It looks like luxury watchmakers were waiting to see what Apple had planned before entering the smartwatch race. Less than a week after the company’s Apple Watch announcement, Tag Heuer spoke with a local Swiss newspaper about its own smartwatch plans and how it will be nothing like Apple, Reuters reports.
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In an interview with a local Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, Tag Heuer’s head of watchmaking Jean-Claude Biver said that the company “want[s] to launch a smartwatch … but it must not copy the Apple Watch.”
The Apple Watch has been both criticised and celebrated for its design with one expert lauding Apple’s attention to the watch’s feel and respect for tradition but worried about the timepiece’s limited lifespan. Apple even hired Patrick Pruniaux, a former VP sales rep for Tag Heuer, along with other luxury watch designers to prepare for the device’s launch.
Now that Apple and Google have played their hands, it’s not surprising that luxury watchmakers are starting to make their move. After Intel and Fossil announced a partnership last week, it’s possible that Tag Heuer could consider a similar route. However, it seems one thing is for certain, it won’t look like an Apple Watch, and any hope for Android Wear option would probably be misplaced as Biver also mentions “we cannot afford to just follow in somebody else’s footsteps.” Whether that urge for originality also extends to software is uncertain.
A smartwatch’s limited lifespan would probably make car-level pricing on timepieces a hard sell to most consumers, but Tag Heuer is probably only the first of many luxury smartwatch rumours to come. [Reuters]