Luxury timepiece manufacturer TAG Heuer has admitted it’s interested in releasing a smartwatch, but doesn’t want to simply follow the unofficial rules set down by the industry so far, but go its own way instead. The news comes from Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer’s parent company Hublot, who said in an interview with a Swiss publication that TAG’s eventual smartwatch “must not copy the Apple Watch.”
Biver has already spoken out against the newly announced Apple Watch, saying the design is not only too feminine, but one worthy of a “student in their first trimester.” He didn’t rate the watch’s chances in the future either, and warned the look would soon become outdated. TAG Heuer has a strong reputation in the world of watches, thanks in part to high profile sporting sponsorship deals, and produces an extensive range of luxury timepieces.
No features or solid information on TAG’s smartwatch were revealed, but we should apparently look out for the first model at next year’s Baselworld international watch show. The timing isn’t coincidental. Apple will release the Apple Watch around the same time. However, while the Apple Watch is a smartwatch first and a timepiece second, TAG Heuer’s entry, and those from other luxury watchmakers, is likely to swap this around.
This could have a considerable impact on the price. Even the cheapest TAG Heuer watches cost $1,400, while the cheapest Apple Watch is set to be $350. Smartwatches such as the Pebble are available for less than half this figure. Smartwatches are still a niche product, and while the Apple Watch will bring them more attention, only a small percentage of buyers will be happy to buy an accessory which costs twice that of the smartphone itself. On the flip side of this, many potential smartwatch buyers want a stylish device which doesn’t look too geeky. While some manufacturers are bringing out smart watches with circular faces, they still don’t match anything produced by true luxury watch makers.
The Baselworld watch and jewelry show begins on March 10 2015, where TAG Heuer, and potentially other brands, may show their first smartwatch efforts.