The world’s biggest watch fair is happening this week in Basel, Switzerland, showcasing luxury watchmakers as they fight back against Apple. We reported previously about three Swiss watchmakers releasing their own smartwatches. Now Tag Heuer is planning to unveil its own smart wearable at Baselworld, according to a Reuters report. Baselworld, the watch industry’s biggest fair, is where retailers place their orders for the year.
Tag Heuer, owned by French luxury group LVMH, is teaming up with Intel to create a digital version of one of the watchmaker’s best-selling models. The smart version of the Carrera watch will offer many of the same functions as the Apple Watch, such as geolocation, distance walked, and altitude. Tag Heuer is expecting to launch the new smartwatch version of the Carrera “next autumn,” according to Reuters.
Tag Heuer’s black Carrera is known for its bulky, sporty allure, and the smartwatch version will be a digital replica of the original. The watchmaker’s chief executive, Jean-Claud Biver, told Reuters, “People will have the impression that they are wearing a normal watch.” Biver thinks the Apple Watch will “get young people used to wearing a watch and later maybe they will want to buy themselves a real watch.”
The Apple Watch launches on April 24. Starting April 10, customers interested in the smartwatch will be able to visit Apple retail stores and try on the wearable for up to 15 minutes. Once the customer decides to make a purchase, they can reserve their own personalized Apple Watch. Customers who make a reservation for a Watch will be given a follow-up appointment to pick up their new smartwatch. Stores will also have launch day stock for walk-in appointments, but there is no word on how widely varied that selection will be.