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Smartwatches - Vitality or AlpinerX: A Winning Combination?

Smartwatches Vitality or AlpinerX: A Winning Combination?

Frédérique Constant and Alpina have both been committed to the concept of a Swiss Made smartwatch for some time. The former has just announced the Vitality, while the latter has unveiled the AlpinerX Alive. For the first time, we bring you a comparison.

In the early days, smartwatches were gadgets for geeks. But the advent of the Apple Watch changed all that. It made the smartwatch an item that appealed to all audiences, of all ages, from all over the world – from the seasoned watch collector to the simple technophile. It represented a colossal market, one that Swiss watchmakers could not ignore. 

Vitality ou AlpinerX : le duo gagnant ?

Vitality © Eric Rossier

Frédérique Constant was a pioneer in the field. The Horological Smartwatch (2015) opened new horizons, and many more models followed. Alpina lost no time in catching up. Both companies utilised modules from MMT, Manufacture Modules Technologies, a company founded by Peter Stas while he was CEO of Frédérique Constant, and which remained in the hands of its founder after the group was sold to Citizen. 

Show or hide – it’s up to you

The Frédérique Constant Vitality and the Alpina AlpinerX Alive came out within a few months of each other. Two watches, two brands... two different uses? At first glance they seem to have quite a lot in common: hardware (MMT calibre) and software (same base application for iOS or Android). 

Vitality ou AlpinerX : le duo gagnant ?

AlpinerX Alive © Alpina

But their aesthetic differences give a clear indication of their divergent target audiences. The AlpinerX Alive is a chunky 45 mm sports watch, while the Vitality has a traditional watchmaking aesthetic and a reduced diameter of 42 mm. The former does nothing to hide its smart credentials, with a digital window to display notifications.

The Vitality has one too, but it’s totally invisible, concealed by the black of the dial. A simple press on the crown brings up selected information, including heart rate, activity tracker, a second time zone or the most recent alerts from various messaging apps. 

Vitality ou AlpinerX : le duo gagnant ?

Vitality © Eric Rossier

Switching from one function to the next requires no more than a light press on the crown. It’s simple, intuitive and instantaneous. Once you’ve seen the information you need, the digital screen goes on standby and becomes invisible to the naked eye once again. In a fraction of a second, the Vitality is once again a classic, elegant dress watch. There are no visible indications that it’s a smartwatch at all.

Which version, Smart or Watch?

Vitality ou AlpinerX : le duo gagnant ?

AlpinerX Alive © Alpina

The AlpinerX Alive has a more “urban” design than the previous AlpinerX. It’s aimed at the city-dwelling athlete who wants to keep a close eye on their physiological variables. Both the Alive and the Vitality are equipped with the latest heart rate monitor (co-developed with Philips Wearable Sensing), which takes the pulse measurement directly from the wrist. No additional equipment is required – all it needs is a few seconds to start monitoring.

But each watch deals with the cardiac function in a different way. The main indication on the Vitality is HRM (Heart Rate Monitoring). The AlpinerX Alive goes further, providing a “Dynamic Coach” personal assistant, sleep quality, heart rate regularity, exercise tracking, average heart rate and resting heart rate. The display is also colourful, with a variety of different icons, while the minimalist Vitaly simply shows the heart beat. 

Vitality ou AlpinerX : le duo gagnant ?

AlpinerX Alive © Alpina

Choices, choices... 

WorldTempus had the opportunity to try out both watches for several weeks. The Vitality is the clear winner in any professional environment. Its aesthetic is understated, it is meticulously finished, and the dial is everything you would expect from a fine Swiss watch. The “on demand” reveal of the digital window is a truly ingenious invention, providing a practical and intuitive solution. The watch marries the best features of traditional watchmaking with smartwatch technology.

The AlpinerX Alive would be a better choice for anyone wanting more in-depth tracking of their activity, at the weekend or when engaging in outdoor activities The generous luminescent hands make it easy to read at night – a feature that wouldn’t go amiss on the Vitality. The AlpinerX Alive is the more advanced choice for someone wishing to track their sports activities, but who’s not yet ready to move into the ultra-specialist (and often more expensive) range dominated by the likes of Garmin. 

Vitality ou AlpinerX : le duo gagnant ?

Vitality © Eric Rossier

In conclusion, the Vitality is the watch to choose for Monday to Friday, while the AlpinerX Alive is perfect for the weekend, holidays and sport. The Vitality is available in a women’s version; the AlpinerX Alive isn’t (yet...?). But both watches do offer a range of different case designs and straps. In terms of pricing, there’s little to choose between them. The Vitality starts at 895 euros, the AlpinerX Alive at 995 euros.

Brands

Established in 1883, Alpina is recongised as the inventor of the sports watch as we know it today, having presented its Alpina 4 model back in 1938.

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Frédérique Constant has made a successful business out of offering affordable luxury, experiencing growth rates well above the industry average. The owners have a clear mission to make fine...

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