Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR Smartwatch Review: Perfect blend of classic timepiece and fitness tracker

In the past couple of years, the popularity of smartwatches has soared to new heights. In 2019, a report cited that Apple Watch sales had surpassed that of the entire Swiss watch industry. The growth of the smartwatch industry has prompted several luxury brands to hop on the smartwatch bandwagon.

One such brand is Danish-based Skagen, a subsidiary of one of the biggest watch manufacturers in the world, Fossil. The latest entrant in the Skagen family is the Jorn Hybrid HR smartwatch. The Jorn Hybrid smartwatch is designed like a luxury watch but performs like your run-of-the-mill fitness watch. So, let’s find out if the Jorn HR watch has what it takes to bridge the gap between luxury and intelligence.

Design and Build

When it comes to looks, not being a full-fledged smartwatch definitely works in Jorn's favour here. Since the Skagen Jorn is a hybrid watch, it offers all the allure of a luxury watch on the outside with the added benefit of being smart on the inside. But for now, let’s focus on that exterior, which looks every bit as elegant as a luxury timepiece. The Jorn hybrid smartwatch came with a 42mm case, which was just about the right size for my wrist.

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The case itself is made of stainless steel and has a brushed finish. The watch has a layer of glass above its e-ink display, although I wasn’t a fan of the seemingly sizeable bezel. The watch hands and face are rather dark with a splash of golden/yellow. There are three buttons on the right side of the watch that can be used to control functions on the watch, but more on that later.

Our review unit featured a Gray Steel Mesh finish and strap that looked pretty stunning but wasn’t as comfortable as a silicone strap. However, you can go with the Brown Leather or Black Silicone versions if comfort is your top priority. But the main appeal of this Hybrid smartwatch is its looks, so mild discomfort was an easy trade-off for the elegant steel mesh design. Overall, the design of the Skagen Jorn Hybrid smartwatch spells elegance, while the build quality is top-notch.

Display

The Hybrid Smartwatch features a rather user-friendly e-Ink display behind physical watch hands. The display lacks touch support and colour, but features customisable watch faces that can be adjusted through the app. You can also add your own photos from the gallery to the watch faces and customise the button layout. The screen can display everything from notifications to various sports modes.

It was also pretty easy to read the text on the panel. And while it does get hard to view the screen at night, double-tapping on the bottom switches on an in-built light that makes it easy to check the display at night. The one critique I have of this innovative display is its slow refresh rate, which does make the experience feel a bit laggy. I also found that double-touching the screen to switch on the light doesn’t always work fluently.

Features

Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR Smartwatch Review: Perfect blend of classic timepiece and fitness tracker

The Skagen Jorn offers 24/7 fitness tracking including heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, sleep tracking, and built-in connected GPS. When compared with the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (Review), the Jorn accurately tracked step count to within a rather small margin of error. Sleep tracking on the Jorn can be a hit or a miss.

When compared to the sleep data taken from the Galaxy Watch 4, the Skagen Jorn was not always accurate. The watch tracks your time asleep and awake as well as your light and deep sleep. It isn’t as accurate as I would have liked, but I wouldn’t deem it unreliable by any stretch of the imagination. The great part of this hybrid smartwatch is the fact that it continually monitors your heart rate while resting or during a workout. You have a dedicated tab to take on-the-spot heart rate measurements as well.

The Skagen Jorn hybrid smartwatch also has built-in sports modes, including outdoor cycling, hiking, treadmill, elliptical, weights, walking, a workout mode, and more. The watch also features built-in connected GPS when paired with a smartphone. This is designed to track the following activities – outdoor cycling, indoor rowing, walking, and running.

You can also head into the app and set up an Auto Workout Detection for these activities. The Skagen Jorn records several aspects of a workout. While cycling, the watch tracked both average and maximum bpm, active calories, distance, and steps. The smartwatch also calculates your average speed and maximum speed when cycling and running. I found that the watch didn’t calculate distance very accurately, but it still felt like an acceptable margin of error. Additionally, when tracking through connected GPS, your journey is mapped on the app.

Software

The Skagen Jorn HR Hybrid smartwatch comes with the Skagen Hybrid companion app. The watch uses Skagen’s proprietary operating system that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Once you’ve downloaded the app, all you need to do is create an account and get started. You can use the Skagen app to set goals, challenge friends, get notifications, and get all the information regarding your activities and workouts. The Challenges aspect of the app is an interesting feature and allows users to compare their activity levels with other people using the platform.

The alert tab allows users to choose which notifications they want to receive from which apps. The app displays step count, sleep data, heart rate data, and the amount of time you spend active. offers You can also see the distance you’ve covered and the route you’ve covered on the app. The one issue I did find was connectivity issues with the watch, at times, I had to reconnect the watch to the phone to get GPS data.

Battery Life

Skagen claims that the Jorn HR smartwatch can deliver up to two weeks of battery life on a single charge. So, how does that claim hold up? I’d say somewhat accurately. With minimal usage, you lose anywhere between 5 to 10 percent of battery life a day. However, add a two-hour cycling routine and sleep tracking for six hours and battery consumption goes up to 15 to 20 percent.

I’d say two weeks battery life seems like a bit of a stretch; you should get to 10 days but putting the watch through its paces will likely get you a week. The watch is bundled with a small grey charger that clips onto the back of the watch. The Jorn smartwatch takes a little over an hour to fully charge, so it is on the faster side when compared to other smartwatches I’ve tried.

Verdict

With a price tag of Rs 14,495, the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR Smartwatch doesn’t come cheap. You could get a full-fledged smartwatch based on Google’s Wear OS platform with a plethora of apps. However, on the flip side, the Jorn offers a level of luxury a regular 15K smartwatch simply cannot. But despite the appeal of a luxury watch, the Skagen Jorn still offers the functionality of a smartwatch with fitness tracking, activity tracking, heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, music controls, and so much more. After using the Jorn for quite a while, I feel that the e-ink display ties in with the entire experience, although the lack of a touchscreen can be inconvenient at times.

If you are looking for a full-fledged smartwatch or to track fitness activities, the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR is not meant for you. But if you are looking for a very good-looking watch with a ton of smart features built-in to track fitness activities, then the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR might be worth considering. I have to say that the Jorn Hybrid HR Smartwatch has certainly piqued my interest in hybrid smartwatches and their potential to lure consumers away from more expensive smartwatches that don’t run on WearOS.
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