Google, Samsung and Apple Are Courting Swiss Watchmakers But Are Getting the Boot
Swiss watchmakers aren’t really interested in what the companies have to offer
Google has just launched its own dedicated OS for wearables, called Android Wear, while Samsung has unleashed two smartwatches and one fitness tracker at MWC 2014. And of course Apple of all tech giants wasn’t to be left out of the party and its iWatch endeavor has been in the rumor mill for some time now.While Google and Apple still have time to re-invent wearables, because they have yet to launch a smartwatch on the market, Samsung currently offers three distinct models.
But customers’ main complaint about smartwatches in general is related to looks. Tech giants have picked up on the aesthetic insufficiency and as a recent report coming from Financial Times claims, they are planning to do something about it.
In this sense, they have started courting Swiss watchmakers away fromluxury brands like Swatch, one of the world’s biggest watchmakers.
Swatch CEO Nick Hayek explains for the publication.
“We have been in discussions – not ever initiated by us – with practically all players in smart wearables up until now.”
“However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement.”
He explains the company’s priority is getting an advantage over other high-end watch makers in terms of ergonomics, longevity and battery life.
“Never forget, to make a smartwatch work you need two hands or voice recognition, which again needs a lot of power which is difficult in a very limited space.”
Another target has been LVMH and the company’s president has went as far as to accuse Apple of trying to steal watch-makers working for the company. But the loyal LVMH employees have all refused Apple’s more than generous offers.
It’s encouraging to see wearable makers are listening to the voice of the people and are trying to take the feed-back received so far and turn it into something useful.
In an older article, we argued that for smartwatches to go mainstream device manufacturer need to further concentrate on design.
Future smartwatches should borrow more aesthetical cues from jewelry, for example. Sure one might wear your Pebble watch or Galaxy Gear at a fancy party or wedding but it would look pretty dissonant.
With a renewed brand like Swatch teaming up with a tech giant such as Google or Samsung to make a smartwatch, we could expect something stylish and fashionable that will surely attract the eye.
But since it doesn’t appear Swiss watch makers are interested to give wearables a shot, the tech industry’s big boys will have to go look somewhere else.