Swatch Prepares to Go Head-to-Head With Apple Watch

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek today revealed that the company has plans to manufacture and ship its own line of smartwatch devices with a launch target within the next three months, easily setting itself up against Apple's recent confirmation of an April launch date for the Apple Watch (via Bloomberg).

Hayek previously displayed skepticism about smartwatches, in particular the idea of one from Apple, saying he didn't believe it would be "the next revolution." Hayek also previously dismissed the concept of a Swatch smartwatch initiative, arguing the company's highest-end devices should already be called smartwatches because "they make you look smart."

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Apple and Swatch were rumored at one point to be joining together for a smartwatch, but Swatch quickly denied those claims last summer. Now, building on the decades of experience Swatch has accumulated over the years, Hayek voices determination in the face of going practically head-to-head with Apple on the smart wearables front.

“Entrepreneurs are practical people, and they care more about being successful than being consistent,” said Luca Solca, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas. “Hayek has always said they have relevant technology for a smartwatch -- sensors, display, battery -- and seems to be set to make the most [of] it. Better to have an option and a hand in this category than not to. Nobody can yet say how relevant smartwatches will be in the end.”

Some of the biggest claims Swatch makes about its upcoming smartwatch include the ability to connect to the Internet "without having to be charged," undoubtedly a direct shot at Apple's yet-to-be-confirmed battery life for the Apple Watch. The Swatch device will also include a form of mobile payments baked into the watch, but as of now will function only in a select few Switzerland-based grocery stores, with the company in talks to acquire more mobile payment retailer partners.

Under the looming launch of the Apple Watch, several other high-end watchmakers have shifted gears and decided to delve into the smartwatch market, including TAG Heuer and Montblanc's "e-Strap" accessory band that attaches to traditional watches in lieu of buying an entirely new device.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Tag: Swatch
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

Sigma4Life Avatar
121 months ago
All of these non-tech watch companies are going to be in for a huge shock when they try to make smart watches. It took Apple billions of dollars and several years to build the Apple Watch, yet Swatch is going to build one equally as good in 3 months? Riiiiiiiight. Apple Watch will embarrass smart watch competitors for the next 2 years before they finally start to catch up.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Iconoclysm Avatar
121 months ago
Any watch will look better than the Apple Watch. It looks as ridiculous as the Google Glass.

And then, you get bigger iPhones because the regular ones are too tiny but now you want to put people to tab on such minimal screen? Not even with a stylus.

I like Swatch, I have two and they are ok with their judgement.

Wasn't this the point of the digital crown? Did you notice how the Apple Watch interface actually works or just look at a picture, scoff, and rant?
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Elvergun Avatar
121 months ago
Hayek also previously dismissed the concept of a Swatch smartwatch initiative, arguing the company's highest-end devices should already be called smartwatches because "they make you look smart."

LOL...some CEOs should learn to keep their mouth shut when they have nothing better to say.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
burgundyyears Avatar
121 months ago

And then, you get bigger iPhones because the regular ones are too tiny but now you want to put people to tab on such minimal screen? Not even with a stylus.

A stylus for using a watch? Really?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crzyrio Avatar
121 months ago

Some of the biggest claims Swatch makes about its upcoming smartwatch include the ability to connect to the Internet "without having to be charged," undoubtedly a direct shot at Apple's yet-to-be-confirmed (https://www.macrumors.com/2015/01/22/apple-watch-battery-life-19-hours/) battery life for the Apple Watch.
I think you very much misunderstood this and it is in no way a shot at Apple's battery life lol.

I believe what they are saying is, you can connect to a 3G network without paying. Similar to what the Amazon 3g e-readers do?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bernard SG Avatar
121 months ago
It's the ecosystem, stupid!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)