The Swatch Group issued a statement to Reuters on Thursday to publicly say that it is not collaborating with Apple on an anticipated wrist-worn connected device. A spokeswoman reportedly said that Swatch has supplied integrated circuits and other components to some mobile phone makers, but claims of any collaboration on a full-blown watch made with Apple are false.
VentureBeat first reported on Wednesday that it was told by anonymous sources that Apple has been working with Swatch and other watchmakers to introduce multiple "iWatch" devices to the market. The strategy was said to be to offer a range of products that could appeal to a wide range of potential buyers with varying fashion tastes and budgets.
That report alleged that Apple was talking with multiple companies, and that the deal with Swatch was apparently a lock. But Swatch quickly put that claim to rest on Friday with its outright denial.
The rumor, even before it was debunked, was somewhat surprising as Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek Jr. said last year that he didn't think an Apple smartwatch would be a big deal. He suggested that an "interactive terminal on your wrist" would be difficult since there is limited space for an adequate display.
Swatch, along with Suunto and Fossil, previously produced watches using Microsoft's now defunct Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) platform, what can be considered a first-foray into the smartwatch world.