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

G Shocks

7. But really, nobody at Baselworld gives a hoot about smartwatches

In terms of big names "going smart", there really isn't a lot to tell, which is in itself telling. The fact is that at the middle of the trad watch market, something like the Casio G Shock range is as "smart" as it gets.

Of the two seen here – Casio were showing off a stack of new variants at Baselworld – the GPW-1000TBS on the left features GPS, but that's just to find your time zone and retain 100% accuracy when it can't sync with the more standard Radio Wave time signals.

The MTG-S1000V-1A on the right is a great-looking thing, but here the "smart" features are limited to the G Shock standards of resistance to electric shock, gravity, cold, vibration, water and shock.

Ask anyone from Casio if they'd consider adding alerts or apps and they just shrug. Both of these cost around £1,000 and are the latest in a long and illustrious line.

Casio may be one of the Japanese brands that caused the last great schism in the watch market, with quartz movements, but it's seemingly no more bothered by smartwatches than its Swiss counterparts. It was showing off time, alarm and zone adjustment via app on its Edifice line but it was doing that last year, and nobody much cared then.

"We want to give customers smart features that are useful," Casio's guy told me. Clearly for these long established horology vendors, that means an easier way to adjust watch features that have been around since time immemorial. Breitling has taken the same approach with its B55, albeit for about 10 times the price.

8. Guess is the current "state of the art" in smart/style crossover watches

Martian and Guess

So in terms of household name watch brands, the "smartest" product on show at Baselworld was probably the Guess Connect. This was at CES, and is a standard Guess piece, with Martian's Bluetooth notifications system added – that's the tiny LCD panel at the bottom.

With this, you can control Siri or Android by speaking at your wrist, and hear their dulcet responses through an onboard speaker. The customisable alerts also have customisable vibration patterns by type.

So, tech functionality that's solid, in standard Guess watch casings that may or may not be to your taste. This is the current state of the art in smartwatches made by non-tech companies that you can actually buy. Woop!