The number one complaint the Swiss watch industry has had toward the most current crop of smartwatches is that they aren’t attractive by European design standards – and that even applies to the Apple Watch. Jean-Claude Biver went so far as to suggest that, given his standards, the Apple Watch looks as though it was designed by a student. So if the best breed of smartwatch yet (even though it hasn’t even been released at this time) doesn’t pass Swiss watch industry muster, what would a smartwatch design by Switzerland’s old guard look like?
One thing we know all too well is that the Swiss watch industry is all about tradition. It can be safely assumed that a smart watch that looks into the future, may very well also look into the past. So for this edition of Watch What-If, we propose three possible Swiss smartwatches from popular taste-making brands. Here, we have conceptually connected digital timepieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, and Franck Muller by our artist Niklas Bergenstjerna. He has designed mock-ups that we personally would want to wear, and he even proposed names for each.
Jaeger-LeCoutlre Reverso Red Pill Smartwatch
The plan of the FM 1700 is nice but not overly distinctive. It does the job though and is viewable through a sapphire caseaback window. Cost is about $22,500 in 18k rose gold and about $11,000 in steel.It is pretty wild, and sort of absurd at the exact same time. In a way, it seems like exactly what Audemars Piguet did with all the Royal Oak Offshore, only here with Franck Muller. This is the tourbillon sort of the view, however there is also a (much less expensive) chronograph version. Over $100k, and massive in size.This is your first new Franck Muller Watch 9900 Cc Gp Replica watch in sometime – making sense as the watch manufacturer has had to lay-off individuals because of a reduction in demand. The maturation of a couple of watch is very expensive, especially with a maker like Franck Muller. They don’t just get a movement from ETA and assembled a watch around it, but instead construct their own movement, or have one made for them. This with the physical design of the watch takes years, and is a huge investment. For a watch maker to stay in the spotlight, they have to launch new watches on a regular basis, unless they want people to believe that are going under. Well Franck Muller is not going under and this new Triple Scale Chronograph Ratrappante Ref. 8883 watch.While the expression of the watch is familiar to the normal tonneau shaped cases that Franck Muller is know for, the design and performance of this watch is really unique. This watch has a great deal going on both on the front and back of the watch, and all revolves around the chronograph functions. Actually instead of being eloquent and flashy, this watch is almost a pure vintage style instrument. The watch face itself is smaller, and put at the lower centre of the face – using quite the instrument like look (something I’d probably guess being on a Sinn watch or Panerai). Since the chronograph function is central to the Triple Scale Chronograph, it’s fairly impressive. Not only is it a split second double chronograph (rattrapante), but carry’s over to the back of the watch for additional functionality. It’s actually rather smart because the functions on the back are seldom used, but are there when you need it, and it’s probably not too big of a deal to take the eye off when using those purposes. The back features include a: tachymeter scale (measures speed), a pulsometer (measures heartbeat), and a telemeter (measures distance).
Keeping it simple and stylish is part of the Jaeger-LeCoultre personality. We think the Reverso design is very well suited for a transformation into a smart watch. Maybe a mechanical watch on the other side? The dial is digital so that the it will be completely blacked out when the watch is not in use. The red slider at the bottom can work as a switch for the dial, and at the same time light up and give alerts when you have new messages or calls. A rubber strap to match the smart watch image.
Panerai Luminor Venturo Smartwatch Concept
The idea was, with this Panerai, change the big “crown-chunk” on the right side into a mechanical slide function with a thumb grip where the OP-logo is located. It might even function as an on/off switch. There is a camera lens between “SWISS” and “MADE.” Oh, and we made the small icons above the camera from scratch. We wanted something in a Panerai minimalistic style, but in a matte black ceramic case. We gave the watch a thick rubber strap with a noticeable grain to give it kind of a rugged feel, but still keeping the “smart watch” look that we think rubber straps give. The social media icons are dimmed out, but will light up when new messages arrive.
Franck Muller 3D Punk Smartwatch
Speaker in the upper side of the tonneau-shaped Franck Muller Watch 9900 Cc Gp Replica case in 18k rose gold. A thin led light with a “vintage light bulb look” at the botton of the case. Light flashing when receiving new calls or messages. A 3D dial with added depth to make the watch appear less flat than other smart watches/digital watches.Rubber strap with stripes to match the speaker design and the small stripes inside the led light.
Niklas Bergenstjerna is a freelance graphic designer and watch lover based in the south of Sweden. niklex.com