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Gear of the Week: Bia Sport Watch

This slim, two-piece gadget fits differently on the wrist than other watches.

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This slim, two-piece gadget fits differently on the wrist than other watches.

Ladies, have you ever felt like men’s watches are too big, but the women’s-specific models didn’t hit the mark? Runner, Ironman triathlete and tech product designer Cheryl Kellond felt the same way. So she came up with a solution: the Bia Sport Watch.

“I went to grad school at MIT. If I couldn’t figure out something that was supposed to tell me how far and fast I went, then something was wrong,” said Kellond of her experience when looking for a watch. “My friend and I thought we could do better.”

Kellond and open-water swimmer Sylvia Marino assembled a team of female athletes to determine all they wanted to see in a product, including a comfortable fit, quick setup, easy uploading, one button operation and safety features. The next step was testing, and then seeing if the design was feasible to build. The group soon realized they were so positive about their product that proceeding was the only option. A successful Kickstarter campaign followed, raising $400,000 from a 90 percent female backer base in 36 days.

When you open the box, you have the Bia, a slim Gostick battery that clips to your waistband, bra strap or pack, and a piece of paper saying there’s is no instruction booklet. All you do is log onto Bia’s site and follow the prompts. It takes about five minutes from opening the box to being ready to go. The Gostick does need to be charged and has about 17 hours of run time. When you finish a workout, encouraging messages pop up on the screen—“badassery” is my current favorite.

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The Bia is lightweight, smaller than a pack of GU and has a sleek, angled design that sits up higher on the wrist to avoid banging your wrist bone. The fit is currently left arm specific, but modifications are in the works for those who prefer to wear devices on the right. It’s intuitively easy to use, automatically uploads workout data to the Bia site or another site of your choosing, receives software updates automatically, works for biking and swimming as well as running and has a pre-programmed SOS feature. Interchangeable bands and live tracking are in the works.

Bia is currently available online and at expos, with retail availability coming soon.

Price:$279

More info: store.bia-sport.com