The TAG Heuer connected watch - Image Credit TAG Heuer
Although TAG Heuer has been selling luxurious Swiss watches for quite some time now, its upcoming watch is drastically different: its an Android Wear running smartwatch.
This smartwatch will be properly unveiled on November 9 in the LMVH Tower in New York City. All we know now is that TAG Heuer partnered with Google and Intel to make the Connected. It is said that the smartwatch will sell for $1,800 (according to an interview with Jean-Claude Biver, the CEO of TAG Heuer).
The Connected's price is surprisingly competitive to the other high-end smartwatches on the market, such as the $17,000 Apple Watch Edition. Due to its reported lower price and likely aesthetically pleasing appearance, the Connected may actually lower Apple Watch Edition sales. This would make sense, since someone who is willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a watch would want a watch that looks good and shows off their status; two thing that TAG Heuer's smartwatch are likely to offer better than Apple.
Not only could the Connected hurt Apple's sales, but it could also do the same to luxury Swiss watchmakers who do not offer smartwatches, such as Rolex. In an increasingly technology-dependent world, it is very likely that people would want to buy a smartwatch instead of a watch that can only tell time. This is what will give TAG Heuer an advantage over its competitors and leave companies that focus solely on selling traditional, non-smartwatches, like Rolex, in the dust. Why would someone pay the same price or more for a watch that can only tell time, when he/she could buy a highly functional smartwatch? That's the question that Rolex and other high-end Swiss watchmakers will have to answer in order to stay afloat in this digital world. Or, they could simply jump on the smartwatch bandwagon like TAG Heuer.
All-in-all, Apple, Rolex, and anyone else in the high-end watch (or smartwatch) industry should watch their backs, no pun intended. If TAG Heuer can pull off their luxury smartwatch at a fraction of Apple's pricing, there is a high probability that it will take over the expensive smartwatch market.