Invirtualisation? Swiss watch-maker mechanicalises the Apple Watch
Switzerland is seldom (if at all) thought of as the home of irreverent, leg-pulling banter, but one of that country’s many fine watch companies has just pulled a cracking stroke by closely copying the exterior appearance of the Apple Watch but inserting mechanical gubbins, no doubt in the hope of attracting a lawsuit. Or failing that, a stiff letter from Apple’s many attorneys; or failing that a flurry of press attention. It’s getting the latter.
Venerable Swiss watchmaker H. Moser & Cie has launched the Swiss Alp Watch (geddit?) and is having lots of fun mocking the stereotypical overblown Apple marketing pitch with slow motion close-ups, product twirls and portentous marketing sound-bytes. Sly quips include: “It’ll never need upgrading; it’s the result of over 200 years R&D; it has a revolutionary power source (a spring); no phone, no messaging, no sketches or heart beats to send.... it might simply change the world.”
Perhaps H. Moser & Cie might even get a few sales from ultra-rich Apple-haters from Silicon Valley, though at $24,900 (more than the 18-karat gold Apple Watch itself) I can’t imagine much of an Apple-style queue forming.
There’s much to criticise Apple and its watch for, and why not? But one strand of this attack (as with many other attacks on all things digital) is that all the technology is somehow alienating, isolating and disconnective. “[The Alp Watch] will let you reconnect with people,” says H. Moser (or is it Cie? I can never tell) following the usual train of non-thought.
I’m quibbling I know. It’s just that I should have thought a smartwatch is, by its nature, a wearable ‘thing’ you can strap on or slip into your pocket and then take your technology with you. It lets you get out and about to discover the world, up close and physical. Just as the mechanical maritime chronometer did in the 18th century. Remember those? They got lots of stick from rivals who thought it more seemly to navigate by the stars.