Home / Technology / UPDATE 1-Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer teams adult with large tech for smartwatch

UPDATE 1-Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer teams adult with large tech for smartwatch

* Tag Heuer Connected on sale in U.S., other markets in days

* Costs $1,500, includes inducement to buy automatic watch

* Signs wearable inclination competence be holding marketplace share

(Adds comments from CEO, watch details; changes dateline,
previous ZURICH)

By Silke Koltrowitz and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Reuters) – LVMH’s Tag Heuer became on
Monday a initial Swiss watchmaker to offer a “smartwatch” to
customers that combines Swiss pattern with U.S. technology,
seeking to daub a flourishing marketplace for wearable inclination amid
flagging sales of normal watches.

Co-developed with Google and Intel, a “Tag Heuer
Connected” will cost $1,500. One thousand units are immediately
available in 15 stores opposite a United States, with Britain,
Germany, and Japan following in a entrance days.

With a titanium casing, black rubber tab and digital
watch hands, it is designed to demeanour like a exemplary watch.

But Connected houses an Intel Atom processor underneath its
touchscreen that lets wearers bond to a internet, stream
music and run applications around Google’s Android Wear platform,
from existent favorites such as Google Fit and Google Maps to
customized lifestyle and sports apps.

The watch, that electronically tethers to a phone, responds
to voice commands and finger swipes. It can give a weather,
set adult a calendar sign or tell a wearer how many stairs she
or he has walked that day, for instance.

The Connected will contest in partial opposite Apple Inc’s Apple
Watch, that has breathed life into a smartwatch category.
With prices of $350 to $17,000 it competes with some traditional
luxury timepieces.

Tag Heuer Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver described the
Connected watch as a approach to get new business and comfortable them up
to normal watches.

“The Apple Watch will never be eternal,” Biver pronounced during an
event in New York. “Our watch will. It’s a large advantage.”

Customers can barter their smartwatch for a automatic one at
the finish of a dual year guaranty if they compensate $1,500 more, a
strategy Biver pronounced allows a association to strengthen a traditions
and support to younger customers who competence be tempted by Apple.

Asked about intensity sales of a new product, he said: “I
don’t unequivocally know … we usually have a tummy feeling that we’re
just during a beginning, and that a initial (connected) watches
are like a initial phones we had twenty years ago.”

Makers of normal Swiss watches have mostly stayed on
the sidelines of a rising smartwatch market.

But a attention needs a boost. Swiss watch exports posted
the biggest dump given 2009 in a third quarter, with a 14.5
percent trip in a 200-500 franc difficulty fuelling concerns the
Apple Watch competence be holding marketplace share.

Bank Vontobel analysts in Oct foresee low to mid-market
watches would be influenced by sales of smartwatches and other
wearable devices, and 30 percent to 50 percent of quartz watches
would embody some smartwatch facilities in a prolonged term.

Switzerland’s biggest watchmaker, Swatch Group, has some
connected products during a Swatch and Tissot brands, though has
rejected creation a “telephone” or “computer for a wrist,” as
Chief Executive Nick Hayek told a paper in August.

Swatch has also eschewed large tech partnerships, that Biver
said were indispensable to launch a smartwatch such as Connected.

“If we wish to offer a smartwatch as worldly and
complete as a Apple Watch, that is most unfit for
a Swiss association alone,” Biver said. “We can't develop
microprocessors to that level.”

“Many Swiss watch brands are not penetrating on partnerships. We
were penetrating since we believed that my cost operation could be strike by
the foe of smartwatches,” he said.

The Tag Heuer Connected is, during slightest initially, being
produced during Intel production sites. It comes though the
coveted “Swiss Made” tag, though with a tag “Intel Inside” and
“Swiss Engineered” on a watch case.

The partnership with Intel and Google was announced in
March. Biver pronounced a partners common growth costs, but
gave no details.

Biver estimates that Swiss watch exports for 2015 will be
close to a prior year, between 1 percent aloft and 1.5
percent lower.

(Additional stating by Kylie Gumpert in New York; modifying by
Grant McCool)

Article source: http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/11/09/watches-smartwatch-tagheuer-idINL8N13454O20151109

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