Following the introduction of the TAG Heuer Android Wear watch late last year— the first of the major Swiss brands to launch a full-fledged smartwatch— TAG’s parent company says Hublot will likely be its next brand to receive smartwatch features. Bloomberg reports:
Jony Ive’s year-ago prediction that the Swiss watch industry would be in trouble once the Apple Watch launched appears to have been correct (his actual language was said to have been stronger). Bloomberg reports that Swiss watch exports suffered their biggest slump in six years.
Shipments declined 12 percent to 2 billion Swiss francs ($2 billion), the Swiss customs office said in a statement Thursday. Adjusted for fewer working days, the drop was 7.6 percent. Exports to the U.S. dropped 12 percent.
“2015 has been one to forget for the watchmakers,” said Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich.
The figures show that both higher- and lower-end brands are being hit hard, especially in the world’s biggest market for Swiss watches, Hong Kong … Expand Expanding Close
Update: The TAG Heuer Connected is now official. It goes on sale for $1500 very soon, has a 46mm case, connects with Android and iOS phones and will be available with a choice of 7 different color straps. Watch the promo video, see the official press renders and read up on the full official details here.
Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer has announced that its Android Wear-based Carrera Connected smartwatch, launching today in New York, will have “almost the same functions as an Apple Watch.”
The Swiss watch market is bracing for the smartwatch movement, with many fearing another downturn for traditional mechanical timepieces much the same as when low cost Quartz movements were first introduced.
Industry players don’t intend to sit around and see how Apple Watch sells against traditional watches, however, as many of the watch world’s biggest luxury watchmakers— Tag Heuer, Breitling, Swatch, Frederique Constant—are showing off their first smart watches at Baselworld 2015 this week, the premier tradeshow for the jewelry industry where most Swiss watchmakers choose to unveil their latest creations each year.
A few on the list below were announced in the weeks leading up to Baselworld which officially starts today, but this week will be the first time anyone actually gets their hands on these new Swiss smartwatches that hope to compete with the Apple Watch. We’ll be updating this list as more luxury smart watches get unveiled in Basel, Switzerland. Expand Expanding Close
With the Swiss watch conference, Baselworld, underway this morning, we’re expecting to find out how traditional watchmakers are going to respond to the Apple Watch. Tag Heuer is first in line, announcing a smartwatch version of one of its best-selling models, the Carrera, in partnership with Google and Intel.
TAG Heuer, Google and Intel have announced a partnership to launch a Swiss smartwatch powered by Intel technology and Android Wear. The effort signifies a new era of collaboration between Swiss watchmakers and Silicon Valley, bringing together each company’s respective expertise in luxury watchmaking, software and hardware.
While the company did not go into details, Reuters reports that the watch “will be a digital replica of the original Tag Heuer black Carrera, known for its bulky, sporty allure, and will look like the original.”
Sincere or not, Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver says that he welcomes the launch of the Apple Watch … Expand Expanding Close
TAG Heuer executive Jean-Claude Biver may have dismissed the Apple Watch just a few short months ago (as Apple was poaching members of the company’s leadership for the project), but it seems he has recently had a change of heart. In an interview with Bloomberg, Biver called the upcoming gadget “a fantastic product, an incredible achievement” and said he’ll likely wear one.
At the same time, however, Biver acknowledges that his company plans to partner with Silicon Valley to create its own entries to the smartwatch market. Because Switzerland doesn’t have the technological prowess needed to produce such a device, it will need to rely on external partners for some parts of its design.
Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty is predicting that the iWatch could achieve sales of 30-60 million units in its first year as sales growth mimics that of the iPhone or iPad, reports Fortune.
While some analysts point to modest sales of existing smartwatches as evidence that the iWatch is likely to be a relatively minor new category for Apple, Huberty believes that they are using the wrong measure.
It’s that loyalty and the so-called “halo effect,” Huberty writes, not the current watch market, that will drive sales of the unannounced product that she (like everybody else) is calling the iWatch …
CNBC reports that Apple has hired the sales director of luxury Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer for an iWatch marketing role. The hire was reportedly confirmed by the head of the parent company’s watch brands, Jean-Claude Biver.
Biver said the watchmaker’s sales director left as recently as last week, “to take a contract with Apple” in order to launch the iWatch. LVMH owns Swiss watchmakers TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith …