The Mondaine Helvetica No 1 smartwatch is the Swiss company's answer to the smartwatch. Yet unlike the Apple Watch, or something from Samsung or LG, the Helvetica No 1 doesn't feature a touchscreen display, doesn't need charging every night, and isn't available in a range of different metal finishes.

Instead, like the Withings Activité, the Mondaine smartwatch connects to your smartphone via a Bluetooth LE connection, sending back data on your movement and sleeping habits.

Because the watch isn't bothered with delivering notifications it can concentrate on looking like a more traditional watch from Switzerland. The design is typically Mondaine, although it sadly doesn't feature the iconic red second hand.

Leather, metal, black, and white. The colours and materials are as simple as you can get and shout Mondaine through and through.

This monochrome affair with black numbers in the Helvetica font, which is probably the most widespread font ever created, strikes a dominating cord against the simple clean white watch face.

A second, chronograph looking circular display relays the date and your performance against your goal.


The performance hand, like the percentage numbers you track your performance against are in grey marrying the rather over bearing name of the watch on the face.

The only compliant in terms of style? No red (it's a licensing issue Pocket-lint was told by the company) and the use of all that text: Mondaine Helvetica Smart Swiss Made. We love the font, but it can come across as too much here.

Like the Withings Activité the tech here is invisible to those unaware, and thanks to the classic design people are unlikely to spot it here either.

Aside from a single hand on a small dial on the bottom of the watch face there is nothing that really gives the game away. No buzzing when you've got an email, no ability to talk to it to ask for directions.

Instead you get a companion app developed by Manufacture Modules Technologies (MMT), the same company who powers the wearable software elements of the UP band, that puts data from the watch to track your activity and sleep.

The app itself, which will support up to five watches at a time so you can happily swap your timepiece for different occasions (Frederique Constant and Alpina also use the same app platform also), works on both iPhone and Android smartphones and monitors daily steps, distance and calories.

Step goals can be set via the phone app and the data kept to allow you to see how you are performing over time. You can get set active alarms to tell you to go and do some exercise if you've been sitting too long.

When it comes to sleeping users will be able to track light and deep sleep as well as opt to have the watch under their pillow if they don't want to wear it in bed.


The app will also tell you how many times you woke up, when you actually went to sleep and how long you slept for. It also tries to help improve the situation by giving you suggestions if your sleep patterns are bad. Don't drink wine before bedtime or sleep in noisy places.

Not wanting you to wake up grumpy, you can also give it a window in which to wake you and the watch will try and catch you in that time frame when you are sleeping the lightest.

While we weren't able to test the tracking capabilities of the watch in our demo at Baselworld in Switzerland, it was clear from the data we saw that it works.

In the case of the watch data we looked at, the person might have got over 7 hours sleep the night before, but they woke up 4 times during the night: The joys of a trade show.

READ: The wonderful marvellous novelty watches of Baselworld 2015

The Mondaine looks to be a very smart watch that is likely to appeal to many watch fans wanting something classic but intelligent too.

Like the other MMT powered watches from Frederique Constant and Alpina, the Mondaine Helvetica No 1 raises the bar much more than the Activité has done since its launch.

That's not surprising given that this timepiece costs twice as much (the expected price is estimated to be around £1000), but what we are seeing here is a maturing of this section of the smartwatch market only 6 months after the launch from Withings.

What this smartwatch manages to do is give you the power of the Up fitness band or the Fitbit in something that is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of style. For many the ability to ditch the hunk of tracking plastic on their arm or something like this will be very much welcomed.

This to many will be what they want from a smartwatch, without the worry of their watch turning into yet another device to check their email on.

We look forward to putting the watch through its paces when it launches in the summer.