Swatch is one of the largest watch makers in the world, and it is planning to re-enter the smartwatch market that’s been heating up lately. Swatch previously partnered with Microsoft to release a smartwatch nearly a decade ago, but according to comments made by Swatch CEO Nick Hayek to Reuters, Swatch won’t be partnering with an established technology firm this time around. Instead, it plans to launch the “Swatch Touch” on its own next summer.
According to Reuters, the Swatch Touch could include several smartwatch features, including a step counter, Bluetooth syncing and a touchscreen. But Swatch thinks that mainstream acceptance and sales for smartwatches will come from an approach that starts with a watch consumers want, not technology: “Technology alone doesn’t sell, not in watches,” Hayek told Reuters.
Hayek highlighted his company’s components business: In addition to producing watches from brands like Omega, Tissot and Swatch, the Swatch Group also produces low-power microchips under its EM Marin division and batteries under the name Renata. Hayek hinted that Swatch “maybe” supplies components to Apple, which could explain the dubious rumors earlier this summer that the two companies were working together.
Although smartwatches do not make up a new product category, many believe sales will spike in the coming years as software from Google and an expected new device from Apple raise consumer awareness of wearable computing on the wrist. Swatch already sells a lot of wrist watches, but can it sell wrist computers?