Luxury goods company Montblanc asked us to create a design system, including watch faces and a suite of supporting apps, for its new smartwatch, the next in its successful Summit range. The Summit Lite model blends the brand’s prestige and heritage with the latest technology.
Customisable watch faces – from work to workouts
Accessible activity app design for health and wellbeing
Digital and wearable design expertise
The Summit Lite model blends the brand’s prestige and heritage with the latest technology, a single stylish device with impressive functionality.
The challenge was to create a flexible design system that could transition seamlessly between time display, activity tracker and other apps – helping the wearer stay on top of fitness, sleep, and energy with ease. It also needed a functional design system that didn’t compromise on style and usability, for a watch that works perfectly in the boardroom and at the gym.
We created two distinct watch faces for Summit Lite – a modern face to tell time and an active face to access health and wellbeing functions.
The modern face makes time the hero, with a custom number font showcasing the hour.
The monochromatic design comes to life with a flick of the wrist, activating a fluid background shape that changes throughout the day. Wearers can choose from four different colour gradients and text or analogue hands to suit their personal style.
For the active face, we designed a heart rate monitor and ‘workout’ button to start the Cardio Coach app alongside a central digital time display. This was complemented by simple circumference gauges, linking to Montblanc’s own activity apps. We applied a consistent design and colour system for accessibility and easy recall.
We drew on our expertise in wearables to inform our design of the apps that lived on the watch itself. We created six apps to fulfil various user needs, including stress measurement, stress management, and navigation. We were able to fine-tune their performance following feedback gleaned from Montblanc’s rigorous user testing process.
Bringing Summit Lite’s minimal design aesthetic to life involved a number of important considerations, particularly for the active face. The constraint of a circular screen created its own challenge. To avoid unwieldy blocks of text set in a narrow column, we used radial charts to display key data around the circumference.
We mixed colour, a larger font size, and spacing to break up chunks of information, improving legibility. And where possible we avoided central alignment, using a grid system that allowed the text to be set left instead. The paired-back design was practical too – it reduced the amount of lit pixels, preserving battery life.
We were relentless in our pursuit of design excellence. During the apps and screens design phase, we provided different solutions to each design problem, as best practice. Following feedback, we were then able to either narrow our options and iterate on just one or two – or to continue iterating multiple solutions to our suite of options, as required. The final results were the products of hours of finely-tuned collaboration and discussion, after dozens and dozens of design options were presented.
Summit Lite is a welcome addition to Montblanc’s smartwatch range. Its unique blend of heritage style and cutting-edge technology makes it the perfect choice for high performers, helping them achieve their activity goals and inspiring them to reach their full potential.
The customisable face makes it easy to express individual style, and the dynamic design means switching between modes is a cinch, taking the wearer from work to workout in an instant.