Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
The Fenix 7 series is a collection of rugged outdoor smartwatches that help people navigate the outdoors with confidence. The watches are designed to withstand extreme environments and are built with titanium and sapphire to survive any adventure. They incorporate a unique transparent solar cell that sits above the display collecting sunlight that can extend battery life by over a week. The series comes in three different sizes and a variety of finishes to suit a wide range of people and activities. Built-in worldwide topo maps make navigation simple and reliable when in unfamiliar terrain. The Fenix 7 series is designed to be an extension of your passion for the outdoors.
People are increasingly seeking outdoor activities to unwind and revitalize. The Fenix 7 series is a collection of watches that gives users the tools they need to disconnect and head outdoors with confidence. Our focus on long battery life and operation in any environment make Fenix 7 a worthy companion for your next outdoor adventure.
We designed Fenix 7 to be an outdoor tool that you can rely on when venturing off the grid. Expeditions into the back country can last up to weeks at a time. To address this, people take heavy power bricks or large solar panels with them to constantly keep their electronics charged. A key consideration to empower our users when designing Fenix 7 was to expand our solar collecting capabilities. We worked closely with engineers to enlarge the solar area by 55% through a new watch architecture that moved the screws out onto the watch lugs. The result is a watch with amazing battery life. You can navigate and track your route with GPS for weeks and months at a time with the larger and more efficient solar cell. To achieve maximum battery life, we paired this solar cell with a unique display that reflects sunlight and appears brightest under full sun. These technologies let you unplug and enjoy your activity while leaving your battery anxiety behind.
We designed Fenix with ease of operation in mind whether you are mountain biking, ice climbing, or surfing. It simply must work well in a range of challenging conditions. Buttons ensure the watch can still be used with gloves and even submersed in water. While this setup has served our users well over the years there are limitations to this approach. Panning and zooming on a map for instance is not a button friendly task. Working closely with multiple teams we added a touch screen to enable fluid map use. As we observed testers using this feature it was clear that the addition of a touch screen allows more exploration and better awareness of your surroundings especially while following a route. Having all these maps pre-loaded onto the watch lets you head out to the trail without any need to sync or download ahead of time.
Getting a late start for a weekend of camping and setting up your tent in the dark happens all too often. Waking up in the middle of the night trying to find your headlamp is also very frustrating. Sometimes the best flashlight is the one you don't have to search for. For these occasions we built a small but powerful flashlight into the Fenix 7X. The design team evaluated many possible positions ranging from the side of the watch to the lugs. After many prototypes and months of testing, we decided that a flashlight at the 12 o'clock position gave good usability while remaining ambidextrous. The flashlight uses two white LEDs with 3 brightness settings and a red LED for better vision at night. The flashlight is also used as a safety feature when running at night. We synchronized the watch to flash in time with your run cadence, flashing white as your arm points moves up and red as your arm moves down alerting others to your presence.
An Extension of Your Personality
The emotional connection between a person and their watch heavily influenced our design of the Fenix 7. We designed the watch to not only be a tool but a reflection of your passions in life. We captured the outdoor aesthetic with machined notches at 60 degree increments and a full protected metal front with exposed screws. Cored out details on the watch case give rigidity and a technical appearance. The Fenix 7 series comes in three different sizes; the 7S for smaller wrists and a sleeker look, the 7 for a more immersive experience and the 7X for maximum battery life and features. We compliment these different sizes with a range of colorways and materials. Silicone bands for performance, nylon bands for comfort and metal bands for durability. All our bands feature our QuickFit release system for quick changing between activities. Home, office, trail and more are all covered.
Built to Survive
We built Fenix 7 to survive in the most extreme environments. It is used by ultra-marathoners in deserts, alpinists on snowy summits and kayakers in raging rivers. All the materials and finishes we use must survive UV exposure, grit, mud, water and a host of other punishing conditions. We focused on the idea of protection during the design process by extending metal over the watch lugs to reinforce them. The metal rear case now surrounds and protects the glass heart rate lens. The idea of protection was also extended to the start/stop button with a new button guard giving more visual prominence to starting an activity and protecting it from inadvertent presses while in an activity. We used titanium for its unbeaten strength to weight ratio and coated this in a diamond like carbon coating for maximum scratch resistance. We paired our metal touch points with a fiber reinforced polymer mid-case to create a watch that is deceptively light on the wrist and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. This was then tested to military standards for water, thermal, shock and vibration.