Luxury Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer will launch its first smartwatch Nov. 9 in New York as the company jumps into the global smartwatch fray against established competitors Apple, Pebble, Huawei, Sony, Samsung and others.
The company announced the debut of the Android Wear-powered TAG Heuer watch, which has been in the works since earlier this year, Oct. 12 in a post on Instagram. "Get ready to experience the next step in innovation," the post states. "Introducing the TAG Heuer connected watch this November 9th in NYC #connectedtoeternity."
The smartwatch will sell for $1,800, an increase of $400 from the initial price that was revealed back in May, according to an Oct. 12 report by CNBC.
TAG Heuer has set up a countdown clock on its Website to track the arrival of the new timepiece.
Jean-Claude Biver, the CEO of TAG Heuer, told CNBC in the story that Apple is "big competition" in the smartwatch marketplace but that his company's traditional timepieces (pictured) will stand the test of time with watch-loving consumers and collectors.
Back in March, Google, Intel and TAG Heuer announced a partnership to develop the new smartwatch, which includes a new Intel microprocessor, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Google is contributing its Android Wear operating system to the project, while TAG Heuer brings its design and styling acumen to the luxury watch. Biver at the time said that the watch's battery will last about 40 hours on a charge.
The global smartwatch market is continuing to grow with sales and competition.
In September, Pebble began offering preorders for its upcoming first-ever round fashion smartwatch, the Pebble Time Round, after releasing a string of four popular rectangular smartwatch models since 2013, according to a recent eWEEK story. The watch starts at $249.
The new timepiece is lighter and thinner than other Pebble smartwatches and includes an always-on, e-paper display that alerts users to notifications, messages, incoming calls and more on their wrists. The smartwatch also provides music controls for users, as well as other capabilities.
The Pebble Time Round announcement came only about six weeks after Pebble unveiled its Pebble Time Steel model in early August. The Pebble Time Steel smartwatch features a stainless steel body that's available in three different colors, starting at $249.99. The Pebble Time Steel is a variant of the company's Pebble Time smartwatch that was unveiled in June, which includes a stainless steel bezel and a non-metal body. The Pebble Time Steel is available with a 22mm-wide Italian leather watchband for $249.99 or with a stainless steel band for $299.98.
The Pebble devices work with compatible iOS and Android smartphones, although not all iOS notification features will work. They work with Apple's iPhone 4S and above running iOS 8, and with all Android devices running Android 4.0 and above.
Also in September, Apple released its new watchOS 2 operating system for the Apple Watch following a five-day delay due to errant software code. The watchOS 2 update had been scheduled to be released on the same day as Apple's iOS 9 update for smartphones and tablets.
The watchOS 2 is a big update for the Apple Watch devices, which hit the market on April 24 and have proved very popular for the company and for the wearables segment. The watchOS 2 operating system update was announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8 as an updated operating system that will bring many new features and functions for Apple Watch users, as well as new tools to allow developers to add even future functions.
The watchOS 2's changes are expected to allow developers to build faster, more powerful apps that will run natively on the Apple Watch. Some of the new features were released back in June, including a Digital Crown control system, Taptic Engine capabilities, a heart-rate sensor and some new software APIs. The full watchOS 2 update will introduce a much wider range of improvements and changes, including new watch faces and new communications capabilities in the device's Mail, Friends and Digital Touch apps.
Apple Watches went on sale on April 24 in the U.S., starting at $349 for the Apple Watch Sport version, which is available with a silver or space-gray aluminum body and with wristbands in many colors. The standard Apple Watch starts at $549 for a 38mm-wide version or $599 for a 42mm-wide model. Prices for the 38mm version can rise up to $1,049, while prices for the 42mm model can go up to $1,099, depending on the watchband selected. The regular Apple Watch can be purchased with a fluoroelastomer band or one of three different leather bands. The company's luxury version of Apple Watch is the Apple Watch Edition, with a price tag of $10,000. The most expensive version of Apple Watch, the 18-karat gold Edition version, is priced at $17,000.