TAG Heuer partners with Silicon Valley giants on Android Wear smartwatch

Swiss watch manufacturer TAG Heuer has announced a partnership with Google and Intel that will lead to the creation of its first smartwatch.

The device, to be underpinned by Google's Android Wear wearable operating system, was announced today at the Baselworld watch and jewellery show in Switzerland and is expected to ship later this year.

Other details, such as pricing, weren't immediately available but if it does choose a high price point then it won't be the only one, with the upcoming Apple Watch going for up to $17,000.

For decades, Swiss watches have been revered for their precision and craftsmanship. Rolex, one of the market leaders, has resisted the smartwatch game so far, but TAG Heuer and Swatch are introducing products without abandoning their mechanical roots.

It's not yet clear what the device will look like but TAG Heuer did say it will have "a traditional look. It will not look like an Apple Watch...our watch will never look like a phone."

The partnership signifies the first time a Swiss watch manufacturer has teamed up with a Silicon Valley tech giant on a smartwatch.

TAG Heuer watch division president Jean-Claude Biver said: "Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility. Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous."

Guy Smon, general Manager of TAG Heuer, added: "The quality of Swiss watches is renowned worldwide. When this is allied with the creative technology and global power of two companies like Intel and Google, using the Android Wear platform and based on Intel technology, we can see the launch of a technological revolution in our industry, of which I am proud to be a pioneer today with TAG Heuer."

Google has previous looked to technology companies like Samsung and Motorola to get its Android Wear platform off the ground.

Android Wear engineering director David Singelton said: "By fusing beauty with technology, the Swiss watch has inspired generations of artists and engineers alike including us at Google. So we're thrilled to be working with TAG Heuer and Intel to bring a unique blend of emotion and innovation to the luxury market. Together, and using the Android Wear platform, we can imagine a better, beautiful, smarter watch."


Sam Shead

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