Swiss smartwatch watch: All you need to know about traditional tech timepieces

Your full lowdown on the Swiss watches with connected smarts
Swiss smartwatch watch

While Google, Apple and Samsung seemingly think that display-touting smartwatches are the future, the likes of Withings and Nevo signalled a new avenue of connected watch tech with their analogue offerings.

Devices that blur traditional watch designs with contemporary fitness tracking and notification tech are becoming ever more ubiquitous and Switzerland - the spiritual home of watchmaking - wants in on the action.

In 2015 Manufacture Modules Technologies (MMT), a collaboration between California's Fullpower Technologies and Swiss company Union Horlogère, announced the Horological Smartwatch Open Platform - an initiative to provide the technical platform for Swiss smartwatches.

Union Horlogère owns Swiss watchmakers Frederique Constant and Alpina but it isn't just these two brands who are able to launch devices; third parties will be able to license the quartz module tech as well - the Mondaine Helvetica No 1 Smart was the first such example.

Read on for a full rundown of the best Swiss smartwatches you can buy now...

Mondaine

As mentioned, the Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smart Watch was the first MMT device out of the blocks - it went on sale back in July.

There are five models to choose from: left to right we have the MH1.B2S20.RB ($1,000), the MH1.B2S80.LG ($950), the MH1.B2S10.LB ($950), the MH1.B2S80.LG ($950) and the MH1.B2S20.LB ($1,000). The tech on board is the standard MMT setup - the price increase on the more expensive duo is down to the IP plated finish on the case and clasp.

When it comes to design chops, Mondaine rules the roost. Firstly, it has got the whole Swiss railway design going on, which is like having your smartwatch endorsed by time itself and, if that wasn't enough, the company has officially licensed the Helvetica font, which is enough to get the most ardent design nerds aquiver.

The app you use to view the stats recorded by the No.1 Smart is the same MotionX one you'll use with the Frederique Constant and Alpina ones below.

From $950, mondaine.com

Frederique Constant

If Frederique Constant is more your style then you've also got five original Horological Smartwatch designs to choose from, with three different leather strapped versions on offer and two variations of the metallic-finished model.

All watch faces from the range are covered in convex sapphire glass and are water resistant rated at 5ATM. The FC-285V5B4 pictured above, bottom right, is the most expensive in the line-up, thanks to its rose-gold covering. It will set you back $1,295. The other two leather ones - FC-285B5B6 (tan strap) and the FC-285S5B6 (black strap) cost $995. The two steel ones FC-285B5B6B (black face) and FC-285S5B6B (white face) are priced at $1,095.

Frederique Constant followed up those five originals with the Wordtimer edition (FC-285N5B4), which was revealed at Baselworld 2016 earlier this year.

It boasts a navy blue face and leather strap, along with rose-gold hour markers and a rose-gold plated steel case and folding buckle and, as the name suggests, offers a range of timezone syncing options. It's the pricier option at $1,295.

From $995, frederiqueconstant.com

Alpina

Alpina has the biggest range in the MMT lineup, with eight Horological Smartwatch models currently available, and specific models for ladies making up the numbers.

From top-left to bottom-right there's the AL-285S5AQ6 (men's, $1,095), the AL-285BS5AQ6B (men's $1,195), the AL-285STD3CD6B (women's, $2,595), the AL-285STD3C6B (women's, $1,195), the AL-285BTD3CD6 (women's, $2,495), the AL-285BTD3C6B (women's, $1,195), the AL-285BS5AQ6 (men's, $1,095) and the AL-285S5AQ6B (men's, $1,195).

The $2,595 models pack a whopping 69 diamonds - 60 around the edge and 9 in the middle and all models can be personally engraved on the back.

Like the Mondaine and the Frederique Constant models detailed above, the MotionX tech inside means step counting and sleep monitoring and a 2-year battery life.

From $1,095, alpinawatches.com

Tag Heuer

Not part of the MMT stable, Tag Heuer decided to go digital for its smartwatch debut. The Tag Heuer Connected comes in the black rubber strapped version as standard with the other coloured straps available to purchase separately.

The Tag Heuer Connected doesn't boast the 'Swiss Made' tag of its mechanical brethren - instead it's inscribed with a 'Swiss Engineered' tag at the bottom of the bezel. Tag's Android Wear entry is the first smartwatch from Google's stable to boast Intel processing power.

At the end of the 2-year warranty period, you can trade the Connected in for a mechanical Tag Heuer watch. You have to pay $1,500 on top but, we're told the mechanical watch is well worth the total $3,000 outlay.

$1,500, tagheuerconnected.com

Breitling Exospace B55

The B55 uses Bluetooth LE to connect to a smartphone, allowing you to add functions such as setting a second timezone, alarms and reminder vibrations. The watch is based on Breitling's Caliber B50 chronograph movement.

The company's first smartwatch is aimed at pilots, so a lot of the smart features involve chrono flight time logs and countdowns to 'mission start'.

With digital and analog displays and Breitling's SuperQuartz movement for keeping time up to ten times more accurately than standard quartz, it's kept its heritage intact.

The B55 Expspace's companion app looks to allow huge amounts of customisation for timezones and the like but there's no notification support or fitness tracking.

$8,900, breitling.com


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1 Comment

  • Nischit says:

    Brilliant

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