Oh, Switzerland, you seem to have it all: fine chocolates, fondue, goats with bells around their necks. But what you don’t have is a sense of how to beat smartwatch makers without looking silly. To wit: meet the H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alps watch (they probably meant the “alps” to be a play on “apple,” if you catch my drift.) This watch is supposed to be a direct thumb in the eye of the Apple Watch, but I suspect H. Moser & Cie. doesn’t have quite the reach they imagine they do.
The watch, which Hodinkee reported on exclusively, is a nearly exact replica of the Apple Watch with one subtle difference: it contains a mechanical movement. That’s right, no moon phase and step counts for you, Mr. Fancy Computer Man. Just wind this thing and go.
The best bit? It costs $25,000 so you can buy this watch and not buy the next 60 or so Apple Watch versions that are coming down the pike in the next century.
There is little else to say about this piece except that it’s hand made, features a beautiful dial and nicely worked movement, and all of the marketing materials look just like Apple’s. Switzerland has been losing market share to smartwatches all year and this piece is clearly an effort to outfit an older gentlemen with a taste for smart suits with something that looks like an Apple Watch but, upon closer inspection, isn’t. “Ho ho ho,” he will say as his driver pulls up in the Mercedes G-Class with diplomatic plates. “I do not buy electroniquegarbage.”
Again, I’m glad little old H. Moser – a storied if unknown watch brand – is getting some buzz. Mechanical fans are slowly dying out as people realize you don’t need to spend as much as a Toyota Corolla on a nice timepiece. Further, smartwatches are slowly eating away at Switzerland’s lower-cost Swatch and fashion watch core, a market that buoys brands like Omega and Breguet and lets them keep manufacturing mechanical novelties. H. Moser might be onto something here but, in the end, these little guys aren’t going to be laughing when either Apple sues or they’re eventually thrust out of business for lack of demand. Either case is more than plausible.