Swatch Group to focus smartwatch efforts on cheaper plastic Swatch brand

Swatch BellamyThe Swatch Group consists of a wide range of watchmaking companies that cover every price point imaginable. Brands like Swatch and Balmain hold down the entry level tier while others like Hamilton, Tissot, Longines, Rado, Blancpain, Breguet and Omega fill out the range right up to the high-end luxury level. It has also entered the smarwatch space with the beach volleyball-focused Swatch Touch Zero One and the pay-by-the-wrist Swatch Bellamy (pictured above). In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive Nick Hayek has now revealed that the company intends to continue focusing on enhancing the smart capabilities of its Swatch brand.

With the majority of its watches selling for under US$1,000, Swatch is seen as being particular vulnerable to the growing interest in smartwatches, most of which also sell in the same price category. Focusing on smarwatches in this space should offset slowing watch sales. Swatch is, however, not looking to take on Apple and its Apple Watch. “We are not talking about competing with Apple,” Hayek explained. “They are consumer-electronics people and we don’t want to get into that sector. We are also competing with jewelry; it’s two different worlds.”

Swatch Touch ZeroOne

Despite its focus on cheaper smartwatches, Swatch appears to be very serious about this space. It has promised to this year unveil a new type of smartwatch battery that would do away with the need for nightly recharging. It has also been steadily building up its portfolio of smartwatch technologies. At least one patent law firm estimates that it has filed more than 170 U.S. and international smart- and connected watch patent applications in recent years.

While Swatch smartwatches may be the focus for now, don’t rule out smartwatches from the Swatch Group’s other brands. “It’s not that we have nothing in the pipeline, we are a huge producer in every segment, in every category,” Mr. Hayek teased during a recent news conference.

Source : The Wall Street Journal