Guten tag! Google, Intel and Tag Heuer team up for Android Wear watch

19 Mar 2015

The exterior of the Baselworld conference. Image via Baselworld

Swiss watch maker Tag Heur felt it was time to get in on the smartwatch action with a new watch powered by Google’s Android Wear and featuring Intel hardware.

All things chronological have been showcased at the Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show in Basel, Switzerland, today and the launch of Tag Heuer’s watch has been the focus of most people’s attention.

Given Tag Heur’s typically high costs, the new watch will be geared towards the luxury market, but it might not be at the dizzying heights of the US$17,000 Apple Watch that is built with 18-carat gold.

Speaking to the BBC, Jean-Claude Biver, president of LVMH’s watch division and Tag Heuer’s parent company, said the decision to partner with internet search giant Google on developing its operating system (OS) was a no-brainer and admitted LVMH does not have the same technological skills to create its own OS.

“It would be absurd, it would be arrogant to believe that we could develop our own (operating system). It would be a catastrophe to believe such a stupid thing,” said Biver.

Not denying future Apple involvement

Biver also went on to explain the reason for deciding to go with Android Wear, citing Google’s lack of its own hardware as a reason to choose it over Apple, but did not deny future involvement with both companies.

“There are two operating systems: one is Apple’s iOS, the other is Android Wear – who are we to invent another language at that level?

“There is no doubt that we could eventually go to Apple, but why should we do a partnership with Apple, who is producing watches? On the one side they would be partners, on the other a competitor. Google is not producing watches, so the relationship is perfect.”

LVMH is, however, keeping schtum about specific release details. The company is not revealing the price of the new watch as of now, but can reveal it will hit stores towards the end of this year.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic