Let me tell you something about the Swiss sense of humour. First of all, it exists. However, it’s very badly signposted, and newcomers run the risk of getting completely lost if they somehow wander into this patch of the Swiss cultural landscape without a guide.
Earlier this year I got a couple of Swiss friends to tell me a Swiss joke, and they gave me this story about two guys in a lift, and the punch line involved one of the guys buzzing like a fly. They both laughed uproariously, so I guess it must have been funny on some level, but I’m afraid the point of the joke went right past me.
Swiss humour can be very cryptic, very dry, fairly absurdist with a deep vein of mischief, and blends in so well with regular conversation that you’re often unsure if you’ve just heard a joke pretending to be an anecdote or vice versa.
This is especially so in the birthplace of high-complication Swiss watchmaking, a small valley in the Swiss Jura known as the Vallée de Joux, which explains a lot. It certainly explains everything you need to know about the H Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch, the brainchild of Edouard Meylan, CEO of H Moser & Cie, who was born and raised in Le Brassus.
Let’s not kid ourselves about what the Swiss Alp Watch is supposed to resemble. Go YouTube the little promotional video that H Moser & Cie did when they launched the watch. But if you think the Swiss Alp Watch is an opportunistic rip off based on the Apple Watch, you have missed the joke. You are like me a few months ago, thinking hard and feeling cross while two Swiss dudes laugh their heads off.
The point that the Swiss Alp Watch is not-so-subtly making is that we don’t need yet another device that ostensibly increases our connectivity whilst disengaging us from what’s really around us. My watch gives time, and I like that just fine. A smartwatch gives time, but also fractures it, with a phalanx of notifications marching across my line of focus throughout the day. It giveth and it also taketh away, so yeah I’d rather go with the mechanicals, thanks.