Watch brand Swatch is seeking to head off the challenge presented by Apple in its sector by tackling the tech giant head-on with a smartwatch of its own.
Fearing a loss of market share amidst fierce competition in the sector Swatch is to release a range of hi-tech models capable of processing contactless payments and connecting with smartphones.
Set for launch as early as May the devices are seen as a stepping stone between ‘dumb’ traditional watches and the new breed of all singing, all dancing gadgets built by the likes of Apple, Motorola and Pebble.
Swatch has seen its market share edge up in recent years on the back of strong sales amongst its Omega, Breguet, Calvin Klein and Rado brands, drawing sales of £6.2bn in the last financial year – up 3 per cent on the previous year.
Outlining his intentions Swatch boss Nick Hayek said: “We are not a consumer electronics company. We are not going to transform and put the mobile phone on the wrist. Let the others do it. Samsung did it, Sony did it. Everybody does it."
One ace in its sleeve is Swatch’s reputation for building low power devices, a god send in a market where many watches will require to be charged daily.