TAG Heuer Teases Smartwatch
On the same day that a mysterious image of the TAG Heuer smartwatch appeared on Twitter, CEO Jean-Claude Biver was interviewed on CNBC discussing the effect of wearable devices on the luxury watch industry. This was probably not a coincidence since the outspoken exec is sure to be looking for media coverage of the brand’s first connected device ahead of its November release.
The image shows just a sliver of the coming luxury smartwatch but it’s enough to start talk about the future of Swiss watches as the makers of fine timepieces meant to last for decades face competition from devices with a much shorter lifespan. Biver touched on this subject in the interview, pointing out that his industry is looking at a “tsunami” but qualified the statement with “in the price segment, between say $200 and up to eventually $2,000.”
Biver went on to diss the $10,000+ Apple Watch Edition, saying, “Above $2,000, the connected watch has a huge problem. There is no eternity, it means it will become obsolete and who wants to buy a $10,000 – $20,000 watch that becomes obsolete after five or 10 years? So the eternity in a box—that’s how I call a mechanical watch—it’s eternal! It’s like Big Ben. Big Ben is working after 150 years!”
It’s interesting that the TAG Heuer CEO would choose $2,000 as the dividing line after which a smartwatch becomes too expensive, since the company’s own wearable device has a projected price tag of $1,400 to $1,800.
Biver’s points are hard to argue with since the lifespan of tech items like smartphones and tablets range from one year (when it become’s “last year’s model”) to about four-five years (when it no longer works with the current software). The sweet spot for a smartwatch is likely to fall in the $300 to $1,000 range but we’ll need to see more models (and their sales figures) to be sure.