Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, Tag Heuer, is reportedly working on a smartwatch with IBM, according to Reuters, in an effort to curb the potential impact of the Apple Watch on its sales. Sources revealed that Tag Heuer, a subsidiary of LVMH, will announce its smartwatch on Thursday this week at BaselWorld 2015, the world's largest watch fair.
Tag Heuer's smartwatch will be a digital version of its best-selling Carrera luxury watch, offering “smart” features such as health monitoring, geolocation, distance tracking, among others. Jean-Claude Biver, Chief Executive of Tag Heuer, tells Reuters that its smartwatch will be a digital replica of its black Carrera watch.
People will feel that they are wearing a normal watch, Biver said. However, he believes that consumers will eventually buy a real watch instead of getting an Apple Watch. Biver also confirmed the news to Bloomberg Business, adding that the smartwatch's hardware and software will come from Silicon Valley, although he didn't specify if it was IBM.
Tag Heuer doesn't have the technology to create a smartwatch. The 65-year old Biver said that the company can't produce the chips, hardware, and applications in Switzerland. But the rest of the parts, including the case, dial, and crown, will be Swiss-made.
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Given the case, the reported smartwatch will be the company's first timepiece developed outside Switzerland. Many Swiss companies use the term “Swiss Made” to imply quality and luxury. To be able to use the “Swiss Made” label, fifty percent of the watch's components will have to come from the country. Meanwhile, Apple has yet to prove that its Apple Watch will meet the hype.
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Correction: A previous version of this article cited Intel as the partner, instead of IBM. We have corrected the article.