Swiss Watchmakers Rebuff Apple's Partnership and Hiring Advances

Apple allegedly is trying to tap Swiss watchmakers for their technical and metallurgy expertise as the company works to brings its rumored iWatch to the market, reports the Financial Times. Though Apple is reaching out to several companies, most are not willing to work with the Cupertino company.

Swatch chief executive officer Nick Hayek confirmed the watchmaker has talked to several companies about their wearable products, but he is not interested in forging a partnership with any group.

We have been in discussions – not ever initiated by us – with practically all players in smart wearables up until today,” Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek told the Financial Times. “However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement.”

Hayek says his reluctance to work with Apple and similar companies comes from his desire to protect Swatch's advancements in ergonomic design, longevity and battery life, but he also has been critical of the iWatch, proclaiming publicly the smartwatch won't be "the next revolution" for Apple.

Balogh-iwatch

Traditional watch-style iWatch concept based on TRIWA's Havana Nevil Brown watch, by Gábor Balogh

Jean-Claude Biver, president of Watches and Jewelry at LVMH, claims Apple unsuccessfully tried to poach employees from his Hublot brand as well as from other manufacturers who make precision parts for these luxury watches.

"Apple has contacted some of my employees – I saw the emails personally," Mr Biver told a Swiss publication, claiming that all those who had been contacted refused the iPhone maker’s advances.

Apple allegedly may launch the iWatch later this year as it prepares to expand its lineup of mobile devices to the wrist. The iWatch may have a fitness focus with biosensors that enable users to track vital health statistics like heart rate, blood pressure and more. It is believed the band could share this data with Apple's Healthbook app, a health and fitness title expected to debut alongside iOS 8.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Tag: ft.com
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

Craiger Avatar
107 months ago
Looks like another company that will regret holding on to the past instead of embracing the future.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joshuaclinton Avatar
107 months ago
Meanwhile, Swatch's stockholders are screaming at Hayek.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iamkarlp Avatar
107 months ago
There is an odd undercurrent to these statements, although it may just be my perspective.

It doesn't come across do much as they being unwilling to partner, although I am sure that is part of it, as it does a group of people trying to huddle in and convince themselves and the rest of the world that the status quo will be maintained.

Also, I am curious as to why they are already proclaiming that the iWatch will come, and that it will be a failure.

Not only does history show them the error in believing such a statement, but they are outright ignoring the fact that it might not come at all.

If it does come, I think we can be quite certain it will be a great product. For whom and how many they sell is a legitimate question, but it will be great under some light regardless.

The whole thing smells more "scared" than "confident".

Karl P

Edit: I wonder if Apple has approached any of these to partner at all. As some other posters have pointed out - it's not normally like them to partner on something. It is likely they have tried to poach - and have probably been successfully in many cases. Maybe this is a veiled attempt to say back-off, or perhaps, oddly enough, even a backhanded way to say "we have kept a key employee or two... maybe you should consider partnering with us..."

Whatever it is, seems as though there is at best some half-truths here.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
losthorse Avatar
107 months ago
-- removed by user --
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
107 months ago


Uh, yeah, thanks for that! :confused:
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paul55br Avatar
107 months ago
This sounds like the story when Apple was trying to partner with cellphone carriers to launch the iPhone. Many refused and didn't believe it.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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