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Editorial - Mayhem in the Mountains

Editorial Mayhem in the Mountains

If you are taking your watch skiing, make sure it is mechanical

This year’s ski season got off to a rather green start (remember the December memes of the Swiss skiing on grass). Well, now there is another story hitting the news, and this time it is about wearers of the latest generation Apple Watch who have been crashing and causing trouble.  

Since the ski conditions have improved, Apple-Watch-wearing skiers have been inadvertently activating their timepieces’ crash detection feature while out on the slopes. This life-saving feature was designed to detect car crashes, but a wipe-out on skis is close enough in terms of acceleration and deceleration to send an SOS to the nearest call centre. Dispatchers have been calling Apple Watch wearers back, expecting the worst, only to be greeted with the swishing sound of skis on snow. 

These false alerts had already been causing havoc on roller coasters over the summer. As the crash detection technology has been getting better, it has also been getting more sensitive as the gyroscope and accelerometer inside the Apple Watch are able to detect motion, speed, and G-Force. In the event of a crash, the watch automatically connects you to the emergency services, providing your location and notifying your emergency contacts at the same time.  

The American press has been reporting the mayhem from Colorado to Idaho and beyond. Here in Switzerland, there haven’t been any particular reports on the phenomena, perhaps because the Swiss are pretty good skiers, or maybe it is because they have a preference for wearing a mechanical watch on the slopes. After all, the cold doesn’t affect a chronograph quite like it does a rechargeable battery! 

For our recent adventures in Zermatt, it was a good thing none of us were armed with an Apple watch as our adventures involved many thrills and spills, from ice climbing in the Gorner Gorge to jumps and tricks on the pistes, not to mention all the daredevil photography going on to record everything. 

As we are coming to the close of all our content from Zermatt this week, we thought we would put a little video together for you of our best moments (see below). You will find a selection of the watches that we were testing in situations where an Apple watch could have got us into big trouble! Luckily, we were wearing timepieces from Alpina, Behrens, Chopard, Doxa, Frédérique Constant, Hublot, Longines, Maurice Lacroix, Montblanc, Panerai, TAG Heuer, and no ambulances (or watchmakers) needed to be called. 

If you do happen to be an Apple-wearing-beginner-skier, do not fear. It is still advisable to wear your watch while skiing. If you hit a tree, it could actually save your life. In fact, the stories you come across when you type “My Apple Watch Saved My Life” into the Google search bar will keep you amused all morning. And if, like me, these kinds of extreme stories amuse you, may I recommend “My Breitling Emergency Watch Saved My Life”; that watch works even when there is no cell service and the stories are just mind-blowing.  

But before you do that, it is time to catch up on all the top news from WorldTempus below, so you don’t miss a beat of what has been happening in the watch world over the last week.

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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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Behrens is a young, independent brand that specialises in designing futuristic and creative complications and time display modules.

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Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values: expertise, tradition,...

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DOXA was founded in 1889 by an independent Swiss entrepreneur, Georges Ducommun. Based in Biel/Bienne, in the heart of the birthplace of Swiss watchmaking, the brand has always offered technical...

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Frederique 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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From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had...

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Based in St. Imier since 1832, Longines has a long tradition in watchmaking, characterised by the elegance of its watches. Using expertise gained as the company has evolved, Longines has gradually...

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Based in the Jura region of Switzerland, Maurice Lacroix has been producing fine Swiss timepieces for over 40 years and has developed 14 in-house movements over the past ten years.

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Synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and design, Montblanc has been pushing the boundaries of innovation ever since the Maison first revolutionized the culture of writing in 1906.

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Every Panerai watch is as unique as the story it tells. Since 1860 Panerai has produced high-precision instruments and watches, developed and created to meet the most rigorous military standards....

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Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly...

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