Swatch prefers go-it-alone route for smartwatch plans

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The logo of Swiss watchmaker Swatch is seen on the door of a Swatch watches shop in StrasbourgBy Silke Koltrowitz BIEL (Switzerland) (Reuters) – Swatch Group is happy to go it alone with a launch next year of watches with “smart” features to compete with so-called wearable gadgets from the big tech companies, a market potentially worth $93 billion. Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek said these new watches might allow the wearer to count the number of steps they take and calories they burn. “All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don’t rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas. Apple Inc has just invited media to a “special event” next month, fuelling speculation it might present a much-anticipated “iWatch.” The possibility of an iWatch launch is partly responsible for Swatch shares losing almost 15 percent so far this year, lagging a 3 percent rise in the European sector.

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