Let’s face it. Most fanciers of fine timepieces are not going to be tempted by the motley assortment of smartwatches in stores right now. Maybe you’d drop a few bucks on a fitness band to wear while jogging or doing some other sweaty type of exercise but wear a smartwatch with your best business suit to an important meeting? No way!
But what if you could buy a timepiece with smartwatch functions but the look and quality of a fine Swiss watch? You may be able to find such a watch in the very near future as one of the world’s premiere watchmakers is rumored to be preparing to introduce its own take on the smartwatch.
Sources at Business Insider report that Tag Heuer will unveiling a new smartwatch next month at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There’s no word yet on what type of software the timepiece will be running but it is expected to have an Intel processor.
While the majority of the current crop of smartwatches sport a touch screen and plastic exterior, the Tag Heuer model will combine the elegant look of a traditional Swiss watch with basic smart functions like measuring steps, calories and sleep patterns. The timepiece is expected to have an analog dial and leather strap.
It’s no surprise that Tag Heuer, one of the most admired names in fine Swiss watches, will not be turning out just another run-of-the-mill plastic smartwatch. John-Claude Biver, the head of watches for Tag Heuer’s parent group LVMH recently gave his frank opinion of the Apple Watch that will hit stores in spring 2015. “To be totally honest, it (Apple Watch) looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester.” Well, you have to give him points for honesty.
Tag Heuer CEO Stephane Linder is equally unimpressed with the design of wearable devices from tech brands like Samsung and Sony. Linder gave his take to Tech Hive back in the summer. “They look like cheap, plastic-designed watches,” he stated. “In the luxury category, we work on every detail for crafted value. When I see the smartwatch, it’s interesting, but in terms of design, it looks like a cheap wrist computer. There’s not one that makes a great connection.”
The Withings Activité already offers a traditional watch with a few smartwatch functions and that’s the direction that the Tag Heuer timepiece is likely to take. It’s a sure thing that the brand will not jeopardize its luxury reputation to slap that revered name on a disposable plastic wearable device.
The entry of such an esteemed maker of timeless and very expensive timepieces into a field so far dominated by tech companies certainly opens up the definition of what a “smartwatch” really is. Will future models stress the “smart” or the “watch”?