Alpina, Frederique Constant and Mondaine smarten up

Alpina smartwatch Reference: AL-285BTD3C6B

Alpina smartwatch Reference: AL-285BTD3C6B

Earlier this month, three Swiss brands, Alpina, Frédérique Constant and Mondaine have announced the launch of their “Swiss Horological Smartwatches”, built under the umbrella of MMT (Manufacture Modules Technologies), a new Swiss joint venture SARL formed by Fullpower Technologies of Silicon Valley and Union Horlogere Holdings.

MMT’s mission is to bring the MotionX Horological Smartwatch Open Platform to the Swiss watch industry. Fullpower will create and manage the Schematic Design, Firmware, Smartphone Applications, as well as the Cloud Infrastructure. MMT will manage the Swiss watch movement development and production as well as licensing and support for the Swiss watch industry.

The Frederique Constant and the Alpina Apps.

The Frederique Constant and the Alpina Apps.

Powered by MotionX®, these Swiss Horological Smartwatches have bi-directional communication with iPhone and Android Apps. Unlike other smartwatches that rely on digital screens, on the Swiss Horological Smartwatches the information is displayed analogically with the help of the hands. Besides the more pleasing aesthetic experience, there is one other huge advantage, the battery will last more than two years, instead of less than a day with the Apple watch.

Here is a list of functionalities supported by the first Horological Smartwatches:

  • Always-on time & date
  • MotionX activity tracking
  • Sleeptracker sleep monitoring
  • Sleep cycle alarms
  • Get active alerts
  • Adaptive coaching
  • MotionX cloud backup and restore
Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch

Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch

You like it or not, at the 2015 edition of Baselworld, the show will be stolen by smartwatches. If Apple was the company that scared the Swiss with teasing them with hints of a smartwatch, from what we saw so far, it looks like the response from Switzerland, at least from a horological perspective is far more interesting than what Cupertino showed us.

For sure, these are early steps, MMT, Apple and all the others have only wrote the first words of a new chapter in… Watchmaking? Wearable technology? It is hard to say. It is also too early to predict how all this will evolve and what will be its long-term effect on our perception of timepieces and ultimately on watchmakers.

As a graphic designer, I'm fascinated by the crossroads between technology and aesthetics. Horology is one of these crafts, where art and engineering come together to produce mechanical wonders that grace the eye. WatchPaper was born from the desire to create an online tool where I can share my passion for watches.