The Apple Watch may emerge in a cloud of narcotic pixie dust on March 9, but the Swiss watch industry has some fancy new tricks of its own. At a chi-chi Thursday launch event, a trio of unbearably urbane manufacturers revealed MMT (Manufacture Modules Technologies), a platform that will power what the Swiss call "horological smartwatches" – beautiful, analogue-display timepieces loaded with the same activity-tracking features offered by the Jawbone UP.
The first brands to sign on are Frederique Constant (maker of luxury-oozing "executive" watches), Alpina (think techy-looking sports watches), and Mondaine (best known for its iconic Official Swiss Railway and Helvetica watches). The watches themselves look stunning, at least compared to the gadgety, LCD-display stylings that we've seen so far from Samsung, Pebble, and yes, even Apple.
Our favourite is the new Helvetica smartwatch, which looks just like the standard analog timepiece by Mondaine – but with a small dial that provides info from the built-in activity and sleep trackers.