While watchmaker Swatch is planning to add “smart” features to its products, it does not intend to make “a mini mobile phone on your wrist”, chief executive Nick Hayek said.
“We are not a consumer technology company,” he observed.
According to reports, Swatch is planning to offer watches with integrated NFC imminently, enabling it to participate in the growing mobile payment market as well as for applications like hotel room entry.
Also mentioned in the report were sports-themed watches with touch screens that can pair with a smartphone via Bluetooth – such as the Swatch Touch Zero One for beach volleyball (pictured).
The executive was also bullish on the potential impact of Apple’s Watch, which is set to reach customers next month.
“It is opening the market. Especially in the US, many people are not wearing watches any more. Somebody is opening this up. Let Apple do the work. It’s fine. It’s good. I congratulate them,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal noted that while premium watch brands are less likely to be impacted by Apple’s entry to the market, Swatch brands such as Tissot and Mido in the mid-range are likely to see pressure.
Elmar Mock, co-inventor of the original Swatch watch, previously told Bloomberg that Apple’s entry into the market will “put a lot of pressure on the traditional watch industry and jobs in Switzerland”.