Tag Heuer may turn to acquisitions to bolster its forthcoming smartwatch, as its CEO revealed that several partnerships have already been put in place.
Earlier this month we reported on rumours that a Tag smartwatch could be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 in Las Vegas, and the Swiss watch-making giant could turn to Intel to handle the technology.
Essential reading: Best smartwatches
That rumour has been bolstered by new comments from chief executive Jean-Claude Biver, who has indicated that a number of existing tech brands are already involved.
In addition, Biver also claimed that Tag could acquire a partner to give its wearable ambitions a push.
"We started on the project about four months ago. We have done several partnerships and might also do acquisitions," Biver said at a press briefing at Tag HQ in Switzerland.
Tag has been slow to accept that the smartwatch age was a threat to its core business, but it's newly appointed general manager Guy Semon acknowledged that, "Smartwatches represent a challenge to the Swiss watch industry that is comparable to the appearance of quartz technology. We cannot ignore this tsunami."
So, Tag is awake and aware of the distinct coffee aroma, but who should it buy to make its new smartwatch a success? We size up the options:
Set up by ex-Fossil engineers, Meta's M1 smartwatch brought a touch of bling to the smartwatch world – yet has failed to make a splash on its own. Like Pebble, Meta focuses on simplicity, something that Tag would do well to emulate on its first smartwatch designs, and with multi-day battery life, Meta has solved many first generation problems already. Plus, it's believed Meta is the brains behind the stylish MB Chronowing, aka the HP smartwatch so it has already proved its fashion credentials.
An obvious choice for a buyout, the only problem with Kairos is whether its tech is any good. The company has already been touting the first mechanical smartwatch, which uses a transparent OLED panel to enable users to switch between analogue beauty and a vibrant display. Our tip for Tag: buy the company for the dual-display know-how, then get an established platform on-board.
Martian is one of the techiest smartwatch purveyors out there, yet its lack of brand has seen it make zero impact on the market. Guess has chosen it to power its own smartwatch ambitions, and this seems like the natural future for Martian – and the perfect foil for Tag Heuer's ambitions.
Who would you like to see Tag teaming up with? Let us know using the comments below...