Mondaine is to take on Apple in the high-end smartwatch market with its own Swiss-made device. The Mondaine Helvetica No 1 Horological Smartwatch is analogue in design but links with an app for smartphones and tablets that sends information to the face.
The two companies clashed previously when it emerged that Apple had stolen the design for its famed Apple Clock application from Mondaine-made clocks in Swiss railway stations. That error saw Apple pay £13.2 million to SBB, the Swiss rail company, as a licence fee in an out-of-court settlement.
The long-named Helvetica No 1 Horological Smartwatch has a subdial that lies in the six o'clock position on the face which shows an analogue representation of the smart technology. The watch is capable to tracking activity and sleep patterns, through MotionX and Sleeptracker tech. The supporting app then sends that data to the small dial.
There is no digital read out, so the Mondaine device cannot show email notifications and the like. Indeed, it's more like Withings' Activité products more than a fully-blown Android Wear device or Apple Watch, but considering the brand you can be pretty sure that it will command a hefty price.
The first prototype of the watch, which comes in a brushed matt steel case, with sapphire crystal glass and a soft leather strap, will be shown at Baselworld in mid March. The full version will go on sale from fall this year.