The head of the premium watchmakers TAG Heuer has praised the ingenuity of the Apple Watch while lamenting his native Switzerland's lack of a communications industry to produce parts for his brand’s smartwatches.
Jean-Claude Biver, chief executive of TAG Heuer and a member of the Hublot board, told Bloomberg that Swiss watchmakers will have to look beyond their borders if they are to acquire the components to make the jump to smartwatches.
Biver said: “We’re not in the communications industry, Switzerland is not, we don’t have the technology, if you don’t have it, you can’t innovate.”
Biver claimed that TAG Heuer will have to depend on tech clusters out with Switzerland to produce some smartwatch components, clashing with the firm’s ‘Swiss Made’ credentials.
“We can’t produce the engine, the chips, the applications, the hardware, nobody can produce it in Switzerland. The hardware and the software will come from Silicon Valley," he added. Biver asserted however that the watch case, the dial, the design, the idea and the crown of the watch will be Swiss.
On Apple, the company most likely to disrupt the watch industry with its Apple Watch, Biver concluded: “It’s a fantastic product, an incredible achievement. I’m not just living in the tradition and culture and the past, I also want to be connected to the future. The Apple Watch connects me to the future. My watch connects me to history, to eternity.”