Exclusive Interview on the First Luxury Smartwatch12:48 pm
With the rise of digital smartwatches, the watch industry has become more competitive than ever before. Swiss watchmakers, however seem unfazed and are taking on the tech toys in their own way, first of them being Frederique Constant who announced the launch of their ‘Horological Smartwatch’ earlier this year. We get up close and personal with Aletta Stas Bax – COO and Co-Founder of Frederique Constant as she gives us an insight on the new timepiece and what we can expect from Switzerland in the coming years:
Frederique Constant has managed to cleverly make a classic watch “Smarter” with the Horological Smartwatch. Tell us a bit about it!
Aletta – We have been working on several smartwatch possibilities since 3 years. We have looked at different alternatives and finally we settled at the horological version. We clearly realized that we would not be able to manage everything by ourselves in the connected ecosystem. This is why we teamed up with Fullpower based near Silicon Valley, who is the leading technology firm in the wearables.
The joint venture between Fullpower and Frederique Constant, called MMT, has launched the Horological Smartwatch platform and brought this platform to the Swiss watch Industry.
Frederique Constant has launched the first Horological smartwatch. The watch remains a beautiful classical Swiss timepiece and has kept the DNA of Frederique Constant.
“We are the first Swiss watch company to bring a luxury Swiss time piece with connected functions on the market. We call it the Horological smartwatch.”
An Idea out of nowhere or a well thought out strategy? What was Frederique Constant’s inspiration behind creating the Horological Smartwatch?
Aletta – This new product category has been rising. There has been and still is a lot of attention in the press and in the markets also due to the Apple watch.
21 million Swiss quartz watches have been exported in 2014. Quartz watches are typically priced in the same price segment as smart watches. We expect that in the coming 3 to 5 years a large percentage of the Swiss quartz watches will become smart. This is one of the major reasons why we entered into this product category.
Your favourite feature of the watch (and why)?
Aletta – The MotionX activity tracker is my favorite feature. During the day I see instantly if I am on track for reaching my goal. It does influence my behaviour in a positive sense”, she said. When I notice that my goal is only at 30%, I really make an effort to take some time for walking as I want to stay fit and healthy.
“In the coming 3 to 5 years a large percentage of the Swiss quartz watches will become smart. This is one of the major reasons why we entered into this product category.”
Gadget Smartwatches are doing their best to take on luxury timepieces. Are we expecting a storm of new and innovative timepieces coming from Switzerland?
Aletta – There are a lot of smartwatches on the market. We are the first Swiss watch company to bring a luxury Swiss time piece with connected functions on the market. We call it the Horological smartwatch. It has all the elements of a luxurious beautiful Swiss watch and also connected functions indicated by hands on the dial.
Some other luxury brands have announced to launch smartwatches before end of this year. It is likeable that more and more brands, which are in the price category of 300 to 1000 CHF (INR Rs 20,681 – 68,939) will launch smartwatches. As mentioned before, the Swiss watch industry exports more than 21 Million quartz watches. If 30 to 50% of these watches will be connected in the coming few years we can expect a wave of Swiss smartwatches.
Frederique Constant’s mission has always been “to let more people enjoy luxury.” and the Indian luxury market is on a rise. Can India look forward to something special from the brand in the coming years?
Aletta – Yearly during Baselworld, we introduce new products. This year it has been the Horological Smartwatch. In 2014 we introduced our HeartBeat Manufacture Silicium, an innovative product with an inhouse mouvement with Silicium parts. Apart from these innovative products we always make sure that we also introduce novelties in our entry price level every year. We stay loyal to our slogan “let more people enjoy luxury”!
The Horological Smartwatch is available exclusively in India at Ethos Watch Boutiques starting at INR 70,800.