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TAG Heuer teams up with Google and Intel to make Apple Watch killer

TAG Heuer is ready to join the smartwatch race later this year, and will announce its first contender to battle the growing ranks of smartphone-connected timepieces. Its first smartwatch was announced at the Baselworld watch show on Thursday March 19.

Updated on 03-19-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added in news of TAG Heuer and Google Android Wear partnership.

Android Wear will run on a classic TAG Heuer watch

At the event, TAG Heuer revealed a new partnership with both Intel and Google that aims to bring all the smarts of Android Wear to TAG Heuer’s classic Swiss-made timepieces.

“Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility. Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous,” said Jean-Claude Biver.

No details, specifications, or other information was announced about the TAG Heuer smartwatch, and we still don’t have a prospective launch date or price tag attached to the device. Regardless, the partnership between two tech giants and a revered watch maker, signals that the Swiss watch industry doesn’t intend to fade into the background. Google’s move to partner with the luxury watch maker poses a direct challenge to the Apple Watch, which has been actively promoted in high-fashion circles.

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“Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility. Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous,” said Jean-Claude Biver.

No details, specifications, or other information was announced about the TAG Heuer smartwatch, and we still don’t have a prospective launch date or price tag attached to the device. Regardless, the partnership between two tech giants and a revered watch maker, signals that the Swiss watch industry doesn’t intend to fade into the background. Google’s move to partner with the luxury watch maker poses a direct challenge to the Apple Watch, which has been actively promoted in high-fashion circles.

Jean-Claude Biver, who heads up the luxury brand conglomerate LVMH Group’s watch division, which owns the TAG name, has revealed a little about the device ahead of any official announcements. He told Reuters the new watch will “give the impression they are wearing a normal watch,” and believes the Apple Watch will be instrumental in getting young people used to wearing a wristwatch again. “Maybe later they will want to buy themselves a real watch,” he added.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Biver previously confirmed we should expect the watch to feature GPS and health monitoring features, plus a selection of unique apps which are specifically related to TAG Heuer’s brand, and the the sports it sponsors. Over the past year, the company has backed events including Formula-E racing, the Race of Champions, and various marathons run around the world, plus it has a wide range of personal sponsorship programs too.

Biver also spoke about how the watch will end up being the first TAG Heuer watch not developed in Switzerland. “We are not in the communications industry,” he said, adding “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.” For a watch to have a Swiss Made label, at least 50 percent of its movement needs to be produced in Switzerland.
This sudden, increased interest in smart watches is in response to the impending launch of the Apple Watch, which Biver called the “biggest threat for watches priced at less than $2,000.” Previously, he called the Apple Watch’s design too feminine, and commented that the style looked like the work of a student. He also said it had no sex appeal. However, Biver has now drastically altered his view of Apple’s own debut wearable device. He told Bloomberg the Apple Watch is a “fantastic product, an incredible achievement,” and admitted he’ll probably end up wearing one.

 

SOURCE: DIGITAL TRENDS

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