Most connected watches require a smartphone to communicate with the outside world. There are some exceptions — Omate’s watches have long included a microSIM that connects them directly to cell networks — but that route is expensive and complicated, and required custom software
Expect to see watches like that, though. Google announced yesterday that its Android Wear watch OS will now support LTE networking, meaning that the software part of the design problem is now sorted out. The hardware end remains complicated, as does the small matter of working with cell carriers to figure out things like billing.
The first Android Wear LTE watch will be the LG Watch Urbane LTE. Purest coincidence that Google’s announcement comes the day before the watch is available via pre-order on AT&T, and a week before Verizon follows suit. It’s be $200 from AT&T with a two-year contract, and $500 unlocked from Verizon.