Spark & Runner 2 GPS fitness watch

'Music and cardio on your wrist'

TomTom Spark & Runner 2


TomTom Spark, and its running variant the Runner 2, is a music GPS sports and fitness watch. This all-in-one wearable motivates training sessions by allowing users to listen to music during workouts via wireless Bluetooth headphones – without the need for cables or smartphones. A built-in optical heart rate sensor monitors heart metrics while the multi-sport mode enables users to track indoor and outdoor sporting activities.

  • Design Research
  • Industrial Design
  • Design Engineering
  • Prototyping
TomTom Spark by therefore

therefore has been TomTom’s product design partner from the very beginning, designing the world’s first all-in-one Personal Navigation Device (PND) for the Dutch telematics giant. Not resting on our laurels, we have been helping them create and launch one pioneering products after another over the past 13 years.

In collaboration with Nike and TomTom, we helped create the Nike+ SportWatch GPS, launched at CES 2011 to much fanfare. Two years later, we designed an entire range of award-winning running and golf watches for TomTom, fuelling their ambitions in consumer sports with commercial success.


Asking the hard question

As the fitness wearables market matured over the next few years and became intensely competitive, TomTom consolidated their market feedback and asked themselves: How can we better motivate people to move and improve their fitness, even those who don’t consider themselves “athletes”?

Their answer was simple but cerebral: music. Research showed that up to 70% of people are more motivated when working out with music, the goal then, was to help everyday athletes exercise to tunes without having to carry around uncomfortable devices and messy wires. Tasked with this latest challenge, TomTom came to us once again to help them achieve their vision – the next generation music fitness watch range for active lifestyles.

Discover. Think. Improve.

Through close collaboration with TomTom’s marketing, product, engineering and UX teams, we helped identify and solve complex strategic and product problems, and having designed the previous range, we carried over learnings of what worked and what can be improved. We critically evaluated the 1st generation watches and made improvements to many fundamental areas such as size, weight, strap comfort and fit – especially on users with small wrists. We worked closely with TomTom’s engineering team in shrinking the internal electronics package, as well as optimising the module design to work with the latest optical and pressure sensors.

We aim to create the desire for ownership within consumers. Modularity is key, it appeals to users who want to make more than one statement with their watch through accessory straps to suit their lifestyle needs. This encourages a greater connection and a long-term association with the device due to the variety of consumer options. The lightweight, compact and modular watch unit is water resistant to 5ATM (40m), with its body clipping in and out of softer, thinner and more comfortable accessory straps with ease. We have also created two different strap sizes to ensure great fit on any wrists.

The end result was the TomTom Spark – one of the first sports watches with a built-in music player, enabling people to exercise without having to wear uncomfortable arm-bands to carry their (expensive) phones! This feature rich offering is packed with technology to help users aspire, achieve and be entertained, with 24/7 activity tracking, sleep tracking, indoor training modes, improved multidirectional “one-button” control and a much smaller optical heart rate monitor – all within a slimmer face and up to 37% lighter than previous models.

We are proud of the lighter, sleeker GPS sports watch we have created – a visually sophisticated and compact consumer wearable device that is both ergonomically and technically superior, yet electronically complex. We believe the Spark has further enhanced TomTom’s brand reputation in consumer sports as it shows that we listen to our customers’ concerns, which in turn helped us deliver an optimised and innovative solution. Furthermore, the Spark’s modular product platform paved the way for the range to expand into specialist fitness categories, giving life to the elegant Golfer 2, the tough Adventurer, as well as the updated Spark 3.