The Apple Watch is getting a new competitor as Tag Heuer and Intel reveal a smartwatch of their own on Thursday according to a report from Reuters.
The watch will be a smart, digital version of the Tag Heuer Carrera watch, one of the best-selling models for the Swiss company. It will supposedly have most of the same features of the Apple Watch and other smartwatches, including location-tracking and measuring how far you travel and at what height above sea level. The collaboration and the watch will be announced at Baselworld, the world’s biggest watch conference, but it won’t actually be available for sale until the fall.
Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver told Reuters that it will look and feel like the standard Carrera watch, with all of the extra features built into a bonus. He implied that the Apple Watch will have a role in getting millennials, who don’t always have the habit of wearing a watch, used to the idea. Then “later maybe they will want to buy themselves a real watch,” he said.
It’s a bit premature to give the Apple Watch credit for changing the wrist accessory habits of a generation. There’s no guarantee that it will be a success, but clearly Tag Heuer wants to be ready to compete with its own alternative ahead of time in case the Apple Watch crushes the watch industry the way the iPod did to the CD industry.
It may not have that impact on the higher-end traditional watches though, which are arguably as much about being a fashion accessory and status symbol as much as a tool for telling time. It may split the industry into two very different fields, somewhat like how high-end LP records are still sold and appreciated in a market very different from the mp3 audio world.