Dec 23, 2014
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Tag Heuer in negotiations with Intel for a smartwatch

Dec 23, 2014

Tag Heuer, the Swiss watchmaker owned by French group LVMH, is in negotiations with Intel to launch a smartwatch at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016, Jean Claude Biver, the President of the brand, announced on Monday night.

"We are in the middle of negotiations," the President of the LVMH watchmaking division said. Biver is also the President of Tag Heuer.

He was questioned on television by the Swiss public network RTS on the "persistent rumours of a powerful ally: Intel," the American giant of electronic chips. "They're rumours, I can't confirm them," he initially responded before conceding with a smile that "we are in the middle of negotiations." "We are regularly in the Silicon Valley and I think that we will have the two biggest partners to create this smartwatch," Jean-Claude Biver asserted.

He says he is not afraid of the Apple smartwatch, presented in September, since in order for it to work, it has to be connected to an iPhone but "87% of phones sold are androids."

At a press conference on 16 December, Jean-Claude Biver announced this strategic shift to a smartwatch which up until now has been denigrated by the Swiss watchmaking industry.

This future arrival on the smartwatch market was actually seen as a "tsunami" for the Swiss watchmaking industry, just like the arrival of quartz watches in the 70s, which plunged the Swiss watchmaking industry into a deep crisis.

"But we will only make smartwatches if we are the leader, different and unique," he promised, all while guaranteeing that the codes of luxury will be followed.

Jean-Claude Biver had indicated that the development of smartwatches would notably be done through partnerships, research projects with leading universities, or through possible acquisitions. On Monday he said that he believes in smartwatches "for the new generation."

LVMH, the French luxury giant, acquired Tag Heuer in 1999.

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