A formidable new force has just formed in the sphere of the smart watch. Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer is joining forces with Google and Intel to make a new smart watch. This is the first attempt at a luxury smart watch with a traditional watchmaker, but it won’t likely be the last.
TAG Heuer is quite excited too about their announcement. Chief Jean-Claude Biver declared it as the “biggest announcement ever” in his 40 years, and went so far as to claim that it will be the “greatest connected watch.” To be certain, TAG is entering the battle for the smart watch at the right time, where the market is expected to grow to 28.1 million units this year, up from 4.6 million in 2014. However, Apple is expected to hold 55% of this market. TAG will have a bit of work to do if it is to make a dent in that figure, but as it is the first luxury watchmaker to move forward with a smart watch, it will surely make a mark.
While TAG will be making the first full on smart watch, it is not the first watch maker to respond to the boom in technology-equipped watches. Montblanc, Swatch, Frederique Constant, and Breitling have all added features to their watches, such as messaging devices and fitness trackers.
However big and exciting this announcement may be for TAG, the greatest question underlying the smart watch has yet to fully even be answered, and won’t likely be until the Apple Watch is fully up for sale. This issue is the question of whether or not people will wear it, while considering it a luxury and convenience item at the same time. The reviews of the Apple Watch are already coming in quite mixed, and people like the French have already showed some holes in the assumption that people will be moving towards wearable technology. While not everyone searching for smart watches will agree with the French, this does pose a large question for manufacturers moving forward. However, it will be interesting to see if the French, ever credible with fashion, will shift this collective opinion once more traditional watchmakers are making smart watches.
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