LG’s G Watch R (pictured above) is arguably one of the best looking Android Wear watches released to date, and it – along with the Moto 360 – is a great example of how smartwatches can be elegant. Having said that, it’s pretty clear that “LG” doesn’t carry anywhere near the same amount of brand presence as “TAG Heuer”, “Swatch” or “Mondaine”. This has been an uphill battle for anyone trying to be successful in the smartwatch market, and the continued prevalence of such brands is why watches like the Pebble Steel and Moto 360 exist; people like timepieces more than they do wrist-mounted computers. It’s also safe to say however, that smartwatches do pose a serious threat to Swiss makers like TAG Heuer and while this is likely not to be felt for some time yet, Swiss makers are already working on a response.
TAG Heuer has apparently been working on a smartwatch project for “about four months” according to a report from Reuters. Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH’s Watch department had previously refused to enter the market, but he’s since changed his mind. LVMH, for those wondering, is a Luxury-goods conglomerate based in France, also know as Mo«t Hennessy – Louis Vuitton S.A. and owns such brands as Dior, Givenchy, Bulgari, Zenith and of course, TAG Heuer. Biver has recently said that the company had “done several partnerships and might also do acquisitions”. Acquiring smaller firms with the ability to deliver on the technical side of things would be a smart move, and give them a jump start. We can’t see a company like Pebble selling out to a Swiss watch maker however, but it’d be an interesting turn of events.
It’s clear that there is change ahead for the watch industry as a whole, and if Swiss makers are to be ready for the next 10, 20 years they’ll need to create compelling designs that meld tradition with new technologies. Would you like to see a TAG Heuer smartwatch, or should traditional brands stick to mechanical movements and what they do best? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.