Luxury watch maker, Tag Heuer, has been linked with releasing a smartwatch for some time now. It's now being reported that the Swiss company is set to announce a new smartwatch tomorrow lunchtime at Basel World. The new smartwatch is rumored to be the product of a partnership with Intel and Google; Intel's hardware combined with Google's software already sounds like a great product, but throw in Tag Heuer's iconic design and the resulting smartwatch sounds tantalising! Tag Heuer have already hinted at some news; at a press conference on Tuesday, the company said that it couldn't provide any news because the Silicon Valley executives hadn't arrived at the Basel World event, but did say that the announcement was not Apple.
We have also seen comments in interviews, for example Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver said to Bloomberg with reference to a smartwatch: "we can't produce the engine, the chips, the applications, the hardware – nobody can produce it in Switzerland. The hardware and the software will come from Silicon Valley. But the watch case, the dial, the design, the idea, the crown, that part of the watch will, of course, be Swiss." We've also seen that Tag Heuer is planning to make an official announcement "by late 2015." It would seem sensible that any new smartwatch would be announced as close to the Apple Watch event in order to capture customer mindshare. This is an important point because there's a chance that the Apple Watch could steal market share from the premium Swiss watch market.
Intel has a track record of combining their hardware with expert designers, which is a great way of recognizing that whilst Intel may be expert at building the hardware, they are not a wearable product designer. It is also encouraging to see Google involved; assuming Tag Heuer are using an Android Wear platform, this is a significant vote of confidence.
One of the observations that Huawei made about their new Watch is that they are considering trying to enter the luxury smartphone market, but wanted to use a smartwatch that allows components to be replaced and upgraded so as to avoid a very expensive device quickly becoming obsolete. It's not clear if a Tag Heuer smartwatch will follow the same ideology and allow customers the chance to easily upgrade the device at some point in the future.
What do you think of the prospect of a beautifully designed Tag Heuer smartwatch, running Android Wear over an Intel platform? Let us know in the comments below.