iWatch gets some "Swiss avant-garde" flair as TAG Heuer sales director joins Apple

iWatch gets some
Remember that piece about Apple's efforts to bring Swiss watch-making experts on board for the iWatch? We got the impression they ended in vain, as horologists from the likes of Swatch and LVMH weren't too hot for smart-watches, but it appears the fabled iWatch got at least one of the horology elite excited enough to book a one-way flight to Cupertino. A LVMH executive told CNBC that the sales director of TAG Heuer, which also owns the Hublot and Zenith luxury watch brands, left for Apple last week. For better or worse, Apple didn't score other high-profile hires from the Swiss watch industry.

Reportedly, the iWatch will be marketed as "Swiss made", which would be an intriguing sales point to have if the timepiece is produced at Foxconn. Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli suggests the "Swiss have got no great interest in working with Apple" and THEY "do not want to create a device like the iPhone - designed in California and assembled in China - so they don't want to dilute the value of the Swiss name". Giving another miniature clue about the iWatch, Ortelli explained that Apple's product is superior to low-end Swiss watches and an opportunity for luxury watch brands, as it will introduce younger customers to the market.

source: CNBC via AppleInsider

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24 Comments

1. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I have a feeling that this watch may be similar to that kairos watch. See link below. If so, the competition will be shut down! This thing will have a swiss movement which is where the swiss made will come from, but will probably be assembled in China. http://www.techinasia.com/kairos-watch-combines-mechanical-and-smartwatch/

3. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Probably cost about the same too accordingly.

4. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

If this is similar to what Apple does, I will gladly pay that with a tip. Do you have any idea how much swiss movements cost? This would be a completely different smart watch than what you currently see. They would basically have a swiss watch that functions like a normal watch. The technology appears and disappears as needed. It gets out of your way. Also, this would help on battery life. Moto is worried about digital watch faces lol! This is on a whole new level and show why Apple is Apple.

5. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Seems like wishful thinking on your part. The guy they got is a sales director, not some genius engineer. I think Apple really just wants that "Swiss made" to appear on their watches, which sounds like a great idea to me, but I wouldn't expect some high end real watch with some discreet digital overlay on top, the technology just isn't there yet. Watch movements take up a lot of space and current electronics and batteries also take up a lot of space. Current smart watches aren't large because companies want them to be large, they are big because they currently have to be.

7. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

If you do your research, you will see that this I definitely looking like what Apple is planning to do. The hiring of this sales director is only part of the story dude. There is other info out in the wild that is pointing at what might happen. As far as the tech not being ready, I do t know where you go that from. They have these screens already being used in arcades. It's clear and then all of a sudden, graphics appear on the glass. Also, you can't say something is swiss made and not have a swiss movement dude. Unless you have a replica watch from eBay. You are just caught up with current smart watches which are nothing but tiny smartphones on your wrist. Apple has thought completely outside of the box and will turn this industry on its head like the iphone did.

8. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

An actual movement plus the guts of a smart watch = twice as big as any current smart watch...

20. engineer-1701d unregistered

kissgore nctx77 is just a apple dream troll loves the idea but will never happen arcade/casino style movements and graphics on a watch not happening for at least 2 more years

11. willard12 unregistered

So, how can you say Apple is thinking outside the box while sending a link to another company's product that you believe Apple is thinking like? I believe he says the technology isn't there yet because Kairos is asking for pre-order and kickstarter money for a product that they will supposedely release in December. No concept has been released, only a heavily edited and animated looking video. I hope Apple does release a device like this and it pushes the entire category ahead by miles. But, what we do know about the iwatch involves hiring people in the health sensor industry, consulting with Tesla on batteries, and hiring a Sales Director. The iwatch will be a great device because all of the effort they seem to be putting in to it. But nothing so far points to a Kairos-like device. Maybe it could be like the Martian Smart Watch.

12. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I linked the kairos watch to give a quick example. Also, most people on this site are familiar with the product. For your info, there are a lot of rumblings in the tech media that indeed are pointing the iwatch in this direction. Swiss movements and all. It's just not well covered on these major tech sites. The kairos watch doesn't even have a prototype yet. They were just in a hurry to announce what they are working on. They won't have a prototype till September. This company has only been around for a year and you can not compare what they are capable of to Apple. The screen tech in the kairos watch has been around for more than a decade, but no one knew what to do with it. Apple has the money and talent to easily pull this off. Patrick Pruniaux from Tag was another sure bet that this is what Apple is doing. No way does this guy leave one of the top Swiss watch makers for a simple digital watch.

14. willard12 unregistered

Regardless, Apple is going to have to try to balance luxury with fitness and that's not going to be easy. Not a lot of people go to the gym wearing a Tag Heur or Breitling. If they make something with a lot of health sensors and swiss movement and a design that is versatile enough to be worn in a suit and on a run then they will deserve all the credit. As nice as the 360 is, without interchangeable bands, I don't see how leather or metal bands can be used for fitness. I hope Apple breaks tradition and makes 2 models. It will be difficult for their engineers and designers can pull off both fitness and luxury in one device.

13. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Here is another link showing off the transparent display. http://youtu.be/Ew2KyxIXHA0

22. engineer-1701d unregistered

you will see that its with samsung tech on the screens. go to drawlight.net and see

15. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Don't forget Apple hired two Tag Heuer people, including this one. And both are Sales or Marketing. They need these people to SELL the watch, not make it. And swiss movement doesn't say 100% about the quality. It's about how the clock part works. There are a lot of watches that use swiss movement, but are crap nonetheless

19. engineer-1701d unregistered

killgoretrouttime is right apple tried to get the swiss in on the watch and they said hell no, they want nothing to do with them, this was news from months ago i guess they paid on a guy a company and now they have a marketing pr guy. lol

6. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

It may have the movement, but will the quality be there honestly, that'll be a question the product answers, not fan boys. As well, it won't be doing any better of a job telling time then a Timex. Fashionista excitement piece.

9. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

I don't think Apple is targeting this device towards the indigent population, just being realistic. Initially they are going to want to recover all the money spent on RD.

18. engineer-1701d unregistered

nctx77 unless apple buys the rights or the company they will be sued in a second for it, i have always liked the kairos style watches and the idea is great, but it would be massive moving watch parts and cpu and battery and chips display drivers and all that, and most of all apple has already done what they wanted with the watch its to late now to think change.

16. engineer-1701d unregistered

they are really ugly watches except for the grand carrera style looks cool

17. engineer-1701d unregistered

i remember reading about them real watch under the screen with see thru like top dont think the tech is good just yet apple only likes things that work well with there name, hint hint

2. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Seems like a day for Swiss. Don't f**k it up, Federer !

10. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Any guesses on price? $499 for the entry level version?

21. engineer-1701d unregistered

i would say 599 just below the iphone but will be marketed like you can buy this add it to your current iphone and boom no need to upgrade just give us 600, thank you lol

23. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

The profits on the watch with $599 pricing will be obscene, even with a sapphire screen. It'll be fun to see the smartwatch technology and market evolve. While I am certainly not going to buy a $599 smartwatch, I'm sure many iFans can't wait to give Apple their money for some new shiny.

24. engineer-1701d unregistered

not sure if anyone know this but the kairos watch is in pre-order status for 599 up to 800 thats 50% off but it only opics 60% and there is no input like android wear if they can get the toled to go 100% transparent and add input mics and have it basically do what android wear can great if not google needs to buy them to do it for them.

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