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The Apple Watch May Finally Have Serious Competition

Tag Heuer, a 155-year old watch brand name, teams up with Google and Android Wear
The Apple Watch May Finally Have Serious Competition

Luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has officially announced a partnership with Google in an effort to create its own Android Wear-powered smartwatch.

Luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has officially announced a partnership with Google in an effort to create its own Android Wear-powered smartwatch.

Switzerland has long been known to dominate the high-end wristwear industry. The firm, which is part of the LVMH Group, announced the partnership with Google and Intel today at the Baselworld trade show in Switzerland. It is the first company to join Google’s wearable tech ecosystem.

Jean-Claude Biver, the president of LVMH’s watch division, stated that his business needed to look beyond Swiss borders to create a smartwatch. “There are two operating systems: one is Apple's iOS, the other is Android Wear - who are we to invent another language at that level?” he said.

“It would be absurd, it would be arrogant to believe that we could develop our own [operating system]. It would be a catastrophe to believe such a stupid thing.

“There are two operating systems: one is Apple's iOS, the other is Android Wear - who are we to invent another language at that level?” 

“There is no doubt that we could eventually go to Apple, but why should we do a partnership with Apple, who is producing watches? On the one side they would be partners, on the other a competitor. Google is not producing watches, so the relationship is perfect.”

Tag Heuer’s 155 years in the watch industry has been noted as “being dynamic, disruptive and modern”, making it the perfect partner potential for Google.

Around 720,000 watches powered by Android Wear were bought in 2014, and with the Apple Watch launch looming in only a couple of weeks, everyone in the watch industry seems to agree that Apple’s massively funded marketing campaign has raised awareness for the whole sector.

As Apple is only compatible with its own operating system, it leaves a huge market for those that use Android phones, which is already a more widespread OS than Apple’s.

Apple’s campaign has raised consumer awareness to the point where traditional watchmakers can no longer ignore the emerging market.

Tag Heuer has not yet revealed details about watch will look like, but they assure that it will look different. According to Mr. Biver, “It will be a traditional look. It will not look like an Apple Watch. An Apple Watch looks like a miniaturised copy of its phone. Our watch will never look like a phone.”

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