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Apple hires Tag Heuer exec as iWatch rumors build

At this point the long-awaited iWatch has been the subject of so many rumors and news stories that it’s hard to believe it’s not a real device, even if Apple is remaining tight-lipped. The latest piece of evidence pointing to its imminent arrival is the hiring of Tag Heuer sales executive Patrick Pruniaux by the Cupertino company, presumably to help promote and manage the launch of the wearable.

The news was leaked by an executive at luxury goods firm LVMH in an interview with CNBC and later confirmed by Reuters. “The iWatch will have the same status symbol power as many other Apple products, especially at the beginning,” LVMH’s Jean-Claude Biver said when speaking to Reuters. “I personally believe it has the potential to be a threat for the industry, and it should not stay with its arms crossed.”

There’s more to the iWatch speculation than just idle Internet rumors and analyst gossip. We know iOS 8 will feature a HealthKit platform for aggregating fitness data and Nike CEO Mark Parker has gone on record to say his company will be working closely with Apple on activity tracking in the future. With all of Apple’s major competitors bringing out variations on the smartwatch, it would make sense for Tim Cook and his team to have something in the pipeline too.

Apple’s hardware products have always edged towards the more expensive and professional end of the market, and the hiring of Tag Heuer’s Patrick Pruniaux would seem to confirm that we can expect a device that costs more than the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live. One analyst told Reuters that a sub-$1,000 price point could be the sweet spot for the new Apple wearable.

Most industry insiders are agreed that the device will make its debut sometime in the fall, so we shouldn’t have long to wait to find out.