More so than banks, cheese, and multi-purpose knives, the Swiss are known for their watches and few things have threatened their dominance in the market more than the rise of smartwatches. Rather than embracing or ignoring smartwatches, however, many Swiss watchmakers are adopting a hybrid approach, one that combines the style of traditional watches with the health-centric features of smartwatches.
At an event Thursday evening, Swiss watchmakers Frederique Constant, Mondaine and Alpina and motion-tracking software company Fullpower announced the MMT Horological smartwatch platform, which hopes to bridge the gap between old-school traditional quartz watches and the smartwatches of the future. For the new platform, which includes sensors, software and a cloud storage backup, the three luxury watch brands unveiled three new watches, each with different styles and finishes, that keep track of your movement and sleep, just like a fitness tracker does, using similar sensors. The watches aren’t anything like the typical smartwatches we’re seeing today. All have traditional designs with a regular watch face (no LEDs here) and subtle smart features. For instance, the Frederique Constant model tracks your sleep or movement with a small analog dial inside the traditional watch face. It also uses your phone’s time and date to keep the watch set correctly. The Alpina and Mondaine watches have similar features, with a slightly different designs.