Swiss watchmakers dismissed smartwatches as a passing fad. Then, they casually brushed off critics who said the Apple Watch and Android Wear could hurt the Swiss watch industry. And now, those self-same watchmakers are enlisting the help of a software company to make their regular wristwatches smarter without sacrificing on style.
Swiss watchmakers Frederique Constant, Mondaine, and Alpina teamed up with the motion-tracking software company Fullpower to create a new, smartwatch platform called MMT Horological, to bring fitness and sleep tracking to traditional watches. The software, called MotionX, will be installed on many upcoming Swiss-made wristwatches, with the hope that the slightly smarter watch will triumph over the highly digitized smartwatches made by Apple and Google’s Android Wear partners.
Much like the Withings Activité, these Swiss-made Horological smartwatches will have sleep and motion tracking technology built inside and a companion app to go with them. The MotionX software will keep tabs on activity, while the Sleeptracker software will monitor the wearer’s sleep patterns and offer up smart alarms. The watches will always show the correct time and date, but they’ll also coordinate with your phone to send you active alerts and coach you. All your data will be backed up and restored on the MotionX cloud.
In addition to offering users Fitbit-like activity tracking, these smarter wristwatches will maintain the classic good looks of their traditional, Swiss counterparts. To top it all off, they’ll also offer 2 years or more of battery life. The first of these watches are expected to arrive in June, but many companies may announce the watches ahead of time. It’s unclear what the pricing will be, and it remains to be seem just how many people want a traditional-looking watch that offers up a few smart features — especially as digital smartwatches become more useful and long-lasting.