What we learned about the future of smartwatches at the world's biggest watch show

T Band

This is where you start to see how old Baselworld and thrusting, new smartwatches might be able to co-exist. We've briefly covered Kairos before, with its T-Band "smart strap". They're still developing that – if you compare the render on that link with the picture above, you may detect a few minor differences.

However, at Swiss Creative Labs, a sort of "Baselworld Fringe" that runs in the Ramada hotel next to the main conference centre, Kairos was showing off something potentially significant, at least for the likes of Tag Heuer: a range of watches that sit a translucent touchscreen over a classic Swiss or Japanese automatic movement.

Kairos

This one is the SSW158. It runs a proprietary OS, but you can easily see how the basic touchscreen tech could be applied to Android Wear or Pebble OS. The touch response is a little hit-and-miss at present (these don't roll out till July so there's times for tightening), but it works.

Kairos is offering a range of solutions with its own watches, from purely mechanical to a more limited screen variant that's more translucent and just has an eight-character scrolling display for notifications, to any combination of the above with a T-Band, which itself comes in at least three variants.

More importantly, it's keen to license its tech to other brands.

However, to give you an idea of how seriously Baselworld currently takes these kinds of innovations, let's compare the main hall and Swiss Creative Labs, shall we? This is the main hall, and the kind of thing you find lying around in it.

Basel main

And this is what the Creative Labs area is like.

Creative Labs

Kairos labs