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This Swiss Apple Watch clone is only $30,000 — what makes it different

swiss alp watch
(Image credit: H. Moser & Cie)

We’ve seen a lot of companies take “inspiration” from the Apple Watch’s design in the years since launch, mimicking everything from the rounded rectangular design all the way to the digital crown. The Swiss Alp Watch takes things to a whole new level.

That’s not because this watch looks identical to the Apple Watch. We’ve already established plenty of companies have gone down that route. It’s because it costs an eye-watering $30,800.

You read that correctly. This watch, made by H. Moser & Cie, is available to purchase for almost $31,000. It's an absurd amount to pay for anything that doesn’t have at least four walls, or four wheels.

Believe it or not, this is actually a follow-up to a previous Apple Watch-like device. H. Moser and Cie made its first Swiss Alp Watch back in 2016 shortly after the launch of the original Apple Watch. That was a $24,900 joke, and despite the Apple Watch inspired design, it was a purely mechanical watch. Absolutely zero smarts, just a purely mechanical watch that happened to have a rectangular watch face.

The latest Swiss Alp Watch, or “Final Upgrade” as it’s being called, is no different. It’s a purely mechanical watch that just so happens to have the exact same look as an Apple Watch. Though, this time the joke has been taken a step further by blacking almost the entire face so it looks like a piece of tech. 

The traditional seconds hand has also been swapped out for a dial that makes it look like the watch is constantly buffering. Apparently a customer suggested the design, and if you want a watch that looks like it’s stuck in a start-up loop, the Swiss Alp Watch may be the watch for you.

Of course there’s more to it than that. The watch’s dial is colored in Vantablack, one of the darkest substances known to humans which can absorb up to 99.965% of visible light. So it’s a pretty extravagant device, as if the price hadn’t already made that clear.

H. Moser and Cie uses the phrase “Very Rare” in its marketing. To me that comes across as more than slightly ironic, since it reminds me of eBay sellers trying to flog common items for far more than they’re worth. Is that the case here? I couldn’t say, but I certainly wouldn’t ever pay close to this much for a watch - smart or otherwise.

Then again, I’m clearly not the target audience here.