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Classic Everyday Products With Modern Tech Upgrades

Some essentials will never go out of style — a well-made watch, a high-quality leather wallet, a sturdy keychain — but the versions of these classics you carry today probably look a little different than the ones your father and grandfather carried yesterday.

Here are a few classic everyday items that stick with tradition while also packing a big modern upgrade for 2020.

Apple Watch

Smartwatches were a gimmick only a few years ago — just a gimmick to get yet another screen and more notifications in our faces. But which each generation, top brands like the Apple Watch added features and benefits that turned it into an essential timepiece. Custom watch faces and notification controls let you dial back the dings and buzzes to sport a classic face. Heart rate monitors and an altimeter make the Apple Watch a true fitness companion. Brushed aluminum and craft leather bands make it sophisticated accessory. The Apple Watch has moved beyond a “piece of tech that happens to be a watch” to simply … a great watch.

blu PLUS+

The technology of modern e-cigs has come a long way since they first gained popularity. Brands like blu are giving users better battery life, design, portability and control over their nicotine with their blu PLUS+ e-cigs and PLUS+ Tanks. Today’s smokers leave the pack of cigarettes at home and now carry modern e-cigs.

RFID Wallet

Spend good money on a great wallet and it will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, the credit cards inside might not. The private data on your cards can be skimmed by something called an RFID (radio frequency identification) device. The thief just needs to bump it up against your wallet in a crowded space like a subway or bar and the data is theirs. RFID wallets have a protective layer that blocks this signal and keeps your credit card information confidential. Brands like Ridge Wallet offer modern, minimalist looks but classic leather options for RFID blocking are available too.


“I can’t find my keys” might be one of the most commonly spoken phrases of the century. We have ways to digitally track down our phones, computers and even our cars, but our keys have always been free to hide from us for years — until now. A Tile Mate is a tiny square that attaches to your keychain, which rings, flashes or vibrates any time you need to find it through an app on your phone.

iPad Pro With Apple Pencil

This might feel like an extreme deviation from the classic Moleskine and fountain pen — one is much, much more expensive and doesn’t deliver the tactile satisfaction of pen to paper — but the iPad Pro (along with the Apple Pencil, a must) has reached a point that it could and should take over in your everyday carry setup. Smart apps like Good Notes are just the beginning of what you can do with a screen and “pencil.” People use the iPad Pro to edit photos, videos, take notes and get work done; it even replaces many computers in the travel bag.

The tech changes, but the categories stay the same. These upgrades in our favorite classics show us that we don’t have to sacrifice style for the benefits of modern tech.

About the author

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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