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 Nokia (formerly Withings), Fossil and even Garmin have 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.

Read this: The best hybrid smartwatches to buy in 2017

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 that play nice with iPhones and Android phones.

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.

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.

Wareable verdict: Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 review

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 was 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.

A new Tag Heuer Connected watch is incoming as well, and is expected to offer a modular design to give owners more options to switch up the look of their new Tag smartwatch.

$1,500, tagheuerconnected.com

Mondaine

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

As mentioned, the Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smart Watch was the first MMT device out of the blocks - it went on sale back in 2015.

Wareable verdict: Read our full Mondaine Helvetica Smart review

There are six models to choose from in total and the tech on board is the standard MMT setup. The price increase on the more expensive models 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

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

If Frederique Constant is more your style then watchmaker first kicked things off in 2015 with five original Horological Smartwatch designs equipped with three different leather strapped versions and two variations of the metallic-finished model.

Hands-on: Montblanc Summit review

That was then followed up in 2016 by the Horological Smartwatch Worldtimer and joined five new variations of its men's watch. We also got to see the first Frederique Constant hybrid watch designed for women. The watches all keep an eye on your activity, sleep, tracking your daily steps, distance and calories burned. You'll now also get notification support with the 2, 4, 8 and 10 o'clock position each representing calls, sleep, activity and messages respectively.

From $750, frederiqueconstant.com

Alpina

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

Alpina has the biggest range in the MMT lineup and initially kicked things off with eight Horological Smartwatch models and specific models for ladies making up the numbers.

The newest additions to the Alpina Horological Smartwatch family include a brushed stainless steel 44mm model with navy blue sunray dial and a brown leather strap with red lining. The new blue model can keep track of daily steps, calories burned and total distance. It'll also let you set up inactivity alerts to keep you active.

That's been followed up by the Alpina Seastrong Horological, a diver-style hybrid smartwatch series made up of four models, all of which are waterproof up to 100m/330ft and feature 44mm fibreglass casing with luminous watch hands.

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

From $1,095, alpinawatches.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


Shop for recommended smartwatches on Amazon

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Apple Watch Series 2
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Huawei Watch
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2 Comments

  • Nischit says:

    Brilliant

  • plopl0 says:

    Very nice. Some of them is too expensive for me, but I'm a big fan of the Alpina smart fitness watch http://amzn.to/2mZlctZ . It just looks great on the wrist.

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