The $250 (Digital) Tourbillon, by Slyde

Slyde Tourbillon Watch

I consider HD3, maker of the Slyde watch, to be an experiment of sorts.  Can there be sustainable demand for a virtual digital luxury watch such as the one created by Jorg Hysek?  Perhaps there can, but with all the talk of Apple moving into the digital watch market (Eric Limer, Gizmodo), it will be interesting to see if high-end pieces like the Slyde watch (~$5,000) can carve out a niche in the digital segment which, if dominated by the likes of Apple, will most certainly offer a whole lot more for a whole lot less.

I raise this topic in light of my recent visit over to the Slyde website, where I noticed that the brand now offers owners the ability to purchase new “virutal engines” for their Slyde watches.    For example you can acquire your very own (virtual) tourbillon for 250 Swiss Francs.  There are four other distinct styles, ranging from “free” to a more modest 30 Swiss Francs.

The cool thing is, not only can you get the “tourbillon” virtual engine for 250, but it is also a Jump-Hour Retrograde Split-Seconds Chronograph Perpetual Calendar Moon Phase.  Among other complications.  There’s no limit!

Slyde Watch Client Area

You can check out all the Slyde virutal engines here, on the Slyde Shop>>>

HD3 Slyde Watch

Various modules shown

Slyde Virtual Engines



  • lukesh

    This makes me cry.

    • Perpetuelle

      With joy or pain?

      • lukesh

        Unfortunately with pain. I see a $5K device that is as mechanically numb as an iPod trying to present virtual mechanics on technology that isn’t even trying to be progressive. It’s a hot mess. The company is selling skeuomorphic “movements” for prices that make no sense. Developers and designers spend months on apps for smartphones these days that provide real value, sell them in an App store for $0.99, and even then people complain on reviews that it doesn’t do enough. Slyde makes (in my opinion, poorly designed) apps–I mean “virtual engines”–for this piece of technology that doesn’t even represent the best the industry can provide. If Slyde would have even indulged me with a high-PPI AMOLED display, or a touch interface that didn’t seem to overshoot on every single swipe, that would have helped their case. But they didn’t. This is basically an iPod Nano watch with in an insane premium trying to pass itself off as *choke* haute horology. It’s a poorly-executed experiment, and an insult to the intelligence of the industry in my opinion. Every time I think of some poor sucker buying one of these movements for CHF 250, I picture the Slyde CEO swimming in cash Scrooge McDuck style while watchmakers who actually learn the trade and produce mechanical marvels take 20 years to be recognized (cite RGM).

      • lukesh

        I’m not trying to disparage your review, by the way. As you can tell, this watch simply provokes a strong reaction for me.

        • Perpetuelle

          Hey – no offense taken. In fact, I tend to agree with you. Apple in this market would offer a whole lot more for a whole lot less. This Slyde watch reminds me of TAG Heuer and their “luxury phone” they sell for thousands of dollars. In the same vein, I guess Vertu has in fact carved out a good niche. But whether a $5k digital watch can sustain itself, I think remainds to b e seen.

  • Pingback: A Few Random Morning Links … | The Pretense of Knowledge()