A couple of years ago, smartwatches were just chunky, bad-looking wrist-worn devices that didn’t get much attention at the time. However, in a short time, the technology evolved and today we have really serious timepieces such as the Huawei Watch, the LG Watch Urbane, the new Gear S2 from Samsung and, yeah, the Apple Watch. Despite our love for Android, Apple was the one to set the bar for smartwatches, as device sales were really weak before the Apple Watch. When this device was unveiled, there was a lot of buzz around the internet with some people saying that the traditional watch industry was doomed, while others said that the Apple Watch could never hurt the almighty Swiss watchmakers.
Well, things didn’t look very good for the Swiss companies, as in September they had a 9.9% decline in sales, the third month in a row. Back in September 2014, Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer told Forbes that the Apple Watch would present a significant challenge for the Swiss watch industry and that, eventually, they would release their own answer to Apple. Now that time has come.
On an interview with Switzerland’s Le Matin Dimanche, the Mr. Biver said that the Carrera Connected, TAG Heuer’s first luxury smartwatch, would be unveiled in New York on November 9 – so, today, with a possible retail price of $1,500 with sales starting November 12 in Europe. We don’t have many details, as the business executive was very limited on his words: “Our watch will have almost the same functions as an Apple Watch, but I don’t want to divulge too much. The Carrera Connected is an exclusive, luxury watch. We are not Apple. We are a watch brand. I forbid my colleagues to say Apple is our competitor,” he said.
If you consider that most smartwatches cost around $400, at $1,500 the Carrera Connected could be aimed at a selected consumer base. While it runs Android Wear, the watch doesn’t have the usual activity-tracking features, but users will be allowed to customize watch face. The body is made of titanium with six different wristbands to choose from. The device will be unveiled today, so stay tuned for more details such as specs and additional features.