Google and Intel Will Team Up with TAG Heuer for Android Smartwatch

Google Tag Heuer Intel Smartwatch Collaboration cover - Perpetuelle

I, for one, was very impressed with Breitling’s “Connected Watch” concept unveiled with its B55 Chronograph Pilot’s watch.  I thought it struck the right balance of “connectedness” and “smartness” while not trying to be all things to all consumers.  It will be interested to see the approach that is taken with TAG Heuer.  I think to try and compete directly with Apple is a mistake.  The Swiss brands — at least the luxury ones — must look to differentiate.

Here’s the TAG Heuer / Google / Intel press release:

Baselworld, Switzerland, 19 March 2015 — TAG Heuer, Google, and Intel have announced a partnership to launch a Swiss smartwatch powered by Intel technology and Android Wear. The effort signifies a new era of collaboration between Swiss watchmakers and Silicon Valley, bringing together each company’s respective expertise in luxury watchmaking, software and hardware.

The collaboration was made official at Baselworld, during a press conference held on Thursday 19th March at the TAG Heuer booth. Jean-Claude Biver, President of the Watch Division LVMH Group and CEO of TAG Heuer, David Singleton, Director of Engineering for Android Wear, and Michael Bell, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s New Devices Group, joined each other on stage.

Together, these companies will create a product that is both luxurious, and seamlessly connected to its wearer’s daily life—a culmination of innovation, creativity and design from Silicon Valley in California and the Watch Valley in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

“Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility. Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous,” said Jean-Claude Biver.

Guy Sémon, General Manager of TAG Heuer added: “The quality of Swiss watches is renowned worldwide. When this is allied with the creative technology and global power of two companies like Intel and Google, using the Android Wear platform and based on Intel technology, we can see the launch of a technological revolution in our industry, of which I am proud to be a pioneer today with TAG Heuer.”

David Singleton noted, “By fusing beauty with technology, the Swiss watch has inspired generations of artists and engineers alike—including us at Google. So we’re thrilled to be working with TAG Heuer and Intel to bring a unique blend of emotion and innovation to the luxury market. Together, and using the Android Wear platform, we can imagine a better, beautiful, smarter watch.”

“As we work to enable technology experiences that provide greater utility and value to people, Intel is confident that a collective approach will inspire new innovation in wearable technology. The collaboration with TAG Heuer and Google brings us closer to realizing the vision of wearable technology with a distinctive smartwatch that elevates the category,” remarked Michael Bell.

First Look: TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom

#Baselworld 2015…

TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom Carbon Fiber detail - Perpetuelle

The TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom, with full black carbon composite case (41mm x 41mm) and just about everything else, joins prior V4 models in platinum, rose gold, and titanium. The movement is mechanically the same – belt driven, with linear winding mass, though some aesthetic properties are obviously different. The carbon case is what TAG calls CMC Carbon Matrix Composite and some bridges (7, to be exact) are constructed of the material as well. The particularly smooth and refined finish is, as I understand, the result of a “directed” production process wherein the carbon fiber are oriented in the mold and then blasted. The rest of the components — hands, dial, et al — are given a titanium carbide coating to complete the “phantom” look.

TAG Heuer Research & Development director Guy Semon indicates that the first run of the Monaco V4 Phantom will 50 pieces, priced at 45,000 Swiss Francs apiece. Ref WAW2091.FC6369

TAG Heuer Logo

TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom Carbon Fiber - Perpetuelle

 

LVMH’s Biver: Expensive Watches Are for Eternity, Smartwatches Lack Emotion

CNN’s Richard Quest recently spoke to Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH’s watch division and Hublot Chairman, about the emergence of smartwatches, the challenges Swiss watchmakers face due to the rise in the value of the Swiss Franc, and more.  It is a dynamic conversation in which Biver lauds the longevity and emotion of a Swiss mechanical watch, reveals which LVMH watch brand will get on the “smartwatch train” and why, and the reason for all those mono-brand boutiques.  The interview is also full of Biver’s usual candor and ebullience, which I really admire and appreciate.

Click here, or the image below, to watch the full 5 minute discussion (sorry CNN wouldn’t let me embed it here):

Biver on CNN

Bremont BWC/01 Meet TAG Heuer Calibre 1887

Bremont Wright Flyer Calibre BWC01

The botched roll-out (at least as far as several watch bloggers are concerned — see links below) of the Bremont BWC/01 is quite like that of the self-inflicted drama brought on by the TAG Heuer Caliber 1887 several years ago.   While Perpetuelle was quite prominent in covering the TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 story years ago (go ahead, read the lavish praise heaped on me for my thorough reporting on the Caliber 1887 (comments section) :-) ), I must say that this Bremont matter was pure deja vu that only had me putting *hand-to-forehead*.

But the distraction is certainly unfortunate for the young Bremont brand who seems to have a lot of good things going for it right now.  I’m not going to hold it against them, and the good thing is that this story will soon be a thing of the past and we can all move on.

But still I am reminded that “Give Credit Where Credit is Due” is generally not a bad maxim to live by.  Live and learn.

More reading:  

TAG Heuer Shoots Itself In the Foot on TAG Heuer Caliber 1887 Launch, December 8, 2009, Perpetuelle.com

Bremont BWC/01:  Ablogtowatch, Professional Watches, Monochrome