TAG Heuer Smartwatch news- Will you buy one?

  1. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Dec 16, 2014

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    While this is being written up as a "change", the reality is that this has been going on for a few months now, and with Guy Semon in charge of the new Haute Technologie division, it makes a lot of sense.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of smartwatches, but I do think it's vital that TAG Heuer goes down the path of investigating a smartwatch. Heuer was always at the front of quartz technology and TAG Heuer should be at the forefront of smartwatches, given that it's the only watch brand to also make mobile phones.

    Whether they can make one that I'd want to wear is a different matter....

    From http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/16/us-tagheuer-smartwatch-idUSKBN0JU20920141216

    TAG Heuer is pushing ahead with plans for a smartwatch to more directly compete with the likes of the Apple Watch and may make acquisitions to help drive the strategy, its head said on Tuesday.

    Swiss watch makers like TAG Heuer, the biggest brand in luxury goods group LVMH's watch portfolio, had until recently largely dismissed the threat of "smart" gadgets, but LVMH watch chief Jean-Claude Biver says he had changed his mind on the subject.

    Biver, who had already outlined plans for a smartwatch, said he had struck several partnerships and was mulling purchases to help come up with an original upmarket offering[​IMG].

    Switzerland's watch industry is facing competition from these wearable gadgets that allow users to check email or make phone calls. Swatch Group, the world's biggest watchmaker, said in August it planned a launch next summer.

    "We started on the project about four months ago. We have done several partnerships and might also do acquisitions," Biver, head of LVMH watches and TAG Heuer interim chief executive, told journalists at the brand's headquarters at La Chaux-de-Fonds in western Switzerland.

    Asked whether the likes of Google Inc and Intel Corp were among the partners, newly appointed general manager Guy Semon declined comment but said there were many partners involved.

    Media reports have said the company plans[​IMG] an Intel microprocessor-driven design featuring a mechanical action supplemented with electronic sensors monitoring things like calories burnt.

    TSUNAMI COMING

    "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," Semon said.

    Biver said TAG Heuer, which promotes its upmarket sporty image with models such as the Carrera which it describes as inspired by motor racing, would make an announcement once it had a good product to present, or late 2015 at the earliest.

    "We'll only do it if we can be first, different and unique," he said. He would not say how much the brand would invest in the project, part of a drive to refocus on accessible watches appealing to a large customer base....
     
  2. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    There's an article about it on Macrumours too which is getting some exposure:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/12/16/tag-heuer-smartwatch/

    My favourite part is the quote from Biver about the Apple smartwatch when it was released:

    In an era where many company executives are afraid to be quoted in the press its refreshing to see someone willing to go out and say he things the Apple Watch is too girly.
     
  3. 1887v2

    1887v2 Dec 17, 2014

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    So far, I have no interest in owning a smartwatch. But, if something compelling came along from Tag Heuer, I might induced to part with some money. ;)
     
    Calibre11 likes this.
  4. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    There is always this one:

    [​IMG]


    http://www.calibre11.com/tag-heuer-aquaracer-72-oracle-team-usa-digital-smartwatch/

    Only trouble is you also need an AC72 yacht to go with it, and they're not overly affordable :)

    What a brilliant year of America's Cup racing that was btw!
     
    george023 likes this.
  5. 1887v2

    1887v2 Dec 17, 2014

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    You had to be on the team to get one. :)
     
  6. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    Indeed, quite a limited edition at that as a result. Great idea though getting all the technical information on the yacht on your wrist.
     
  7. 1887v2

    1887v2 Dec 17, 2014

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    Btw, your stats seem to be incorrect. I see you have made 11,826 posts and have 3,296 likes. I think there is a bug in the forum software. ;)
     
  8. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    Not a bug, the stats and user accounts are shared between C11F and an older sister forum (OF) which is why some members who post on both have higher stats.
     
  9. 1887v2

    1887v2 Dec 17, 2014

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    An older sister forum? To get that number of posts, the forum must have been going for years. :D
     
  10. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    It has! Check it out here your login and password work there too..
     
    Edited Dec 17, 2014
  11. 1887v2

    1887v2 Dec 17, 2014

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    But, that is the opposition...LOL ... now I know...So, I will check it out, later. No rush. :)
     
  12. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    Our house is like an Apple Showroom- 2 Macs, 1 Macbook, 4 iPads, 1 iPad mini...forgotten how many iPhones..but the Apple Watch doesn't appeal to me.

    The issue isn't so much the design, it's that a. it has to be connected to a phone (so another thing draining my phone's battery) and b. I can't see the "killer app" that makes anyone say "I have to have one of those".

    There is a good and logical future for Smartwatches, I just don't think anyone has worked out the design and intended purpose well enough yet. There's a huge prize for whoever does...
     
  13. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    ....I've got no problem with quartz watches...I've owned this one...TWICE!
    [​IMG]
     
  14. 1887v2

    1887v2 Dec 17, 2014

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    The only Apple product that I own is the iPod, and I only got that recently, because it was removed from the Apple website when introduced the latest iPhone model recently. I haven't opened the packaging, yet...still sealed with cellophane! :D
     
  15. 1887v2

    1887v2 Dec 17, 2014

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    Too austere, for my taste. ;)
     
  16. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    I think it's a brilliant piece of design- incredibly bold for something that is 10 years old. A far braver move than the other high-end digitals we've seen recently from other brands. I certainly get that not everyone likes it, but I think you can appreciate it from a design perspective without wanting to own it!

    The only problem with the watch, and it's a fairly serious one, is that the high-shine surface of the watch scratches really easily, and those scratches show up too. Solve that and I'd buy another.

    So if TAG Heuer can produce a Smartwatch with a bold design like this, then maybe I'd change my mind. But being an independent device (i.e. you don't need a phone) would be a non-negotiable for me.
     
  17. Hubert

    Hubert Dec 17, 2014

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    For me the key components of the formula are: design, quality, and longevity of the product that must exude superior style and discerning taste.

    Smart watches are in their infancy, and technology becomes obsolete so quickly that the risk of producing a luxury version is high.

    Therefore they will have to approach this business boldly to make a statement, but must have a way to ensure the "smart" will last. Maybe have a way to pay to upgrade the electronics during servicing? Batteries are a big issue, so mechanical charging would be something I would look into, as a way to add extra charge.

    Google will publish newer APIs each year that will make these devices far more useful than they are today. That could serve as a base platform.

    People will need to feel their purchase will not be obsolete garbage in a few months after their purchase.
     
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  18. Pell031

    Pell031 Dec 17, 2014

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    yeah smart watches do nothing for me, whether it's Google, Apple or TAG. Frankly, I simply won't lend my wrist to what is still such a disposable product line.

    Consumers have become accustomed to replacing our phones and tablets every 2 or so years so Google & Apple watches will likely have a healthy market segment to target. But, as Hubert mentioned above, TAG Heuer smart watches will have to contend with ensuring the 'smart' will last. Anything disposable from them would be a major negative towards the Brand.
     
    Calibre11 likes this.
  19. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Dec 17, 2014

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    Good point you both make about obsolescence. I first saw the TAG Heuer smartphone in 2008 when Jean Christophe Babin showed off an early version of the phone. I had my iPhone in my pocket at the time and remember thinking that the TAG Heuer interface and operating system had just been blown away by the iPhone.

    So what do you do if you create your own smartwatch? If you stick with an existing operating system you get the benefit of regular upgrades...but then you are stuck with the functionality that the platform owner (Google/ Microsoft/ Apple) thinks you need...hard to design something unique in terms of functionality.

    I also agree that it can't be throw-away..it undermines the whole message of the Swiss watch industry if I throw out my TAG Heuer smartwatch after 18 months because there's a new model, or because the battery is no good. These are fundamental challenges as much as getting the design right. I'll be interested to see what Apple offer for the Gold Apple Watch, which will likely retail for several thousand USD. Surely they don't expect customers to throw it away every two years like an out-of-date iPhone?
     
  20. Hubert

    Hubert Dec 18, 2014

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    If I ran TAG Heuer, the emphasis would be less on the "smart" and more into what the integrated technology could offer.

    Picture this: The GPS and electronics would always keep the mechanical dials "up-to-date". No electronic dials would be visible on the front face. Having a reversible digital face on the back could work (as the Monaco example above), although most users may never use it as the "primary" face, unless it had configurable faces, that could replicate dials from past editions. If that was the case; I can envision a whole new genre of customization and individualization.

    On the front (primary) face the Date-and-time Zone changes would all be automatic, same as when your smart-phone adjusts upon a flight arrival. Calendar, moon phases, and all the traditional watch measurements would have a guaranteed accuracy. This would retain the beauty and essence of today's aesthetics with the accuracy and benefits afforded by technology. This way these watches would "last". Pair that with some way of charging the battery through natural movement and you've got yourself a home run.
     
    Edited Dec 19, 2014