Tag Heuer has been rumoured to launch a smartwatch for months. LVMH Group, the company behind many popular luxury brands including Tag, Omega and Hublot, said last December, “Smartwatches represent a challenge to the Swiss watch industry that is comparable to the appearance of quartz technology. We cannot ignore this tsunami that is coming closer.”
Now it appears that LVMH is ready to embrace the storm as the company has announced plans to release a smartwatch to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple, among others.
At the Baselworld watch show in Switzerland, LVMH announced today that Tag Heuer has partnered with Intel and Google to release a smartwatch based on its popular Carrera brand. The watch is expected to be available by the end of the year, and is expected to run Android Wear. Like other Android watches, it will focus on fitness, outfitted with a GPS antenna and an embedded activity tracker. Jean-Claude Biver, Tag Heuer CEO, said, “people will have the impression that they are wearing a normal watch.”
Biver might be feeling the heat from the competition as he took the time for a quick jab at his newest competition, noting, “Apple will get young people used to wearing a watch and later maybe they will want to buy themselves a real watch.”
Intel is expected to provide the silicon for the watch, which would be a divergence from Qualcomm’s dominance in the smartwatch industry to date. All Android Wear devices bar one, the Moto 360, run a variant of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC.
It’s unclear if, like other Android Wear devices, the Carrera will have an entirely digital watch face, or if only part of its screen will be digital and the rest, like the Guess Connect, will have an analog movement.