Luxury watchmakers such as Tag Heuer, Bulgari and Gucci are gearing up to blend their traditional watch-making techniques with high-end electronics.
The decision to make these hybrid watches was made in anticipation of the market surge for wrist computers or better known as smartwatches. Although there has been no statistical data to suggest that the wide acceptance of smart watches will be the latest super trend, luxury watchmakers do not want to get caught holding the bag.
At the Baselworld fair, an exhibition for the watch and jewellery industry, partnerships were announced between certain luxury watchmakers and electronics companies. These partnerships will see the electronics companies footing much of the bill for the endeavour, whereas the luxury brands will focus on the marketing of this niche product.
On Thursday Tag Heuer made public its alliance with chip maker companies Google and Intel. Tag Heuer Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver said it was not yet clear whether gaining the “Intel Inside” also meant losing the precious “Swiss Made” label according to Reuters. Although this announcement gave the company a lot of publicity and projecting an image of modernisation the blending of these two wildly different technologies could in fact fail.
With competitors like Apple Inc developing their latest “luxury” smart watch it is clear that the smart watch market, with similarities to the cellular phone market will soon become highly competitive.
Apple Inc has already snatched up executives from companies such as Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent and even Tag Heuer for the design and launch of their anticipated smart watch. Luxury products like Rolex’s are always measured on the way they appreciate in value even if sold second hand.
An Apple product on the other hand normally depreciates greatly after purchase. Will Apple be able to overcome that critical hurdle to appeal to the greater majority of luxury product consumers?
Since the day we first saw the gadgets that James Bond used to apprehend his foes, we have all felt the urge to talk into our wrist watches at some point or have something happen when we push a button on them. Well, that time has finally arrived! Question is will you be doing so on a normal tech watch made by Apple or will it be on a timeless Tag Heuer or even a Rolex.
I was caught up in the technology storm from a very young age. Being a child of Generation X, playing computer games and always building “the next great computer rig” is my passion. I’m mesmerised with any and all techy wonders crossing my path.