Mondaine’s Apple Watch rival is absolutely stunning

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Swiss watchmakers hope that time isn't running out for them. Photo: Mondaine

There is a pretty set pattern that happens whenever Apple enters a new industry: evidenced everywhere from iTunes to the iPhone to the (rumored) Apple Car.

First of all, the established old guard dismiss Apple as a tech company that knows nothing about their business, then starts to panic when it realizes what it’s in a fight it may well lose, and then finally follows Apple down whichever path it is going.

Having initially dismissed Apple’s debut timepiece, Swiss watchmakers are now squirming as the Apple Watch’s April launch date creeps ever closer. First off, TAG Heur admitted it was working on a smartwatch and now fellow Swiss watch company Mondaine has revealed it is doing much the same.

It may be a desperation move on the part of Mondaine but, hey, as desperation moves go, it’s a pretty gorgeous one!

Called the Mondaine Helvetica No 1 Horological Smartwatch, Mondaine’s design is an attractive fusion of classical analogue watch and next-generation digital timepiece. Coming in a brushed matt steel case, and featuring sapphire crystal glass and a soft leather strap, the watch will be shown off at the Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show in Switzerland in mid-March, before going on sale this fall.

There’s no digital display to discuss, but the watch can still communicate with an app for both smartphones and tablets: tracking activity and sleep patterns using its MotionX and Sleeptracker technology. You’ll still be glancing at your iPhone for email notifications, though.

Spot the difference! Apple was previously accused of lifting the design for its iPad clock from a famous
Spot the difference! Apple was previously accused of lifting the design for its iPad clock from a famous Mondaine railway clock.

It should be noted that this won’t be the first time Apple and Mondaine have clashed. As the company most famous for designing an iconic clock for Swiss railway stations, Mondaine previously received a $20 million payout when it was revealed that Apple had pilfered its design for the iPad digital clock face featured in iOS 6.

Mondaine may have won that particular battle, but we can’t help but think it has its work cut out for it if it plans to truly take on Cupertino in the watch-selling department. If users are treated to stunning modernist timepieces like this, however, the real winner is going to be end-users as Swiss companies struggle to keep up with Apple.

Via: Pocket-lint