Baselworld Day 2: Swiss Smartwatches?

Swiss Smartwatches

Baselworld 2015 saw the first steps into the smartwatch industry from Swiss watch manufacturers. Mondaine, Alpina and Frederique Constant teamed together to produce the Swiss Horological Smartwatch. There’s no doubt that people have been asking the question – what’s next for Swiss smartwatches.

Well, we’re only two days into Baselworld 2016 and we’ve already had quite a few answers. In fact, I’d say that if Baselworld 2016 is anything to go by, it seems as though smartwatches really are here to stay!

Horological Swiss Smartwatches: Mark II

Baselworld 2015

The latest collection of Swiss Smartwatches are being unveiled at Baselworld 2016, including new smartwatches from Tissot, Frederique Constant and Mondaine. There are a wide range of new features being added to this collection of Swiss smartwatches. But something that all of the watch manufacturers are keen to stress is that they believe form is just as important as function when it comes to smartwatches.

Tissot CEO Francois Thiebaud is one who is firmly on the watch first, gadget second bandwagon. “We’re happy to change our phones regularly because it’s a practical product. But a watch is still an emotional product. You can’t present a watch as though it’s a gadget,” Thiebaud explained. “Retailers are reluctant to take on products that may be out of date in six months. So while connectivity brings advantages, it’s important that even if you don’t use it you still have a beautiful watch,”

The Newest Mondaine Smartwatch


Mondaine have unveiled their latest Swiss smartwatch device at Baselworld 2016. The biggest addition to the latest Mondaine smartwatch is a slot in the watch bracelet which adds the functionality for contactless payments. Somehow Mondaine have managed to integrate an amazing number of features into this new smartwartch without needing a complete overhaul of the watch design.

Mondaine CEO Andre Bernheim argues that a very important feature of the new watch is that it remains traditional looking. Bernheim goes as far as to say that “If I had to compromise the look I wouldn’t add the function.” He believes it’s not worth attempting to compete with a smartphone, especially as most people carry their phone with them. The trick, Bernheim believes, is to “limit the watch’s functions to those it makes sense to have on the body.”

New Names With Exciting Smartwatch Concepts


Two names you’re unlikely to have heard of are Veldt and WATCHe. These two names have arrived at the Messe Basel bringing with them probably the most exciting smartwatch launches of Baselworld 2016. Both brands bring concepts which are new to both to Baselworld 2016 and the smartwatch industry in general.

Veldt are a Japanese company who want to do the complete opposite of most smartwatch companies – reduce the time you spend looking at screens! Veldt Serendipity watches use LED lights and a digital display to display information synced from a smartphone. The difference is that Veldt watches allow you to only sync information from your 5 “MIP’s” (Most Important Contacts). In Veldt’s own words, “More free time to look around but still feel connected to the important people and information in your life, that is what we have designed.”

WATCHe bring something different to the party altogether. The mechanical watchmaker from Geneva have released an app for the Apple Watch which turns your smartwatch into a skeleton mechanical watch. You can already download the WATCHe app free of charge to your Apple Watch and a paid version with extra functionality is due for release over the next few weeks.

The reason for WATCHe’s Apple Watch app is to convey a simple message: “The watchmaking pedagogy must use this new world and not reject it.” If the first two days of Baselworld 2016 is anything to go by,  certainly aren’t!

Images: Nobuyuki Hayashi

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