(Bloomberg) – Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer is creating a smartwatch in partnership with American technology companies Google and Intel. The watch is an attempt to compete with devices by consumer-electronics makers, particularly the much-hyped watch by Apple. While TAG is the first traditional watchmaker to pair with Google, the partnership could open the door to other collaborations with high-end brands owned by LVMH, including Hublot and Zenith. One of the questions raised by Apple’s $10,000 gold smartwatch is whether users will consider it a luxury item and wear it for status as well as convenience.
In his announcement at the Baselworld watch expo today, LVMH watches chief Jean-Claude Biver said this was his “biggest announcement ever” in his 40 years of working in the industry. He predicted the device would be the “greatest connected watch.” David Singleton, the head of Android Wear development for Google, added: “When I think about the watch, it’s always been a marriage of beauty and utility. We’re going to do that with our partnership.” TAG Heuer is set to handle design and manufacture, while Intel will provide an SoC platform and Google will lend its Android Wear platform and help develop software. The watch is set to be launched by the end of the year, at which point price and functions will be announced.