LA CHAUX-DE-FONDS, Switzerland (AFP) – Barely a few months after dismissing Apple’s smartwatch, the new chief executive of luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer conceded Tuesday that such a hi-tech gadget might after all have a place in his firm’s line-up.
“Initially, we were all a bit reticent,” Jean-Claude Biver told reporters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Swiss city at the centre of the watchmaking industry.
But he insisted that any new technology would not dilute the company’s reputation for making luxury goods that last.
“We will only make smartwatches if we are the best, different and unique,” he said.
Biver, an industry legend who leads the watch division of Tag Heuer’s owners LVMH, was appointed to head the Swiss brand on an interim basis last week following the departure of Stephane Linder.
He refused to divulge what Tag Heuer was planning, but said it would divide its research and development department so that one side could focus on technological innovation.
Any smartwatch would have to be developed through a partnership, perhaps with a university or a specialist firm.