CNBC reports that Apple has hired the sales director of luxury Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer for an iWatch marketing role. The hire was reportedly confirmed by the head of the parent company’s watch brands, Jean-Claude Biver.

Biver said the watchmaker’s sales director left as recently as last week, “to take a contract with Apple” in order to launch the iWatch. LVMH owns Swiss watchmakers TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith …

Analysts say that Apple has tried to hire a number of execs from luxury Swiss watchmakers, without much previous success.

Senior luxury goods analyst at Bernstein, Mario Ortelli says that while the iWatch poses a competitive threat to lower-end watch brands, it is likely to be an opportunity for high-end Swiss brands, introducing a new generation of people – most of whom do not currently wear watches – to the watch market.

Biver’s idea that the iWatch might be made in Switzerland, however, seems rather naive …

Image credit: Eric Huismann concept via

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22 Responses to “iWatch “an opportunity for high-end watch brands” says analyst as Apple hires TAG Heuer exec”

  1. rogifan says:

    Someone posted a rumor last week that Jony Ive’s team was collaborating with Panerai on the “iWatch”.


  2. This is the first “iwatch” mockup that I actually like, looks like something that Apple would make. I would really consider spending $300 on that design.


  3. r2jr says:

    Whatch is an old fashioned device. I don’t see people below thirties wearing watches. Yes, there are those very few wearing high priced luxury watches on special occasions, but, those are treated as jewels and purchase decision is not made based on features. Also, there is this focus on health care /support on iOS 8…. And space grey and gold colors… Why all this? Has Apple grown old? Jobs once said that in Apple they were making devices they would enjoy using. Maybe they went too far on that road. It sounds like grey haired people are making decisions based on their own needs now.


    • Don’t embarrass yourself with ignorance. It could easily change the world with a multitude of highly accurate biosensors.


    • I think there is a lot to what you say, but it’s all speculation at this point. I’ve lately been considering that if the iWatch is good enough, it might drive re-adoption of wristwatches, but it’s hard to see at this point how that could be the case.

      Certainly in my case, and in the case of most folks under 30 or so, it will have to be a modern watch instead of an old-fashioned one. The one above is attractive in it’s own way, but I don’t think anyone would wear it except for those who already like and wear wristwatches.

      The render above looks too much (in fact almost exactly like) a watch from the 1960’s but with an ugly band attached. It has a “winder” (ugh), and knobs that stick out on the side (double ugh), and is the same size, dimension and general appearance of every watch one has ever seen.

      To succeed, I think any iWatch will need to look striking, new, simple and have either one, or no buttons at all. The fact that they have hired one of the old-timey wristwatch guys is not good news to me.


    • I guess you think Apple should simply ignore older people because we don’t have long to live. You’ll feel a lot different when you get older, believe me. It seems to me like you’re also disrespecting your parents if you think they’re only grey-haired old fuddy-duddies. So far, no company has been able to sell smartwatches in large quantities because it’s probably not an easy market to crack. I’m just saying that a wearable device with bio-sensors could really do a lot for the health industry if it’s packaged and marketed properly. Maybe tens of millions of consumers won’t want one but millions of consumers might. I definitely think the odds are against Apple but they’re risking billions of dollars to prove me wrong.


  4. Best concept I’ve seen so far. By far.


  5. So far Android Wear is for the pimply faced geek who wants to text message on his watch and order a pizza. Apple better release something much more useable if they want me to take my Rolex off.


  6. I don’t think it will be round. Watches are classically round—although certainly not all—because a watch face is conducive to that shape. Making it round for the sake of being classical doesn’t make sense. Yes, it needs to be fashionable, but I also think it needs to look somewhat futuristic to catch on. It’s a device which is for user information consumption, not much input. A round display isn’t good for consuming a lot of information. Rectangular and square on the other hand, just don’t look fashionable. I think the display will slightly curve around the wrist and possibly be the rumored size of 2.5″ diagonal OLED, and I think it will take this shape ( ). Based on the most recent rumors of a ‘slightly rectangular display’ I think this display shape makes sense for fashion/futuristic/information consumption.

    I also think it will be completely wirelessly charged (possibly kinetically charged in addition to this), with no ports. There might be volume buttons, but only if it comes with wireless EarPods, as you obviously won’t be plugging any headphones into it. I think the display or the lower portion of the display may physically depress to act as a button (akin to the trackpad button), turning the device always on/off/shutting it down. There may also be raise to on/Siri/dictate/reply with voice message. A pinhole button on the back of the device for hard resets. It will also be waterproof with sapphire glass, of course.

    I think another major feature could (should) be ECG unlocking. The device should always be locked when off your wrist, and always be unlocked when on your wrist. There will be no ‘slide to unlock’ as it doesn’t make sense, being that would be for unlocking/accidental touches which wouldn’t be necessary with ECG recognition and a device on the wrist. At the most you would need to re-authenticate each time you put it back on your wrist (it would be as easy as scanning your fingerprint [though, obviously not using a fingerprint] each time you put it back on, and it would remain authenticated until you removed it). You can see this tech is already available here:

    It is highly unique and secure. Also, they specifically talk about the changes through exercise or abnormalities not being of any consequence to the accuracy or continued authenticated state. With this technology, so much is possible. Immediately on it’s release, stealing it would be stealing a worthless device as the device off the user’s wrist is locked. When on the user’s wrist it is always unlocked, and this presents the opportunity to use ibeacons (most likely I think), to unlock anything you come in range with, which is paired to your specific iWatch. For example when you walk up to any of your iOS devices or Macs, they’re unlocked automatically with your distance to them, or if you walk up to your car door, or house, they are automatically unlocked before you touch the door handle. When you make things invisible to the user, that is the definition of simplicity and the ‘just works’ mentality of Apple.


    • Nothing personal, and your writing is too long to answer in full, but I really hope you are wrong about most of this. Round is better than square IMO and could be more “futuristic” than a square too. To be more precise, I don’t see how round/square has anything to do with futuristic/non-futuristic.

      ECG unlocking seems problematic and unnecessary to me also. You seem to have a real bugaboo about security, almost to the point of paranoia. But then Apple does too lately, so you may be right about that.


      • Nope, I never said square. Circular is awful for information consumption which is what the device will be for primarily. I’m saying slightly rectangular in that the sides will curve slightly like this: ( ). ECG isn’t at all problematic, you likely know nothing about it, and it has absolutely nothing to do with paranoia at all, that’s just sad. It has everything to do with making everything easier, so you don’t have to physically unlock things or enter passwords or even scan a fingerprint all the time, constantly. Sorry, but it’s better in every single way imaginable. I want it so I don’t unlock my iOS device when I walk up to it because I’m in range and my iWatch is authenticated from my ECG. Make sense? Yep. Simple, invisible, secure passwords unlocked invisibly to the user. Nothing better.


  7. Apple is going all out for a wearable device that supposedly no one is to be interested in owning. All the comments I’ve seen have to do with how no one wears watches anymore. I’ve worn watches for years but I know a lot of people who don’t wear them except for possibly as a fashion accessory. It will probably be a hard sell for Apple and I wish them the best of luck.


  8. confluxnz says:

    Moto 360 is the best smart watch design I’ve seen to date. Understated, seamless and totally elegant. I’d expect Apple to come up with something similar in terms of design, but I’ll be waiting till after the iWatch launch to get me a smart watch.


    • The Moto 360 honestly looks really cheap, and just plain bad. I watched a video of it, it is ridiculously, and hideously thick, the band doesn’t seamlessly attach, it’s like there’s a big cutout in the entire body where the band is coming into it, and the straight line bezel at the bottom which makes it not even a fully round screen is bad too. Also the fact that it is a round watch face which is extremely informational and input limiting. Have fun swiping 400 times to read a full text message. Oh and android wear couldn’t look worse, ordering a pizza on your watch when your phone is in your pocket? Literally the most embarrassing thing I’ve heard in a while, also they didn’t even make the time centered in the screen, and big, it’s like smaller and off center to the left… They seriously have stupid people there.


  9. Looks like Apple is confused here. Why would it still be hiring key people when the watch is supposed to be out in September. Are they not confident? Also looks like it is going to be the swiss army of watches with all kinds of sensors..


    • Or the iPhone of watches? As it does many things a regular watch does not?

      P.S. They aren’t confused, it turns out that you can’t always hire people immediately, whenever you want to. Also, it turns out Apple might release a second generation iWatch at some point in the future, in which case everyone hired up until And after the first generation is released, will work on.


  10. korkidog says:

    Don’t need a smart watch be it from Apple or anyone else. I have a cheap watch that cost less than 20 bucks and that’s all I need. Then again, I have no smart phone either. I’ll keep my stupid flip phone and use my iPod Touch on wi-fi where available. The extra money wireless companies want for a data plan is obscene!!


  11. I seriously doubt the presence of a speaker, mic and camera in that thing.

    A speaker and a camera take more space than other components and need a lot more battery to operate. And when they do, the result will be crappy. It makes much more sense if the limited space in the iWatch is used for low-power bio-sensors and other smart electronics.

    The Dick Tracy era is a few decades back, lads. Bluetooth headsets are much more natural to use when on a phone call. Deal with it…