Tag Heuer partners with Google and Intel to create luxury Apple Watch rival
Thu 19 Mar 2015
Luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has announced that it will be designing a smartwatch in partnership with U.S. tech giants Google and Intel. The watch is to rival similar devices in the consumer wearables market, specifically the much-anticipated Apple Watch.
Tag is the first watchmaker to join with Google, however it is thought that the deal will also welcome collaborations with other high-quality LVMH brands such as, Hublot and Zenith.
Speaking at the Baselworld watch expo today, LVMH Watch Group head Jean-Claude Biver said that this was “the biggest announcement ever,” having himself worked in the industry for 40 years. He added that he expects the device to be the “greatest connected watch.”
David Singleton, Android Wear chief at Google commented: “When I think about the watch, it’s always been a marriage of beauty and utility. We’re going to do that with our partnership.” Tag Heuer will take care of watch design and manufacture, while Intel will handle the SoC platform and Google will provide its Android Wear capabilities and help with the software development.
According to research group Strategy Analytics, the global smartwatch market is predicted to grow 511% from 4.6mn units in 2014 to 28.1mn units over 2015. The experts also forecast that Apple would become the world’s leading smartwatch vendor, holding 55% of the global marketshare.
Usually conservative Swiss watch brands, such as Swatch, Montblanc and Breitling have now begun to race to create their own wearable devices, introducing fitness trackers and clip-on electronic features.
According to Biver the Tag smartwatch will not be made in Switzerland but rather within their partners’ territory in Silicon Valley.
“The difference between the Tag Heuer watch and the Apple watch is very important,” said Biver. “That one is called Apple and this one is called Tag Heuer.”
The watch will be available towards the end of the year, with price structures and functionality details announced shortly before its release.