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Following Apple's unveiling of a March 9 media event that will most likely focus on the pricing and launch date for the Apple Watch, Swiss watchmakers Swatch, Frédérique Constant and Alpina have recently released more details regarding products that will be residing in the same smart wearable space as the Apple Watch (via Watch Insider).

Swatch yesterday announced the Swatch Touch Zero One, a new smartwatch with a dedicated touch screen and a focus on durability and outdoor activity. The sports-heavy focus comes thanks to the company's partnership with the Beach Major Company, which specializes in organizing and putting on Beach Volleyball competitions.

Swatch-Touch-Zero-One-Beach-ablogtowatch-1-800x533.jpg
Besides volleyball specific functions like counting "power hits" and "power claps", the Touch Zero One will apparently compete most directly with the Apple Watch Sport, thanks to its enhanced durability, lightweight frame, and sweat-proof band.
"Beach Volleyball is a wonderful sport, a thrill for the players and very exciting for the fans," said Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek. "We've had great fun in the past and now we want to push it further with the new Major Series in collaboration with the FIVB. With the players we share a passion for this great, young sport and look forward to the upcoming tournaments."
Lacking from the Touch Zero One, however, is any mention of non-fitness related content such as phone, text, and e-mail notifications, even though the company confirmed the device will sync with a smartphone app. Swatch says the Swatch Touch Zero One will be "available this beach volleyball summer season" and cost those interested around $159.

Watch Insider also reported on the partnership between Swiss luxury watchmakers Alpina and Frédérique Constant, who have taken a different approach to the smartwatch business and introduced "smart" components into otherwise traditional timepieces instead of crafting an entirely new smartwatch line.

FC-Horological-Smartwatch-FC-285V5B4-3-800x600.jpg
The created platform, called Manufacture Modules Technologies (MMT), powers the new line of Swiss Horological Smartwatches and allows for a device that tracks sleep and activity in real time. It also syncs automatically with a smartphone app, allowing users to break down the information curated by the device into daily, weekly, or monthly categories. No confirmation was given but the price of the device was suggested to start at around $500 and go to over $1,000, with a planned May launch date.
"The Swiss Horological Smartwatch is the synthesis of high-tech innovation and traditional Swiss watch craftsmanship; it is the link (no pun intended) between modern and classic, and the bridge between Silicon Valley and Switzerland," said co-founder and CEO of the Frédérique Constant group Peter Stas. "There is no digital screen on our Swiss Horological Smartwatch. Instead, the beautiful laser cut hands on the watch dial display information in analog form."
A few companies who have been in the watch business for a while have reversed course - including Swatch itself - on dismissing the trend of smartwatches, announcing new products to be released around the launch window of the Apple Watch or sometime later in the year. More and more companies are announcing their own product additions to the smart wearable trend almost every week in preparation for the Apple Watch, which new rumors suggest could launch within the first week of April.

Article Link: Swiss Watchmakers Showcase Varied Approaches to Smartwatch Technology
 

cube

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May 10, 2004
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Swatch: "normal Swatch battery"
MMT: 2-year battery

The tracking part of the MMT JV is the company behind Nike/Jawbone.

The other part of the JV is the company who owns FC and Alpina.

MMT provides a complete software/cloud solution, so that traditional watchmakers do not need to take care of the smarts themselves.

MMT's HQ is in Geneva.
 
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mainer4101

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2013
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Having smart components inside a traditional watch is actually a really good idea. You accomplish the task while not sacrificing the look. I personally think the smart watches that are coming to market are too bulky and ugly. But put some components in a slimmer, more traditional time piece and I may be persuaded to actually get one. Good work Swiss.
 
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extricated

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
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I really like the possibilities here, but nothing is convincing me to hold off on my upcoming purchase in April. :D
 
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FrizzleFryBen

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
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Charlotte, NC
Having smart components inside a traditional watch is actually a really good idea. You accomplish the task while not sacrificing the look. I personally think the smart watches that are coming to market are too bulky and ugly. But put some components in a slimmer, more traditional time piece and I may be persuaded to actually get one. Good work Swiss.

I'm totally with you on this one. Rather than competing directly with an all digital, app driven watch, stick with what you're good at and add sensors that talk to your phone.

There seems to be a smell of fear from some watch-makers that they will be obsolete for some reason. They won't. Not to mention, they are mechanical companies that are about to compete with hardware and software designers. It's like a bicycle maker deciding to make airplanes. Same end goal (from here to there), but totally different in every way (I just LOL'ed at myself when I remembered the wright brothers)
 
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CEmajr

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Dec 18, 2012
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Notice that not until Apple unveiled its smart watch ambitions did the Swiss watchmakers get worried enough to begin taking smart watches seriously.
 
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SaraMac95014

macrumors member
Dec 23, 2014
51
1
Having smart components inside a traditional watch is actually a really good idea. You accomplish the task while not sacrificing the look. I personally think the smart watches that are coming to market are too bulky and ugly. But put some components in a slimmer, more traditional time piece and I may be persuaded to actually get one. Good work Swiss.


I agree. What we've seen from Apple, so far, looks like something a child would put on while they are playing.
People who MAY be convinced to start wearing a watch won't do it if the watch looks hideous, which describes what we've seen.
 
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KdParker

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Oct 1, 2010
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Everywhere
When someone comes up with the wearable that can replace my phone I will jump into the game.

Until then I don't have a need for and expensive accessory to my phone.
 
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69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
I would be on board. A traditional watch with smart functionality would be way more appealing to me. I own several watches so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Every smartwatch, with the exception of the LG Watch R and their new Watch Urbane, looks like a smartwatch. Nothing wrong with that per se, just not my cup of tea.

If the cost is right, the Urbane would most likely be my initial foray into the world of smartwatches.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tdfW8dnifk
 
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Eddy Munn

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Dec 27, 2008
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That 'Objectives' interface looks strikingly familiar…

rOl783h.png
 
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cube

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There were 3 MMT-based smartwatches announced: 1 from FC, 1 from Alpina and 1 third-party from Mondaine. They will be 10 soon.

Check out Baselworld in March.
 
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chasemac

macrumors 6502a
Jan 30, 2005
767
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In a house.
When someone comes up with the wearable that can replace my phone I will jump into the game.

Until then I don't have a need for and expensive accessory to my phone.

100% agree with you. There is nothing compelling about a watch accessory for my iPhone.
 
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cube

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Being a Swiss platform, I hope that a desktop, non-cloud solution is also offered.
 
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Nunyabinez

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Apr 27, 2010
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Nobody, including Apple has shown anything that resonates with me. I want to caveat this by saying that I understand that others may have different needs and interests and I am by no means saying that they are wrong, but here is what I was hoping would happen.

I wanted Apple to again break the paradigm. I didn't want a better watch (I don't and won't wear a watch) I wanted a highly-functional wrist-worn computing device. Somewhere along the line, Jony got caught up in the word "watch." This to me is somewhat humorous as he once said that Apple is careful to not give things a name too soon because it pushes thinking in that direction. But it is obvious to me that that is exactly what they did.

I honestly can't tell you what I wanted the apple watch to be, but what they are making isn't it, at least not the version 1 watch. I had hoped to be blown away and was, and am disappointed in the watch. It will sell millions. Many people will rave about it. Maybe version 2 or 3 will become what I was hoping it would be, but all these traditional watch makers are even more off the mark for me.

Just my $.02.
 
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2457282

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Dec 6, 2012
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Just amazing how many watch announcements are coming out. It seem there is no way to know which watch is worth paying attention to nor which one will ultimately come out on top. /s

Some of these features on the watch seem interesting, but I don't really play volleyball anymore (I did 20 years ago). Not sure there is a huge market for those features.
 
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cdm283813

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2015
489
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Nobody, including Apple has shown anything that resonates with me. I want to caveat this by saying that I understand that others may have different needs and interests and I am by no means saying that they are wrong, but here is what I was hoping would happen.

I wanted Apple to again break the paradigm. I didn't want a better watch (I don't and won't wear a watch) I wanted a highly-functional wrist-worn computing device. Somewhere along the line, Jony got caught up in the word "watch." This to me is somewhat humorous as he once said that Apple is careful to not give things a name too soon because it pushes thinking in that direction. But it is obvious to me that that is exactly what they did.

I honestly can't tell you what I wanted the apple watch to be, but what they are making isn't it, at least not the version 1 watch. I had hoped to be blown away and was, and am disappointed in the watch. It will sell millions. Many people will rave about it. Maybe version 2 or 3 will become what I was hoping it would be, but all these traditional watch makers are even more off the mark for me.

Just my $.02.

I bet if the price was $100 that would change your mind. It ultimately boils down to price. That's the part I can't see past. And once I do accept the $350 price that ugly interface tells me to avoid at all costs. But at $100 I would bite.
The new Pebble interface makes more sense than the Apple Watch. A smartwatch should be all about functionality first. Otherwise buy a fashion piece.
 
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abbstrack

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2008
248
41
SoCal
I still don't understand

how Apple is going to get people to buy a new watch every year or every release cycle.

I don't have to replace my watch for newer technology. Ever. It's not an obsolescent business model.

Put me in the Luddite category on this one. I'll stick with my current watch. And my father's watch as well.
 
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frifra

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2008
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Sleep 118%?
I am not sure what this is supposed to mean. And on top the "screenshot gate". Wow, such professionalism. :eek:
 
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rjlawrencejr

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2007
392
41
LA/OC/IE
how Apple is going to get people to buy a new watch every year or every release cycle.

I don't have to replace my watch for newer technology. Ever. It's not an obsolescent business model.

Put me in the Luddite category on this one. I'll stick with my current watch. And my father's watch as well.

Just because a new model is released every does not mean you are forced to spring for the latest. It is not as though traditional watchmakers are only releasing a new model once every generation. But there's no doubt there is much curiosity surrounding future model releases.

I wanted Apple to again break the paradigm. I didn't want a better watch (I don't and won't wear a watch) I wanted a highly-functional wrist-worn computing device. Somewhere along the line, Jony got caught up in the word "watch." This to me is somewhat humorous as he once said that Apple is careful to not give things a name too soon because it pushes thinking in that direction. But it is obvious to me that that is exactly what they did.

In terms of naming, I understand what you're saying, but calling it something other than a watch is more akin to marketing in my mind. Apple created the iPod, but it was still just an MP3 player (especially early on). The iPad is still a tablet - it's just that the name has defined the product category (same for iPod). The iPhone is not really a phone for that matter - it's a pocket personal computer (ironically Microsoft tried to push PocketPC and didn't get very far with it).

By calling it a watch, it is something quickly recognizable without the difficulty of trying to create a whole new language - especially since it is worn on the wrist.

I know you said you said you don't know what you want the Apple Watch to be, but you must have some idea. Saying you want a highly-functional wrist-worn computing device is somewhat ambiguous to me since I would argue the Apple Watch, even at gen 1, is a highly-functional wrist-worn computer.

For instance when the iPad was introduced it wasn't for me because I found it too large (it wasn't until the Mini was introduced that I jumped on the iPad). I'm not trying to give you a hard time, I just want to know what, if anything, you would have like to have seen in the Apple Watch.
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
I wanted Apple to again break the paradigm. I didn't want a better watch (I don't and won't wear a watch) I wanted a highly-functional wrist-worn computing device.

The Watch is the complete opposite of the iPhone, as far as surpassed expectations. With the phone, it was far more than was expected:

iphone_wanted_got.png

With the watch, it was less in some ways, and in some ways, a repeat design:

apple_watch_hoped_got.png

Somewhere along the line, Jony got caught up in the word "watch." This to me is somewhat humorous as he once said that Apple is careful to not give things a name too soon because it pushes thinking in that direction. But it is obvious to me that that is exactly what they did.

Yep. That's what is so heavily ironic about the entire Watch design: that Jon Ive is supposed to be so against skeuomorphism.

Yet Apple made it about as skeuomorphic as you can get by bringing in horological experts for inspiration, designing it to look like a wristwatch, naming it "Watch", spending a lot of time on fashion bands, and even throwing in a totally skeuomorphic rotating crown.

A lot of people expected a breakout futuristic, unique design. Instead, Ive came out with the same old rounded rectangle motif that he clearly feels most comfortable doing... and then covered it in a skeuomorphic patina to make it even a safer design.

Yes, they'll sell millions. But it is a safe product, not a bold one.
 
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