TAG Heuer CEO JeanClaude Biver right and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault Craig Barritt, Getty Images

TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver, right, and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault show off the new TAG Heuer Connected watch, priced at $1,500 and aimed to provide an alternative to the Apple Watch.

TAG Heuer Aims for Apple with $1,500 Smartwatch

The Swiss watchmaker has teamed up with Google and Intel to compete with Apple, even if its CEO publicly says the Silicon Valley superpower isn't a rival.

NEW YORK — Luxury Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer showed off its first connected wristwatch Monday, designed in coordination with Google and Intel.

The $1,500 Android-powered Tag Heuer Connected, now on sale in the United States and following in Europe later this week, is seen as a rival to the Apple Watch, which launched earlier this year starting at $349, with some versions at more than $10,000.

The TAG Heuer Connected — based on the Carrera watch design from the group popularized by Brad Pitt — is built with titanium, sapphire and the “best in class touchscreen technology,” according to the company’s website. Like other smartwatches, the new wearable tech device allows users to receive notifications, text messages, and to identify callers on a connected handset. It also can monitor the user’s heartbeat.

Tag Heuer, Google and Intel announced a partnership in March to produce the watch. In the meantime, Apple teamed up with French luxury market Hermes to produce a version of the iOS watch starting at $1,250.

Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver said he believes there will be demand for the new watch: “It’s not too late. The market is not considered to be consolidated yet.” 

The companies call the new device “an elegant connected watch that merges expertise of Swiss watchmakers with Silicon Valley engineers to set a new standard for high-tech performance, timeless aesthetics and supreme quality.”

The Carrera Connected watch can be paired with Google Android devices, as well as those running Apple’s iOS, and can connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

In an interview with Switzerland’s Le Matin Dimanche, Biver said that he does not consider Apple a direct competitor.

“We are not Apple. We are a watch brand,” he said. “I forbid my colleagues to say Apple is our competitor.”

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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