Swatch: Ready For Net Time?

The watchmaker is looking for a high-tech blockbuster

You're toweling off after a swim when your wristwatch-phone starts beeping. You tap a button, and--presto, you're talking to your broker. While you chat, you tap another button and log on to the Internet to check the performance of a stock he's recommending. Far-fetched? Not to Nicolas G. Hayek, chief executive of Swatch Group Ltd. The flamboyant Lebanese-born engineer who revolutionized the watch business in the 1980s is looking for his next breakthrough. He's putting a Swatch wristwatch-phone on the market this year, as well as a watch equipped for Internet access. He's also working with Hewlett-Packard Co. to develop even more advanced watches.

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