Tissot is one of the most well-respected watchmakers in the industry. With a rich heritage, they introduced the first mass-produced pocket watch and are now part of the Swatch Group Ltd. Fast forward to 2016 and smartwatches are the new kid on the block, and all the traditional watchmakers want a piece of that pie. Naturally, Tissot is no exception.
Whether it is TAG, Breitling or Casio, they are all not about to lay down and watch their market share shrink. For that, you have to respect them. Too many times in the past companies have failed to react to a changing market. You only have to look at the likes of Blockbuster who had the chance to buy Netflix for the measly sum of $50 million dollars. They said no and now it is Netflix who are having the last laugh. At the time of writing worth $38 billion. It’s refreshing to see watchmakers embrace smartwatches and bring their years of design expertise to the table.
Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek has announced that Tissot will pull the curtains off their smartwatch at BaselWorld which begins on the 17th of March. In fact, the Swiss watch manufacturer has confirmed that it will be one of three smartwatches that it will be producing by the end of 2016. Basel World is a watch and jewelry show based in Switzerland so it is the perfect place for its unveiling, especially seeing as the event attracts over 94,000 visitors and 2,100 exhibitors from all over the world.
Right now we know very little about the Tissot smartwatch. What we do know is that Hayek has had a conflict of interest with the market on what exactly a smartwatch should be. He said last year that ‘The Apple Watch is an interesting toy, but not a revolution.’ Going further to say that ‘We are not going to transform and put the mobile phone on the wrist’.
So where does that leave the Tissot Smartwatch? Will there be a change of heart after the success of the Apple Watch. Or will we see a smartwatch with similar functions to the Swatch Bellamy. Only handling smart payments through a collaboration with VISA. But none of the big tech we now take for granted in our watches.
In a market where everyone is trying to outdo each other on a monthly basis and Apple already lays claim to over half of the smartwatch shipments, Swatch is going to have to consider pulling out all the stops to compete in a time where traditional watchmakers are linking up with the likes of Silicon Valley giants Google and Intel. TAG Heuer has already proven though that the right tech and brand name alone can sell smartwatches. Right now, they can’t make them fast enough even with a hefty price tag. No pun intended.
One thing is for sure: we are excited to see what Tissot has planned for the next step in the life of Swatch Group.