Tag Heuer unveils high-end rival to Apple Watch
TAG Heuer, the Swiss watchmaker that is part of the French luxury goods group LVMH, showed off its first Internet-connected wristwatch Monday designed with Google and Intel.
The $1,500 Android-powered Tag Heuer Connected on sale in the US starting Monday is seen as a rival to the Apple Watch, which launched earlier this year starting at $349, with some versions at more than $10,000.
The TAG Heuer Connected -- based on the Carrera watch design from the group popularized by Brad Pitt -- is built with titanium, sapphire and the "best in class touchscreen technology," according to the company's website.
Like other smartwatches, the new wearable tech device allows users to receive notifications, text messages, and to identify callers on a connected handset. It also can monitor the user's heartbeat.
Tag Heuer and the US tech firms announced a partnership in March to produce the watch. In the meantime, Apple teamed up with French luxury market Hermes to produce a version of the iOS watch starting at $1,250.
Tag Heuer chief executive Jean-Claude Biver said he believes there will be demand for the new watch.
"It's not too late. The market is not considered to be consolidated yet," he said at the New York unveiling.
The companies call the new device "an elegant connected watch that merges expertise of Swiss watchmakers with Silicon Valley engineers to set a new standard for high-tech performance, timeless aesthetics and supreme quality."
The Carrera Connected watch can be paired with Google Android devices as well as those running Apple's iOS, and can connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
In an interview with Switzerland's Le Matin Dimanche, Biver said that he does not consider Apple a direct competitor.
"We are not Apple. We are a watch brand. I forbid my colleagues to say Apple is our competitor," he told the paper.
© 2015 AFP