Smarter Ways To Wake Up
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Smarter Ways To Wake Up

These high-tech alarm clocks will give you a boost to start your day

By Jennifer Tzeses
Wed, Feb 24, 2021 1:23amGrey Clock 4 min

Let’s face it, getting out of bed, especially during these times, can take the power of a forklift to pry most of us from all that cocooning comfort to face the day. But maybe, if the wakeup method itself were a little more enticing rather than a shrill jolt, the process would be much less painful. Enter smart alarm clocks, which come with capabilities that rival house managers in real life as well as state-of-the-art entertainment systems that kick off your day in a more energized way.

While they don’t include robotic arms to physically lift you out of your lair, they do have some serious functionality that might inspire you to, in fact, get up.

Here are four of the latest models on the market.

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

Lenovo

Part clock, part digital detox, the Lenovo Smart Clock isn’t just designed to tell you the time and wake you up. Thanks to a screen that gradually dims and brightens, it can help you fall asleep and get up less abruptly—so you can slide into your day in a more organic way. It works with Google Assistant, so all you have to do is ask it for things like news briefs, weather reports or updates on the traffic and you shall receive.

Set good nightly routines by telling it to dim the lights and lock the doors—and have it turn on the lights, play energizing music or start the coffee maker in the morning. If that’s not enough, when the screen is not in use, it displays the time on customizable clock faces.

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is available for around $79. lenovo.com

LaMetric Time

LaMetric Time

As clocks go, LaMetric Time takes the prize for coolest retro vibes. The Wi-Fi-connected timepiece lets you choose the clock face (from tons of adorable designs) that come to life in pixelated fashion. Program it to play your favourite tracks through Spotify or online radio, or you can stream tunes from Apple music—so you’ll wake up on the sunnier side of the bed instead of being scared out of a deep sleep.

The intelligent clock also has countdown capabilities, which can measure how much time you spend on daily tasks like cooking, fitness or other activities. Send notifications from your phone straight to your clock and it will display reminders right on screen. Like any good smart device, it also connects to other home functions—like lighting, appliances and temperature control.

The LaMetric Time is available for $199. lametric.com

 

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon

The perfect companion for your nightstand, Amazon Echo Dot with its LED clock works with Amazon Alexa, so you can ask it just about anything—for a joke, to play music, to answer questions, to play the news or check the weather and set alarms. Before bed, program it to put on your favourite ambient sounds or audiobook, and then tell it to set a sleep timer, so it turns off while you turn in.

Controlling your smart home using your voice to do everything from turning the lights on and off to adjusting thermostats and locking doors is undoubtedly impressive, but this device’s most noteworthy feature is its capacity to set and store alarms—and a lot of them, 100 to be exact. Ask it to set single, one-off alarms or even repeating alarms on different days. Basically, you’ll never forget anything ever again.

The Amazon Echo Dot is available for $59.99. amazon.com.au

Reason ONE Smart Alarm Clock

Reason ONE Smart Alarm Clock

In terms of utility, Reason ONE Smart Alarm Clock makes no mistake on time. Its large digital time display is easy-to-read. And it automatically adjusts brightness based on ambient light. Paired with Amazon Alexa, you can set timers, check the weather or news and play music, podcasts or audiobooks. The accompanying Reason Home app lets you take the controls, so you can use it to manage any smart home device. And if you set it to night mode before bed, it eliminates the clock display entirely, which means you won’t have to cover it (or your head) to get the room pitch black.

The Reason ONE Smart Alarm Clock is available for around $30. thereasonclock.com



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New York Watch Auctions Record Uptick in Sales in the Face of Market Slowdown
By LAURIE KAHLE
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Luxury watch collectors showed ongoing strong demand for Patek Philippe, growing interest in modern watches and a preference for larger case sizes and leather straps at the June watch sales in New York, according to an analysis of the major auctions.

Independent and neo-vintage categories, meanwhile, experienced declines in total sales and average prices, said the report from  EveryWatch, a global online platform for watch information. Overall, the New York auctions achieved total sales of US$52.27 million, a 9.87% increase from the previous year, on the sale of 470 lots, reflecting a 37% increase in volume. Unsold rates ticked down a few points to 5.31%, according to the platform’s analysis.

EveryWatch gathered data from official auction results for sales held in New York from June 5 to 10 at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s. Limited to watch sales exclusively, each auction’s data was reviewed and compiled for several categories, including total lots, sales and sold rates, highest prices achieved, performance against estimates, sales trends in case materials and sizes as well as dial colors, and more. The resulting analysis provides a detailed overview of market trends and performance.

The Charles Frodsham Pocket watch sold at Phillips for $433,400.

“We still see a strong thirst for rare, interesting, and exceptional watches, modern and vintage alike, despite a little slow down in the market overall,” says Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of the California-based pre-owned online watch dealer BobsWatches.com, in an email. “The results show that there is still a lot of money floating around out there in the economy looking for quality assets.”

Patek Philippe came out on top with more than US$17.68 million on the sale of 122 lots. It also claimed the top lot: Sylvester Stallone’s Patek Philippe GrandMaster Chime 6300G-010, still in the sealed factory packaging, which sold at Sotheby’s for US$5.4 million, much to the dismay of the brand’s president, Thierry Stern . The London-based industry news website WatchPro estimates the flip made the actor as much as US$2 million in just a few years.

At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire
Richard Mille

“As we have seen before and again in the recent Sotheby’s sale, provenance can really drive prices higher than market value with regards to the Sylvester Stallone Panerai watches and his standard Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1a offered,” Altieri says.

Patek Philippe claimed half of the top 10 lots, while Rolex and Richard Mille claimed two each, and Philippe Dufour claimed the No. 3 slot with a 1999 Duality, which sold at Phillips for about US$2.1 million.

“In-line with EveryWatch’s observation of the market’s strong preference for strap watches, the top lot of our auction was a Philippe Dufour Duality,” says Paul Boutros, Phillips’ deputy chairman and head of watches, Americas, in an email. “The only known example with two dials and hand sets, and presented on a leather strap, it achieved a result of over US$2 million—well above its high estimate of US$1.6 million.”

In all, four watches surpassed the US$1 million mark, down from seven in 2023. At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire, the most expensive watch sold at Christie’s in New York. That sale also saw a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM52-01 CA-FQ Tourbillon Skull Model go for US$1.26 million to an online buyer.

Rolex expert Altieri was surprised one of the brand’s timepieces did not crack the US$1 million threshold but notes that a rare Rolex Daytona 6239 in yellow gold with a “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial came close at US$952,500 in the Phillips sale.

The Crown did rank second in terms of brand clout, achieving sales of US$8.95 million with 110 lots. However, both Patek Philippe and Rolex experienced a sales decline by 8.55% and 2.46%, respectively. The independent brand Richard Mille, with US$6.71 million in sales, marked a 912% increase from the previous year with 15 lots, up from 5 lots in 2023.

The results underscored recent reports of prices falling on the secondary market for specific coveted models from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. The summary points out that five top models produced high sales but with a fall in average prices.

The Rolex Daytona topped the list with 42 appearances, averaging US$132,053, a 41% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, with two of the top five watches, made 26 appearances with an average price of US$111,198, a 26% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar followed with 23 appearances and a US$231,877 average price, signifying a fall of 43%, and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak had 22 appearances and an average price of US$105,673, a 10% decrease. The Rolex Day Date is the only watch in the top five that tracks an increase in average price, which at US$72,459 clocked a 92% increase over last year.

In terms of categories, modern watches (2005 and newer) led the market with US$30 million in total sales from 226 lots, representing a 53.54% increase in sales and a 3.78% increase in average sales price over 2023. Vintage watches (pre-1985) logged a modest 6.22% increase in total sales and an 89.89% increase in total lots to 169.

However, the average price was down across vintage, independent, and neo-vintage (1990-2005) watches. Independent brands saw sales fall 24.10% to US$8.47 million and average prices falling 42.17%, while neo-vintage watches experienced the largest decline in sales and lots, with total sales falling 44.7% to US$8.25 million, and average sales price falling 35.73% to US$111,000.

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