Tag Heuer boss Jean-Claude Biver has dismissed concerns his company's 2016 smartwatch launch will be scuppered by the much earlier release of the Apple Watch, claiming "Apple will get young people wearing a [smart]watch" and Tag Heuer will provide them with a "real watch" when they are ready.
The company, which will soon unveil its first smartwatch, will lead the traditional watch brand charge against the Californian firm’s Apple Watch.
To create to components for the smartwatch, Tag Heuer is set to announce a partnership with Intel and Google with the deives set to run on the Android operating system.
Jean-Claude Biver, chief executive of Tag Heuer told Reuters at Baselworld, a watch industry event in Basel, that his firm’s entry will heavily resemble the Tag Heuer black Carrera: “People will have the impression that they are wearing a normal watch,” he said.
"Apple will get young people used to wearing a watch and later maybe they will want to buy themselves a real watch.”
On the Android partnership he told the BBC: "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.
"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."
Biver added that the Apple Watch will ignite a mass interest in the watch market when it is released in 24 April, benefiting traditional watch brands in addition to those with smart devices.
This follows Biver dubbing the Apple Watch “an incredible achievement” in January as he admitted the company would have to look to the Silicon Valley to acquire the parts to create its own smartwatch competitor.