TAG Heuer to take on Apple Watch with smartwatch initiative, plans acquisitions

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
Swiss luxury watch maker TAG Heuer on Tuesday announced plans to bring a branded smartwatch to market with the help of unnamed tech companies, a move spurred on in part by Apple Watch.


TAG Heuer Grand Carrera and (left) Carrera Mikrotimer Flying 1000. | Source: TAG Heuer


During a press conference at TAG Heuer's headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, interim chief executive Jean-Claude Biver admitted he recently changed his mind on fielding a smartwatch after being largely dismissive of the so-called "smart device" sector, Reuters reports.

"We started on the project about four months ago. We have done several partnerships and might also do acquisitions," Biver said.

TAG did not show off prototype designs at today's meeting, though rumors claim the watch is a hybrid digital/mechanical design powered by an Intel processor. Also rumored for inclusion are biometric sensors to measure metrics like a user's heart rate. Minus the sensors, A similar design was used by Hewlett-Packard in its Choronowing collaboration with designer Michael Bastion.

When asked if Google or Intel were part of the project, TAG Heuer general manager Guy Semon declined to comment. The company does not have a firm launch timeline in place, but Biver said an announcement would be made in late 2015 at the earliest.

"We'll only do it if we can be first, different and unique," Biver said.

Today's news is a change in course from September, when Biver slammed Apple's recently unveiled Apple Watch, saying the product "has no sex appeal. It's too feminine and looks too much like the smartwatches already on the market." Just days later, he reversed course.

"We want to launch a smartwatch at TAG Heuer, but it must not copy the Apple Watch," Biver said at the time. "We cannot afford to just follow in somebody else's footsteps."

TAG is the latest traditional watch manufacturer to bend against a steadily growing smartwatch industry led by tech innovators. Apple is set to disrupt the space with its Apple Watch early next year, and some high-end models are expected to be priced in the range of TAG Heuer's current offerings.

In July, Apple hired away a TAG sales director and was talks to poach talent from other top Swiss watch makers including Hublot, a brand owned by TAG Heuer.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 185
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,244member

    If I were TAG I'd be holding off and seeing what the Apple Watch take-up is first (especially the high-end models). I don't think mechanical watch buyers want a hybrid.

  • Reply 2 of 185
    TAG, you're it!
  • Reply 3 of 185
    I wonder what Google blah blah blah might run on a watch made by a collection of acqui-hires.
  • Reply 4 of 185
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Tag got caught out basing their movement on a modified Seiko movement.

    To many watch aficionados they are a wannabe luxury brand found in great numbers in down market shopping malls.

    If you want a luxury Swiss watch there are better brands.

    The point of owning a luxury Swiss watch lies in the craftsmanship and complexity of a well engineered mechanical movement that with care will last for centuries.

    Like this which is normally hidden away:-

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/53409/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]


    iPhone 6 camera > Air Drop > upload.
  • Reply 5 of 185
    "We cannot afford to just follow in somebody else's footsteps."

    So they, too, seek to lead by following the trend. I wonder if there's a tech company they could work with....
  • Reply 6 of 185
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    Where have I heard about an executive dismissing Apple before, oh yeah RIM. At least this guy seems to be getting out of denial
  • Reply 7 of 185

    This just in: TAG Heuer attempts to remain relevant past 2015.

  • Reply 8 of 185
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post



    "We cannot afford to just follow in somebody else's footsteps."



    So they, too, seek to lead by following the trend. I wonder if there's a tech company they could work with....

     

     

    Sure. They could work with Samsung or Google.

  • Reply 9 of 185
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,466member

    Just another industry (luxury watches) Apple is poised to disrupt. Once these bozos saw what Apple intends to do they started crapping in their pants. People who called the Apple Watch ‘just’ another smartwatch had no clue what Apple was really up to. The Apple Watch will be sold in upscale, luxury item stores, not just the Apple Store and Best Buy. We’ll see the Apple Watch in the display cases right next to the Rolexes, the Tag Heurers and such. And yes, a substantial number of people will be willing to pay a thousand dollars for it. In the luxury market high end watches are still very popular. 

     

    Of course it has already been labeled an epic fail, just like the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were. When will the jerktastic punditry crowd learn from their previous predictions? Fools all.

  • Reply 10 of 185
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    Just another industry (luxury watches) Apple is poised to disrupt. Once these bozos saw what Apple intends to do they started crapping in their pants. People who called the Apple Watch ‘just’ another smartwatch had no clue what Apple was really up to. The Apple Watch will be sold in upscale, luxury item stores, not just the Apple Store and Best Buy. We’ll see the Apple Watch in the display cases right next to the Rolexes, the Tag Heurers and such. And yes, a substantial number of people will be willing to pay a thousand dollars for it. In the luxury market high end watches are still very popular. 

     

    Of course it has already been labeled an epic fail, just like the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were. When will the jerktastic punditry crowd learn from their previous predictions? Fools all.


     

     

    There is no smartwatch market to speak of at the moment. There is certainly a watch market, but I wouldn't say that it’s a growing or thriving market in the West.

     

    Before the iPhone, there was a smartphone market, and a large mobile phone market.

     

    Before the iPad, there was no tablet market to speak of.

     

    The question is: can Apple create a market out of nothing, like the iPad? My guess is that there will be a very small market indeed for the Apple Watch akin to the Apple TV or smaller. The iPad, for many, replaced netbooks or PCs. For others, it replaced laptops. For still others, it replaced books, magazines, game consoles and newspapers. I don't see the Apple Watch replacing anything for most people, because they don't wear a watch in the first place, and it won't replace an iPhone or iPad.

  • Reply 11 of 185

    It's already too late.

  • Reply 12 of 185
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    Just another industry (luxury watches) Apple is poised to disrupt. Once these bozos saw what Apple intends to do they started crapping in their pants. People who called the Apple Watch ‘just’ another smartwatch had no clue what Apple was really up to. The Apple Watch will be sold in upscale, luxury item stores, not just the Apple Store and Best Buy. We’ll see the Apple Watch in the display cases right next to the Rolexes, the Tag Heurers and such. And yes, a substantial number of people will be willing to pay a thousand dollars for it. In the luxury market high end watches are still very popular. 

     

    Of course it has already been labeled an epic fail, just like the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were. When will the jerktastic punditry crowd learn from their previous predictions? Fools all.




    $1000?

     

    The watch in my picture is $5500 retail.

     

    That's just above entry level.

     

    They are a completely different market.

  • Reply 13 of 185
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,468member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

     



    $1000?

     

    The watch in my picture is $5500 retail.

     

    That's just above entry level.

     

    They are a completely different market.




    You are correct...how many here would spend $1,000 for a pen?  How about $5,000?  $100,000?  They exist and people buy them all the time.  I have a pen valued at about $700.  Applewatch won't affect the high end market but will make an impact in the mid range and up to a certain level.

  • Reply 14 of 185
    hentaiboy wrote: »
    If I were TAG I'd be holding off and seeing what the Apple Watch take-up is first (especially the high-end models). I don't think mechanical watch buyers want a hybrid.

    I am a mechanical watch buyer. I dig my swatch. I'll be buying one of the Apple Watches.

    TAG has no expertise in the semiconductor industry nor the manufacturing back end behind what makes Apples products so well made.

    They are in for a world of hurt.
  • Reply 15 of 185

    There is no smartwatch market to speak of at the moment. There is certainly a watch market, but I wouldn't say that it’s a growing or thriving market in the West.

    Before the iPhone, there was a smartphone market, and a large mobile phone market.

    Before the iPad, there was no tablet market to speak of.

    The question is: can Apple create a market out of nothing, like the iPad? My guess is that there will be a very small market indeed for the Apple Watch akin to the Apple TV or smaller. The iPad, for many, replaced netbooks or PCs. For others, it replaced laptops. For still others, it replaced books, magazines, game consoles and newspapers. I don't see the Apple Watch replacing anything for most people, because they don't wear a watch in the first place, and it won't replace an iPhone or iPad.

    Before the iPhone there was something they were labeling as smart phones. In hindsight, they were poorly labeled as such.
  • Reply 16 of 185
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    I am a mechanical watch buyer. I dig my swatch. I'll be buying one of the Apple Watches.

    TAG has no expertise in the semiconductor industry nor the manufacturing back end behind what makes Apples products so well made.

    They are in for a world of hurt.

    You sound like the people that predicted Apple couldn't make a good smartphone.
  • Reply 17 of 185
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,317member

    Should be a fantastic product, with all their experience customizing SOCs, software, hardware, electronic engineering, and the myriad of technologies that would go in to such a product. 

     

    /s

  • Reply 18 of 185
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Who here, like me, has remote-accessed from their iDevice to their laptop (which was sitting barely a few yards away) purely because you couldn't be bothered getting up?

    We, most likely, are prime candidates for the iWatch.
  • Reply 19 of 185
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    You sound like the people that predicted Apple couldn't make a good smartphone.

    He sounds correct.
  • Reply 20 of 185
    Especially when it comes to the Apple Watch, becoming a status symbol is key. It's an aspect of Apple's products not well understood by the media, analysts and pundits alike. I wrote about Apple's success creating status symbols last week: http://halifaxbloggers.ca/straighttech/2014/12/billionaires-phone/
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