Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Swatch Chief Hayek Skeptical That Watch Could Replace an IPhone

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:
Swatch Group AG Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek
Swatch Group AG Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said, “Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can’t have an immense display.” Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Swatch Group AG Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said he’s skeptical that an interactive watch could replace an iPhone, talking down the prospects for a project that Apple Inc. has hinted it’s working on.

“Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution,” the chief of the largest Swiss watchmaker said at a press conference on annual results in Grenchen, Switzerland. “Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can’t have an immense display.”

In addition to size limiting the amount of information that can be shown, consumers often buy watches as a jewelry item and like to change them, Hayek said. Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad, people familiar with the company’s plans said last month.

Swatch, which owns the Tissot and Omega brands, has explored ways of making watches with interactive functions for years, attempting to sell a watch that served as a mobile phone early last decade. It later formed a 2004 alliance with Microsoft Corp. on Swatch Paparazzi watches, which allowed consumers to receive personalized information, including news, sports, weather, horoscopes and stock quotes.

Swatch has had contact with Apple over many years about materials for products and so-called energy harvesting technology that would generate energy from physical movement, Hayek said today. The Swiss company said in 2011 it obtained a license to use alloys made by Liquidmetal Technologies Inc. in watches, gaining access to metal that’s moldable like plastic. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, also made a patent-licensing agreement with Liquidmetal.

Bluetooth Technology

The Swatch and Tissot brands will keep developing timepieces with more interactive features, such as Bluetooth technology, Hayek said. The Swatch brand is planning a press conference on new products at the Baselworld watch fair that starts at the end of next month. Tissot’s T-Touch line of watches can serve as a compass and allows consumers to measure their altitude and time diving expeditions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Mulier in Geneva at tmulier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.