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Huawei's Luxury Watch Ultimate on Sale April 3 for $867

We're testing this luxury watch and we're pretty keen so far.

Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
3 min read
Huawei Watch Ultimate
Huawei

Announced in March, Huawei's luxury Watch Ultimate hits shelves in the UK and Europe on April 3 starting at £700 with a rubber strap or £800 for the swanky titanium version. It's the latter we've been testing for the past few days, and we're pretty taken with it. This connected timepiece is styled after classic luxury dive watches from the likes of Breitling, Rolex or TAG Heuer and features up to 14 days of battery life and a bevy of health-tracking features. It can also survive in the ocean at depths of up to 100 meters.

A US launch isn't planned, but those UK prices convert to $867 for the rubber strap version and $991 for the titanium model.

Aesthetically, the watch is designed to mimic technical dive watches, and I really like the look. It eschews the "gadget" aesthetic of many smartwatches and wouldn't look out of place poking from the sleeve of an expensive suit in a fancy bar. It's chunky, and its weight is noticeable when I'm wearing it, but this is true of any watch of this style. 

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Andrew Lanxon/CNET

There are two versions: Voyage Blue, with a blue bezel and a titanium strap (the one I'm testing) and Expedition Black, with a black bezel and rubber strap that Huawei promises is especially resistant to water and oils. There is, however, a spare rubber strap that comes in the box with the titanium model, which you can swap in when you want to get a bit more active. It makes wearing the watch far more comfortable during workouts, especially since it doesn't pull as much on arm hairs.

The watch is waterproof down to 100 meters -- or 10 ATM, ISO 22810 or EN 13319, if you're into your technical pressure standards. It makes the watch particularly suited for scuba divers or free divers, and It has physical buttons to help navigate features underwater. It also has various software functions for things like diving depth, timing and dive logs, along with an "Expedition mode" for tracking mountain climbs or arduous hikes, but those features were unavailable at the time of writing. 

Huawei Watch Ultimate
Huawei

Other key features include a 1.5-inch display that's bright enough to easily read outdoors, a 2.35mm sapphire glass covering for extra durability, a corrosion-resistant Liquid Metal body, and health tracking, including SpO2, stress, sleep and ECG monitoring. It runs Huawei's own smartwatch software, but it's easy to use and there's a variety of digital watch faces to choose from, whether you want a classic watch look or a sportier aesthetic that puts your step counts and other health data right on the screen. Just don't expect to get access to many of the smartwatch apps you'd find on watches running Google's Wear OS or Apple's WatchOS.

Huawei says the watch can last for up to 14 days of battery life, which based on my early tests so far seems like a pretty achievable figure. Throw in the ability to charge from zero to full in 60 minutes, and the new watch does appear to be working hard to earn its Ultimate name. 

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Andrew Lanxon/CNET

With purse strings tightened the world over, it's arguably a risky time to be launching a pricey luxury smartwatch, but those of you into diving and other sea sports may well find it worth the money. We're continuing to put it through its paces over the coming weeks and will update this article with our full verdict when we can. 

Watch this: Scuba Diving With the Apple Watch Ultra