Swatch Group, the world’s largest watchmaking company, announced plans to launch its smartwatch with Internet and remote-payment capabilities this summer.
CEO Nick Hayek recently announced at a shareholder meeting that the device is set to launch in Switzerland and “one big country.” Although he did not specify, Swatch’s recent payments deal with China UnionPay might serve as a clue.
Over the past few months Hayek has promised that the Swatch smartwatch would feature a “revolutionary battery” and a high level of customizability, although further details are yet to be announced. More intriguing though is his repeated refusal to “put the mobile phone on the wrist,” since so many other companies were doing it.
After such a long waiting game, it will be interesting to see how the Swatch watch fares when it finally does get released. With several different competitors ahead in the smartwatch game (Apple, Android, Pebble), the company’s lag in product release may spell its doom — especially considering the fact that analysts see Swatch as one of the entities more susceptible to financial failure in the event of Apple watch’s success.
On the other hand, it seems as though Hayek is intent on creating a truly exceptional product, and given Swatch’s standing as watchmaker kingpin he certainly has the resources he needs at his disposal.