TAG Heuer has linked up with Google and Intel to develop a smartwatch in an apparent bid to take on Apple which is set to roll out its Apple Watch.
The Swiss watchmaker, owned by Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, said the alliance would create “a product that is both luxurious and seamlessly connected to its wearer’s daily life”.
The move marks the first time a luxury brand from the Swiss watch industry has joined the competition for smartwatches, the Financial Times reported.
According to Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH’s watches division, the partnership between the 155-year-old TAG Heuer and the 17-year-old Google was “a marriage of technical innovation and watchmaking credibility”.
Biver said the new watch, which will run on Google’s operating platform, is likely to hit the market in November. He did not give prices or technical details.
The average price of a TAG Heuer watch is a little over 3,500 euros (US$3,700), the newspaper said.
Analysts estimate that only watchmakers competing at lower price points — up to about 900 euros — could be affected by the launch of Apple Watch next month.
More expensive luxury watches, which make up about 75 percent of total revenues of the Swiss watch industry, would remain unaffected, the report said.
Biver said smartwatches could even help the high-end Swiss watch industry by encouraging young people to wear watches.
“If they make young people start to wear watches again, there is more chance that they will want to buy a more expensive timepiece later on,” he said.
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