This mechanical Apple Watch clone is a $25,000 statement on smartwatches

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 7, 2016

Swiss Alp Watch

There’s a new “most expensive smartwatch” on the block: an Apple Watch with a twist. Actually, a pair of twists, because it isn’t made by Apple and it isn’t a smartwatch at all. So what gives? The Swiss Alp Watch is a self-confessed statement against smartwatches that costs more than any of them.

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As the company behind the Swiss Alp Watch, H. Moser & Cie., notes on its website, the threat of the smartwatch revolution is of grave concern to the Swiss watch industry. There’s more than a hint of fear in the statement, pointing out the fact that even the highest turnover of a Swiss watch maker pales in comparison to just the R&D budget of the smartwatch industry.

Swiss Alp Watch rear

But there are also quite a few digs in the statement as well. The Swiss Alp Watch is absolutely a mechanical watch in the Swiss tradition, but it unashamedly imitates the appearance of the Apple Watch. But H. Moser and Cie. don’t stop there, subtly taking TAG Heuer to task for its “opportunistic approach to combin[ing] tradition with technology”.

“Rather than create a model with an electronic heart trying to look like a mechanical watch”, the Swiss Alp Watch does the opposite. You can decide for yourself if simply doing the inverse of what TAG Heuer did with the TAG Heuer Connected is any braver or more true to tradition, but at the very least it’s clever.

If the smartwatch revolution really does mean the end for the Swiss watch industry, H. Moser and Cie. is definitely going out swinging. Or being sued, as the case may be. It will be interesting to see if Apple takes as much offence to non-tech companies ripping off their intellectual property as it has with the likes of Samsung and HTC. If you’ll sue for rounded corners on a smartphone, one can only assume this blatant a rip-off won’t go unnoticed.

But you have to give the company credit for not sitting idly by as times change without them. The company perhaps justifiably pats itself on the back for “fight[ing] for the values underpinning the reputation of several centuries of Swiss watchmaking”.

At the same time, smartwatch users get a slap on the wrist for disconnecting themselves “from what matters in life”. There’s even a funny Apple-style product video, complete with Jony Ive-esque narration and jokes about the revolutionary power source at your fingertips (you need to wind a mechanical watch, remember?).

Whether anyone will actually buy one of the limited edition Swiss Alp Watches we can’t say. But with a $25,000 price tag and a limited run of only 50 timepieces, the Swiss Alp Watch is also borrowing Apple’s exclusivity angle as well. How will this all play out? Only time will tell.

  • LoLo Artisté

    This is a very expensive joke and I’m not laughing

  • Jose Lugo

    JAJAJA this is awesome!!!! The watch looks gorgeous!

  • Ivan Budiutama

    I don’t understand, it supposed to be 2 completely different market. I mean I barely see anyone wearing Tag or let’s say a more sporty Seiko Analog (like Chronograph series) would be interested in Smartwatch, and also the other way around. Classic analog watch is more like style/fashion market. It’s not like ordinary phone vs smartphone. Not even close. The only reason why smartwatch (regardless the brand) hasn’t really took off, because it won’t replace normal watch, not in the near future.
    If they are really interested to combine smartwatch and mechanical watch, maybe they can invest more on R&D and maybe producing a hybrid watch (Kairos looked promising but the final product is too underwhelming compare to the teasers), with transparent OLED getting better, is still a possibility to have one hybrid watch, you still have the style and appeal of mechanical watch while still functioning as your daily smartwatch. I’d love to buy one.

  • Diskus1

    Cue headline: “Apple sues H. Moser & Cie. for patent infringment of round watch corners”…

  • Al Jalaikakik

    “What Matters In Life” is certainly not spending thousands of dollars on a mechanical trinket. No matter how much money I have, I can think of a million better uses to put it towards than buying a giant “Rob Me” sign for my wrist that costs THAT much. Sheesh.

  • Dusan

    Well, I have been using mechanical watches for years, and pulled the trigger on my first smart watch (Huawei Watch) last week. That thing is amazing!
    It still feels in its infancy, but I don’t feel like being a tester. It’s fully functional. And I love the fact that I can just connect my phone to my car and put it away, then switch music and check notifications by tapping on my watch. It’s not as much of a distraction.
    The next update will bring speaker support as well. Looking forward to test that.
    The older generation will still prefer mechanical watches, but I have a feeling that mechanical watches are about to become more of a “rarity” in the near future.

  • Midgard Serpent

    mechanical watches are still very popular, their is no dought that they will sell even if they do cost $25,000 especially when you consider that they can go for more than $100,000 (some are even in the millions)

    • B4kken

      And yet people complain about the smartwatch prices ;)