TAG Heuer has had to almost double its production to meet demand for its first Android Wear luxury smartwatch. The TAG Heuer Connected is based on the design of its popular Carrera range and comes loaded with an Intel processor and runs Google’s wearable OS. Retailers and various other resellers have requested a total of 100,000 units of the watch, which is way more than what the company expected upon announcement…
Speaking to Bloomberg, the company’s CEO Jean-Claude Biver said they’re now aiming to make 2,000 pieces each week, that’s up from the current 1,200. In response to the demand, online sales will be suspended until May or June next year in order to give the company time to catch up with demand from physical retail stores.
Many doubted the necessity, or place in the market, for a luxury Android-powered smartwatch. Apple launching its luxury Edition range at premium price points certainly made the choice easier for TAG. While it won’t compete directly with Apple in terms of sales, it will fit the niche of customers who want something a little more classy than the nice-looking watches on offer from regular tech manufacturers.
Although it was launched as something of an exploratory device to see how the market would respond, Biver now states that the company will offer follow-up Connected watches from the end of next year/beginning of 2017. Those will include ultra high-end watches featuring gold and diamond-set models:
“Considering the success of this single and unique watch, we will develop a collection made out of different varieties, executions and materials at the end of next year or beginning of 2017,” Biver said. The extension could include a gold and a diamond set version, he added.
While the regular tech fan who cares only for what a wearable device can do is unlikely to stump up the $1,500 required to snag a TAG Heuer smartwatch, there’s clearly a market here for those who value watch design and build over its technology. What’s more, there are few watch brands with as strong and wide-reaching reputation as TAG Heuer. In my mind, it’s the ideal combination of class and technology. Knowing that the series doesn’t begin and end with the first Connected is great news.