Swatch Group’s CEO Nick Hayek has announced to Bloomberg Business that they plan to debut a smartwatch in the next three months. This shows a huge change in Swatch’s attitude towards smartwatches, as Hayek has previously said he didn’t believe smartwatches would take off.
The Swatch smartwatch’s April release will put the product in direct competition with the Apple Watch, which is surely a strategy. Additionally, the watch will be compatible with Windows and Android devices only.
Hayek also told Bloomberg that this smartwatch will not need to be charged. Compared to the Apple Watch, which will need to be charged nightly, this is a huge advantage. However, Tech Crunch’s John Biggs expressed the limits this puts on the watch in his article about the announcement. He speculated that the watch’s battery would be charged with small internal weights to create kinetic energy.
“The energy transfer is enough to run a small watch battery but may not be enough to run a color screen,” Biggs said. “Therefore, Swatch is limited in its possible interfaces. But, generally, can it be done? With a solid enough partnership with a tech company it should be possible but difficult.” Hayek did not announce any partnerships in regards to the smartwatch.
Swatch, which is based in Switzerland, is entering the smartwatch market later than other watchmakers. Biggs noted in his article that companies like Montblanc and Tag Heuer had already announced plans for smartwatches. A year ago, Hayek said Swatch wasn’t rushing to create a smartwatch out of fear of customer backlash.
Now, Swatch is ready to take part in the smartwatch revolution. Hayek didn’t reveal many details about the watch to Bloomberg other than the Android and Windows compatibility and the self-charging battery, but he did say users could make mobile payments with the product. Prices and a release date have not yet been announced.