Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hayek on Horology

From FT:

Technology groups leading the charge in the nascent wearables sector are jostling against companies in Europe’s venerated horology industry, which face potential upheaval from smartwatches.

Traditional Swiss watch brands claim they are being courted by the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google, as Silicon Valley places increasing importance on the aesthetics and design of new hardware.

But Swatch, the world’s biggest watchmaker by sales, which owns luxury watch brands Harry Winston, Breguet and Blancpain, says it has little intention of working with technology groups.

“We have been in discussions – not ever initiated by us – with practically all players in smart wearables up until today,” Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek told the Financial Times. “However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement.”

He added that his priority was to protect Swatch’s intellectual property advantages over tech rivals, including ergonomic design, longevity and battery life.

“Never forget, to make a smartwatch work you need two hands or voice recognition, which again needs a lot of power which is difficult in a very limited space,” Hayek said.

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