With more than 6 million units sold in 2015, producing a turnover in excess of 6 billion dollars, the smartwatch market exploded in the past 12 months, driven by the giants of the electronics industry. With R&D budgets of more than 8 billion dollars, a figure higher than the turnover of even the largest Swiss watchmaking group, the market leaders have barely begun, and they will once again revolutionise this market and change consumer behaviour. Faced with the threat of these heavyweights, there are a number of ways a Swiss watch company could react. They could do nothing, the course most watch brands are adopting; they could take a short-term, opportunistic approach to combine tradition with technology, or, lastly, they could fight for the values underpinning the reputation of several centuries of Swiss watchmaking. This last path is the one that H. Moser & Cie. has decided to pursue, and the Swiss Alp Watch is the symbol of this fighting spirit.
As the challenge of the smartwatch emerged, it threw Swiss watchmaking into turmoil. However, the complete lack of a response from most market players is remarkable in itself. Doing nothing and waiting for the threat to pass is certainly a dangerous course, but it is less offensive to Swiss watchmaking than the opportunists’ approach of combining traditional, high-end watchmaking with already-obsolete technology such as connected bracelets, NFC/RFID chips and other outmoded interfaces. These attempts are bound to fail, due to the lack of resources, vision and a captive market. The future of Swiss haute horlogerie will be bright, provided it continues to innovative and be creative, while focussing on its inherent values of quality and tradition. “I grew up in the heart of the Swiss Alps in a family of watchmakers that date back several generations. Swiss watchmaking is part of our heritage. This heritage has faced serious challenges in the past. My father survived the quartz crisis and often speaks of this trying time, which rallied watchmakers around a unified cause. Today, H. Moser & Cie. launches the Swiss Alp Watch as a statement of this new challenge and to prove that traditional mechanical watchmaking has a future, and it is, in fact, the future. It is much more than a watch for us. The Swiss
Alp Watch is symbolic. It represents our resilience, our ferocious desire to fight for our values and traditions. It embodies everything we believe in”, explains Edouard Meylan.
And rather than create a model with an electronic heart trying to look like a mechanical watch, H. Moser & Cie. has chosen to do the opposite: the Swiss Alp Watch is inspired by the modern design of smartwatches, but is entirely mechanical. With its 100% Swiss Made manufacture movement and a minimum power reserve of 100 hours, the Swiss Alp Watch is designed to last and is well equipped for the next generation. With its iconic fumé dial, a classic signature dial for H. Moser & Cie., it is timeless. Its tapered lugs give it a vintage look, and the kudu leather strap with a leather lining in Moser green, lend the watch a modern edge that also stands testament to the company’s attention to detail. Driven by the hand-wound HMC324 calibre, the Swiss Alp Watch is a marvel of ingenuity and watchmaking technology at its best.
“The Swiss Alp Watch does not allow you to make calls, or send messages to share the latest gossip; it does not give you the option to send beautiful sketches you have created on a two-inch screen or to share your heart rate. It does much more than that: it lets you reconnect to what matters in life. It takes you back to sharing emotions with your nearest and dearest without a filter, interface or embellishment. Most importantly, it is something you can pass on to your children one day without having to upgrade it!”, says Edouard, with a smile.