The Apple Watch, which is yet to be released, is now being viewed as a threat by fashion watch leaders. Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer, which earlier was largely dismissive of the so-called “smart device” sector, is now working on its own smartwatch.
Change of heart about the Apple Watch
To come up with an original luxury offering to compete with the Apple Watch, the Swiss watchmaker is ready to enter into partnerships and even acquire companies, reports Reuters. TAG Heuer’s interim chief executive, Jean-Claude Biver, said during a press conference that they began the project approximately four months ago.
After the Apple Watch announcement, Biver dismissed the device, saying it was “too feminine” and looked like “it was designed by a student in their first trimester.” The executive further stated that smartwatches, including the Apple Watch, will be outdated soon, but luxury is always “timeless.”
However, now Biver acknowledges his change of mind about the smartwatch segment and has already made several partnerships to develop a competing product.
Is TAG working with Google, Intel?
There are speculations that TAG Heuer is already working with companies like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to kick-start its smartwatch project, however, TAG Heuer general manager Guy Semon declined to comment on those speculations. Intel could be providing the microprocessor to power the watch.
The Swiss company’s smartwatch is speculated to include mechanical actions and sensors to track health parameters like distance covered, calories burned, etc. Biver said during the conference that they won’t launch the watch unless it is sure it is “first, different and unique.” Also the company will not make any further announcements about the gadget until they have a quality product to showcase, which could come by the end of 2015.
No doubt if TAG Heuer does unveil a smartwatch, the Apple Watch will be the biggest threat. The Apple Watch, which is expected to hit the market by early 2015, will come in many variants, including a standard model, a sports model and a luxury watch edition.
Another interesting point to note is that in July, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hired TAG’s sales director. Also there were talks that the U.S. company could poach more talent from other top Swiss watch makers, including Hublot, which is owned by TAG Heuer.