The announcement that TAG Heuer is set to join the smartwatch party, with the backing of tech giants Google and Intel, is hardly shocking.
The attentions of watch fanatics have not been on Cupertino but Switzerland this week, where the annual Baselworld event allows the industry’s biggest players to show off their fanciest new wares.
And it was on home turf that TAG decided to confirm its plans.
LVMH, the luxury conglomerate which owns TAG, is clearly worried about the Apple Watch.
If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be plotting a smart device to take on Tim Cook and co’s newest product.
Enlisting Intel and Google is a smart move and at least means it won’t be attempting any nasty proprietary software which would doubtless leave users cold if they're looking for functionality alongside their fanciness.
It’s no surprise that TAG is being bullish about its prospects.
LVMH’s watch chief, Jean–Claude Biver says the new device is ‘the biggest announcement ever’ in his 40 years with the company and reckons there’s will be ‘the greatest connected watch’.
Clearly, he hasn’t spent much time with Android Wear, the OS which will power the TAG smartwatch.
Google’s platform is still a long way from perfection and will need to up its game significantly if TAG really wants to compete with the high end Edition version of the Apple Watch.
That’s not Biver’s only issue. Back in September last year, the exec made somewhat unguarded comments about the Apple Watch in the wake of its launch.
He said it had, “no sex appeal. It's too feminine and looks too much like the smartwatches already on the market."
Tedious misogyny aside, Biver has also made the potentially fatal error of calling out an Apple product without having anything to rival it.
This was a mistake made by Nokia and BlackBerry in the wake of the launch of the iPhone back in 2007.
Now both companies are shadows of their former selves, laid low by Apple’s relentlessness.
Obviously, TAG has a huge business beyond smartwatches.
But such statements are only going to come back to bite Biver and his staff if the new Google and Intel collaboration doesn’t come up to snuff.
It’s due out at the end of the year, when Apple will likely already be rolling its second-generation watch off of Chinese production lines.
And the thing is, TAG’s watch is going to have to be perfect. Because this watch won’t be built to rival the entry-level Apple Watch, but the expensive alternatives.
There’s no room for error and plenty for embarrassment.
The smartwatch category may be a nascent one, but it comes with the same portents as the smartphone and tablet sectors. Slate Apple at your peril.