Swatch unveiled the Swatch Bellamy, its “pay-by-the-wrist” watch, in mid-October. Initially sold only in China, a new partnership will soon allow Swatch to expand availability to additional markets. The company today announced a new partnership with Visa that will see it launch the Swatch Bellamy in the U.S., Switzerland and Brazil in early 2016.
Fully consistent with the DNA of the pioneering Swiss watchmaker, Swatch Bellamy combines exciting yet functional Swatch design with state-of-the- art payment technology from Visa. Swatch Bellamy will open a new era of connected commerce, as mobile payment acceptance continues to increase around the world.
The Bellamy is more of a “smarter watch” than a full-fledged smartwatch. Looking and operating like a traditional watch, it is also able to function like a prepaid card. A customer simply taps watch to a point-of-sale machine much as is done today with with certain credit cards. Transactions do not require any energy from the watch itself and use contactless NFC technology.
The Swatch Bellamy is named after American writer Edward Bellamy whose 1888 novel “Looking Backward 2000-1887.” It envisioned a utopian world in which cash has been replaced by credit and debit cards.
Swatch did not provide specific launch dates, promising only that the Swatch Bellamy would launch in “early 2016” in the U.S., Switzerland, and Brazil. In China, it sells for ¥580 (about US$90 or CA$120). It will presumably be as inexpensive when it launches more widely next year.
Source : Swatch