Skip to main content

Swatch boss says he has no interest in making a ‘minimized mobile phone’ for your wrist

swatch smartwatch patents zero one
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Apparently resistant to the smartwatch frenzy that’s gripped so many other companies, Swatch boss Nick Hayek on Thursday offered up a few tidbits on how his firm intends to tackle the business.

Instead of launching a full-fledged bells-and-whistles device, Hayek suggested he’d found a compromise when he spoke of plans to integrate a limited selection of smartwatch functions into the Swiss firm’s current range of watches.

Speaking at Swatch’s annual media event in Corgemont, Switzerland, Hayek pointed out that he wasn’t head of a consumer technology company and therefore had no interest in creating “a reduced, minimized mobile phone on your wrist.”

Instead, the CEO said he’s interested in building into his watches a limited amount of technology. This would include, for example, Bluetooth, which would enable messages and notifications to be sent between the watch and a smartphone.

Hayek said he’ll also incorporate NFC into some of the company’s watches, allowing users to, for example, make contactless payments and open hotel doors.

On the subject of contactless payments, Swatch has reportedly struck a deal with a credit card company in China to enable the system there, while it’s also working with Visa to bring it to other countries around the world.

Swatch’s first NFC-enabled watch is due out in May, with Bluetooth arriving in the summer, according to Hayek. The company also recently launched the Swatch Touch Zero One, a fitness-focused wrist-worn device aimed at beach volleyball players.

The Swiss watch company, which currently commands 18 percent of the watch market, has increased its share steadily over the past five years, a factor that may have persuaded Hayek to hold back from diving headfirst into the smartwatch space.

Last year the Swatch boss had few positive words to say about smartwatches, saying the displays were too small for their intended purpose, and the batteries too weak.

However, that was 12 months ago. Now the company will be keen to learn if the Apple Watch, which some observers suggest could kickstart the smartwatch market, has any effect on sales of its own wrist-based devices when it hits stores next month, with any downturn possibly leading to a shift in policy that could lead to the launch of a more full-featured smartwatch to take on the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Pebble. Hayek is clearly opposed to the idea at the current time, but if smartwatches come to disrupt the traditional watch market, he’ll likely have little choice.

[Source: BBC, WSJ]

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Razer Anzu smart glasses deal knocks $140 off the price tag
The Razer Anzu smart glasses placed on top of an open book.

While smartwatch deals have slowly claimed their place in the mainstream, smart glasses haven't turned out to be as popular. Gaming-focused brand Razer, however, is trying to renew interest in smart glasses with the Razer Anzu, which you can currently purchase from Best Buy at $140 off. If you'd like to give them a try, they're available for just $60, less than half their original price of $200.

There have been failures like the Google Glass and Snap Spectacles, and hopeful attempts like Oppo's Air Glass and Apple's secretive project, but the Razer Anzu smart glasses take a different spin on the wearable device by designing them for indoors. While they come with polarized sunglass lenses, their clear lenses are more useful with their blue light filter, which protects your eyes from screen glare to prevent discomfort even after hours of playing video games or working from home. The smart glasses, which also have a built-in omnidirectional microphone and speakers, may also be more comfortable to wear for an extended period of time compared to headsets and headphones. You'll enjoy smooth, stutter-free sound with the Razer Anzu's low latency audio with a 60ms Bluetooth connection.

Read more
The best Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 screen protectors
Person holding skateboard while wearing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

A new, sleek design and digital bezel help the Galaxy Watch 4 stand out in the crowd and set it apart from the traditional style of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Whether you've picked up a 40mm model with a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED screen or opted for more screen real estate with the 44mm model, that stand-out design needs protecting from scratches and knocks. That means it's time for our picks of the best Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 screen protectors, with something to suit all budgets.

These screen protectors will all fit the 40mm or 44mm models of the Galaxy Watch 4. If you've got a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, these won't fit.
Spigen Glas.tR EZ Fit Screen Protector

Read more
How to remove watch links from the strap on your new watch
how to remove watch links fossil q explorist

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all smartwatch. If your wrists are on the smaller size, then you may find that your new smartwatch is dangling from your wrist and sliding up your forearm. No need to worry — it's a common problem. Chances are there are at least one too many chain links on the strap, but adjusting a metal-link smartwatch band isn't as difficult as you might think — and doesn't usually require a trip to the jewelers.

We'll take you through everything you need to know and the tools you'll need handy to remove links from your smartwatch so it fits snugly on your wrist.

Read more