Without a doubt, the smartwatch is this year’s tech must have item. I mean, if you are going to buy a wearable then you are going to be looking at a smartwatch. Unless of course you just need a fitness tracker, but (exercise aside) where’s the fun in that? The big firms to watch out for in the field are Pebble, Apple, Samsung, Motorola and LG. I looked at that list of tech firms and thought, where are the high end time piece manufacturers like Raymond Weil, Rolex and Tag Heuer?
The Swiss watchmaker had previously said that it would be making a smartwatch shortly after Apple announced the Apple Watch last year. Reports from Reuters have said Tag Heuer’s parent corporation LVMH has got together with chip maker Intel in order to create a digital version of one of its most iconic models: the original black Carrera. Apparently the wearable will still look like the non-digital version of the watch, except that it will be able to track geo location, walking distances and current altitude, but as this is unconfirmed, this information is only speculation.
Interestingly it took until this year’s Baselworld for the announcement that both Intel and Google were also involved at creating the high end time piece.
Google’s Director of Engineering, David Singleton and the Head of Research and Development for Intel, discussed what they called ‘the watch of the future.’ Singleton said that he was excited to announce that they were going to blend the expertise of software, hardware and watchmaking to make a device that people are going to love.
Android Wear will be the software platform that will bring the best of Google’s technology to the luxury connected watch. This coupled with Tag Heur’s innovative designs and Intel’s involvement should bring something quite special.
During an interview, back in January, with CEO Jean-Claude Biver, he admitted that only the watch itself will be made in Switzerland. The apps, microchips and other components will be manufactured over in Silicon Valley. It looks like Tag Heuer cannot, due to legislation, call the device Swiss made, but they may get away with designed and constructed in Switzerland.
There is no data on whether or not the luxury version of the Apple Watch will affect luxury watchmakers’ sales. During his interview with Reuters, Biver showed his contempt for the Apple Watch as he was quoted as saying, “Apple will get young people used to wearing a watch,” he continued, “and later maybe they will want to buy themselves a real watch.”
More information about Tag Heuer’s smartwatch will come to light over the next few months. We do know that the watch will be released at the end of this year. Jean-Claude Biver confirmed there will be a product release towards the end of the year with all the information we need to know; price, software, design, functionality etc. Until then, it’s a waiting game.
[Image via gentside]