Mondaine has taken to Baselworld 2018 to finally announce a follow-up to its 2015 smartwatch, the Helvetica Smartwatch. That may seem like a long time to go between releases but these watches are intended for the premium end of the market, selling at over $600. Moreover, the improvements that have been made, encompassing the new Helvetica Regular Smartwatch, are relatively profound. For starters, the font and layout have been reworked, as the wearable's name implies. The previous iteration utilized Helvetica bold fonts and that theme seemed to apply to the design as well. This year's release is no longer quite so bold and ungainly. The round watch face has been trimmed back by a full 4mm and slimmed down for a more traditional, comfortable look and feel. It now measures in at just 40mm in diameter and should be easier to wear without catching on clothing or looking out of place in fancier settings.
Beyond that, the wearable's functionality and features have undergone an overhaul too. It has been ruggedized to 3ATM for water resistance, for example. So it can now survive underwater at depths of up to 30 meters. It will also last for up to two years between battery changes. Furthermore, the notification features are a bit more subtle. Mondaine's smartwatch won't show full messages of any kind but will notify about messages and phone calls, as well as displaying activity tracking indicators. That's accomplished through the clever placement of letters over numbers in the dial for a given event.
An incoming phone call will replace the number 2 with a 'T' while a new message will replace the number 10 with an 'M.' Tapping the device's physical button to activate an activity tracker will replace the number 8 with an 'A.' Last, holding the physical button to activate sleep tracking will show an 'S' where the 4 would ordinarily be displayed. Customization for those notifications and tracking data is all controllable via a dedicated application the watch syncs up with. As to pricing and availability, Mondaine's Helvetica Regular Smartwatch is expected to become available at some point before the end of March. It's expected to carry a $660 price tag, placing it at the upper end of the market but well below competing smartwatches that sell for over $1,000.