The smartwatch and wearables market in general, is an interesting one. While adoption levels have been considered to be somewhat slow, the market has been increasing and expanding steadily. Not to mention, in spite of the less than stellar adoption rates, manufacturers seem very keen on pushing forward in the market. One of the big milestones for smartwatches was passed a couple of weeks ago when a report emerged that detailed smartwatches had outsold Swiss watches. A first for the genre of smartwatches.
Of course, this announcement came on the back of one very prominent Swiss company TAG Heuer releasing their first Android Wear powered smartwatch, the TAG Heuer Connected. The release of this smartwatch was seen as a big move by the company and one which showed that Swiss watch brands are taking note of the industry and like electronic manufacturers, do see the benefit of connected watches. That said, while Swiss manufacturers are paying closer attention to the market, some are still stepping extremely cautiously, due to concerns that the essence of some smartwatches go against the essence of Swiss traditional watch.
Most notably, Frédérique Constant CEO, Peter Stas, was recently talking in an interview and made it clear that while the company has already branched into wearables with a connected horological smartwatch, it sees less value in adopting a platform like Android Wear. In fact, Stas takes the opportunity to comment on rival TAG Heuer’s Connected smartwatch saying that he believes the TAG Heuer option is “a big mistake” and “not nice“. Mainly due to the animations used which are identical across Android Wear devices. Adding that while TAG Heuer charges close to $1500 for their option, the animations are “the same that you can get from LG for $300.” In contrast Stat feels that Swiss watch makers need to continue with the emphasis on more attractive and traditional watchfaces and animations, ones which include “beautiful dial and sculpted hands, and individuality.” Stas finishes up the interview by noting that they have some more smartwatches which will become available later this year, although by the sounds of it, it would seem unlikely they will be Android Wear running options.