Mondaine Smartens Up Normal Watches With Removable Payment Chips

March 22, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

Not all that many people out there have smart watches.

By some reports, the dumb watch is a much more popular item; I personally have a nice Pulsar that I’ve had since college, with luminescent hands and a date indicator.

Mondaine has figured out a way to make some of its “dumber” watches into smart watches by including a removable payment chip that allows the Mondaine line to be used for mobile payments.

The Mondaine PayChip, as its known, can use near-field communications (NFC) technology to make payments over any platform that can handle NFC.

The PayChip is to be available as an extra for some Mondaine models before this August arrives, and will start going on sale in Switzerland.

Three other markets in Europe—markets as yet unnamed—may get in on the action later on.

A slot at the bottom of the strap holds the chip in place, and can be used with up to 10 different models of Mondaine watches, starting at around $206 each.

Mondaine isn’t the first to go this route; Montblanc and Richemont IWC have also been seen making some moves into the artificially-smartened watch route, by some reports, and they likely won’t be alone.

As mobile payment systems become more popular—whether smartwatches do or not—adding such things to a currently-existing watch will likely prove valuable.

There are several points to add such a tool, from the band to the face, and that makes this addition comparatively simple and a significant piece of added value.

Why turn down a simple addition that could breathe new life into a stagnating product line facing down several competitors?

There’s very little reason to pass up such a move, and even if the product line isn’t necessarily stagnant, it might well prove to bring in some extra buyers who wouldn’t have come in previously.

This may not be that big a market, but any extra sales are hard to pass up. Mondaine may have a great idea here to add value to its product line, but only time will tell if it really takes hold in the wider market.