Tissot is the latest big name Swiss watch maker to reveal a smartwatch. It’s called the Smart Touch and although it connects to your phone, it doesn’t run Android Wear, so it won’t directly compete with models from TAG Heuer, Fossil, or Michael Kors. Tissot’s owned by Swatch, and is considered one of the more affordable brands in the company’s portfolio.
“The Smart Touch’s first purpose is to indicate the time,” Tissot’s CEO Francois Thiebaud told Reuters, essentially warning buyers not to expect a Gear S2 or Apple Watch challenger. Instead, once connected to a smartphone using Bluetooth, the watch will sync international timezone changes, provide weather updates, and provide GPS directions and tracking. It’s not clear whether you’ll receive notifications or alerts.
Judging by Tissot’s promo campaign — which makes us want to visit Switzerland right now — the Smart Touch is being pushed towards active people, rather than the fashion conscious. In a launch video, the GPS tracking cleverly uses the hands to indicate the direction one should go, which may work well for walking, although it doesn’t state whether the GPS is inside the watch, or taken from the phone. The battery life is augmented by a solar panel, and is expected to be around a year — so we’re going to guess the GPS comes from the smartphone. The smart functionality can be switched off should it become outdated, and the watch will function as normal.
A range of accessories including an electronic tracking tag and a weather station will be sold with the watch, with the latter sending humidity, air quality, and temperature data to it. The Smart Touch is an evolution of Tissot’s existing T-Touch range of semi-smart watches, and the company’s targeting a launch at the end of the year. The price is likely to be in the region of $1,000.