CHINA TOPIX

Updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu, Apr 18, 2019

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Swiss Watch Makers Warm to the Smartwatch

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(Photo : Withings) After years of push away from smartwatches, Swiss watch makers are starting to embrace the new technology.

Switzerland is the connoisseur of watches with watchmakers like TAG Heuer, Swatch and Rolex regularly crafting the future fashion trends in the market. The newest trend, however, was manufactured by tech companies Pebble, Google, Samsung and Apple.

Smartwatches are taking the industry by storm and while Swiss watchmakers didn't take the industry shift seriously, the launch of the Apple Watch and Android Wear has forced them to start competing in an entirely new market.

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TAG Heuer is one of the first Swiss watchmakers working on a new line of smartwatches, alongside the largest watch-maker, Swatch. Both watchmakers are developing smartwatches without some of the funky features available on Android Wear, sticking to the bare bones of fitness and health sensors sent directly to a smartphone.

It's clearly a viewpoint among the watch community that touchscreen functionality shouldn't be added, and that any digital changes should be subtle. This viewpoint allows traditional watchmakers to still launch extravagant designs without compromising the watch face.

These iterative changes aren't a dramatic shift. In most cases, it's just additional sensors inside the watch, capable of tracking fitness and health stats and sending them over to a companion smartphone.

Even things like a notification buzzer aren't that complex and do n't detract from the design of the watch. It might be some time before watch makers like Rolex and TAG Heuer feel comfortable working on a full-fledged smartwatch with Android Wear functionality.

Apple did promote the design of the Apple Watch above most of the features, in line with the viewpoint of traditional watchmakers. Whether this will entice fashion geeks is another matter considering Apple's main demographic isn't the "techy" market.

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