The Oura Ring was one of the hottest gadgets during the pandemic. Not only did it spark a weird sleep competition between Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian, but it was featured in the NBA’s COVID prevention plans, and there were several studies to see if wearables could predict COVID-19. And now there’s a Gucci version that costs a whopping $950.
The Gucci x Oura Ring is crafted from “black synthetic corundum” detailed with a braided bezel and an 18K gold Gucci G. It weighs four ounces and the band is 0.3 inches thick. Aside from the deluxe design, this is basically the same as the $299 “regular” Oura Ring Generation 3. The main advantage of the Gucci version is that it comes with a lifetime membership. Starting with the Gen 3 ring, Oura started charging a monthly fee of $6 for his services. (You can still use the ring without a subscription, but you’re limited to the most basic stats.)
The Oura Ring itself is a niche tracker. Unlike smartwatches and other wrist-based fitness trackers, the primary focus is on recovery and sleep. Users receive three daily scores for sleep, activity and “readiness,” a measure of how well their bodies have recovered based on heart rate variability and other factors.
It may seem bizarre to launch an even more luxurious version of what was already considered an expensive gadget, but it starts to make a little more sense when you consider Oura’s high-profile clientele and what other luxury brands have been doing in this space. Celebrities like Prince Harry, Jennifer Aniston and Diplo have been spotted using the gadget, as have countless athletes and even former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. (It was also featured in an episode of HBO Max’s And just like… † What do celebrities like? Spending an absurd amount of money on luxury fashion brands, when every Pinterest board is devoted to the looks on Keeping up with the Kardashians is any indication. Other luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Montblanc have also dabbled in expensive Wear OS smartwatches with their signature styles.
Fashion has a certain hold on the wearable space. Since you actually have to wear these devices, the design aesthetic ranks pretty high when customers decide which wearable to buy. But investing heavily in wearables as a luxury item has not been successful. Apple famously released a $10,000 18-karat gold version of its Apple Watch in 2015. It was discontinued a year later. While celebrities searched for that device, Apple’s wider wearable success only took off when it veered away from luxury sensibilities to health and fitness.
Honestly, this collaboration is most likely Oura and Gucci scratching each other’s backs. Gucci appears to be technologically savvy and forward-looking. Oura continues to capitalize on that “it factor” that helped it reach a $2.5 billion valuation in April after selling one million rings. Just don’t expect anyone but a celebrity wearing this out in the wild.