Popular watchmaker Tag Heuer has announced its intention to team up with Google and Intel and develop a stylish new luxury watch as a challenger to the much anticipated Apple Watch Edition.
The new smartwatch is set to be a blend of Tag Heuer's popular sports watch Carrera and Google's Android Wear technology. Once it is released later this year, it will be the first ever high end watch to feature the Android Wear operating system.
Jean-Claude Biver, chief executive of Tag Heuer, said, "People will have the impression that they are wearing a normal watch. Apple will get young people used to wearing a watch and later maybe they will want to buy themselves a real watch," in an interview to Reuters at Baselworld, an annual convention of the watch industry.
Unlike Swatch which resisted the lure of modern smartwatches, Tag Heuer believes that it can retain its high end market share by trying to nip the Apple Watch Edition in the bud. The latter, to be released in April, is set to cost between £8,000 and £13,500.
However, there could be a risk associated with the venture as the Apple Watch Edition could get at least a six-month head start before Tag Heuer's smartwatch will hit the stores. Given that Swiss brands like Frederique Constant SA and Mondaine Watch Ltd have already unveiled their new smartwatches, it is clear that the Apple Watch Edition will not be the only competitor in Tag Hauer's sights at the time of launch.
At the annual convention at Baselworld, most watchmakers believed that the Apple Watch will stretch the market further rather than cannibalize the existing traditional watch industry. This could seem slightly optimistic, but we would prefer waiting for the Apple Watch's release to see the real picture.