Bloomberg has published an interview with Jean-Claude Biver, who is head of the Swiss time piece company TAG Heuer, discussing the state of the Swiss watch industry following the announcement of the Apple Watch and the impending flood of smartwatches. Surprisingly, Biver said he’ll be among the customers who will be purchasing an Apple Watch.
“It’s a fantastic product, an incredible achievement,” he said. “I’m not just living in the tradition and culture and the past, I also want to be connected to the future. The Apple Watch connects me to the future. My watch connects me to history, to eternity.”
That doesn’t mean TAG Heuer is going to shy away from competing. The company announced last month it will be making a smartwatch, however Biver revealed that it won’t be Swiss made.
“We can’t produce the engine, the chips, the applications, the hardware — nobody can produce it in Switzerland,” Biver told Bloomberg. “The hardware and the software will come from Silicon Valley. But the watch case, the dial, the design, the idea, the crown, that part of the watch will, of course, be Swiss.”
Fifty percent of a watch’s movements need to be produced in the country in order to win the ‘Swiss Made’ label – a huge marketing bonus for watch makers.
Biver thinks the Apple Watch will have the biggest impact on the sub-$2,000 watch industry. I’m still opting for my TAG Heuer over the Apple Watch for daily wear. It just has a great solid feeling to it. But I’d imagine I may be in the minority.
Will you use the Apple Watch over a more traditional timepiece?