TAG Heuer has teamed with two of Silicon Valley’s biggest names—Google and Intel—to launch a TAG-branded smartwatch by the end of the year.
In a lively announcement at the Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show that ended with the three partners gathered around a massive chunk of cheese, LVMH watch group president Jean-Claude Biver, which owns the TAG Heuer brand, called the new partnership his “biggest announcement ever … something I never would have dreamt.”
“[It’s] Silicon Valley meets Switzerland,” Biver boomed, hailing the representatives of his two new partners as “geniuses” even as he chided them for their informal dress.
“[TAG Heuer] always tr[ies] to be first, different, unique,” he continued, quoting a Chinese expression that “only dead fish follow in the direction of the river.”
“We will never be dead fish,” he said. “We will be fish that are alive.”
The watch, powered by Google’s Android Wear operating system, may not be branded as Swiss–made, Biver admitted, as the microprocessor—what he called the “engine” of the watch—was not assembled in Switzerland, even though the rest of the watch will be produced there.
“If we cannot get the right to say Swiss made, we can write assembled and made in Switzerland,” he said. “It’s not the same as Swiss-made, but it’s similar.”
He said for a connected device, Intel Inside probably had more value than Swiss-made regardless.
When asked about the difference between the Apple Watch and this timepiece, Biver said that this watch “will look like the DNA of TAG Heuer.”
He said that while the partners knew the release date, the features, and the price, of the watch, they did not want to announce them, for fear of tipping off the competition.
David Singleton, director of engineering for Google-owned Android Wear, promised a “beautiful smarter watch,” noting that this will be the first luxury Android Wear watch. The company is also producing watches with Fossil.