key to wearable wrist tech taking the next step. Perhaps affordability will be too.