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Swatch wants to go solo on smartwatches

Tom Morgan
1 Sep 2014
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Swatch won't partner up with a technology company for its first smartwatch, although one might give it a helping hand

It's no secret that Swatch, the swiss watch company renowned for its simple designs and bright colours, is working on a smartwatch, but according to the chief executive it won't be partnering up with a technology firm in order to release it to the public.

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek told CNBC "All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don't rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas. But we can also do many things on our own." He hinted at some of the features the company is looking to add to its first warable, suggesting it would count the number of steps taken and calories burnt per day, as well as "a few other cool 'Swatchy' things on offer via latest Bluetooth technology".

The company has already had to deny a partnership with Apple, as other technology firms have begun signing up fashion houses and watchmakers to improve their own designs. HP is working with Michael Bastian on its first wearable, while LG received some help from the watchmaking industry for the G Watch R, following lacklustre response to the original, rather plain G Watch.

Swatch isn't expected to launch its first smartwatch until at least the middle of next year, but that will put the company on the back foot compared to technology firms, which are already launching the first desirable wearables. Motorola is expected to put the Moto 360, with its eye-catching circular display, on sale to the public for the first time later this week, while Apple is beleived to be introducing the iWatch at its own launch event on the 9th of September.

According to Hayek, this isn't an issue for the legendary swiss manufacturer. "Our first message for customers is the watch. If they like it, they might also be interested in the extra functions," he explained. "Technology alone doesn't sell, not in watches."

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