IWC is dipping a toe into the smartwatch waters – but don't expect the Swiss marque to trade its renowned mechanical movements for a high-tech digital timepiece.
Instead, IWC says it will put the smarts onto the strap, with a button-sized sensor which talks directly to your smartphone, rather than delve and dabble inside the watch itself.
"We do not touch our beautiful watches" explains Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. "An 'IWC' stays a mechanical handcrafted timepiece."
"We’ve engineered an intelligent design solution which perfectly integrates and underlines our product worlds."
Dubbed IWC Connect, the module will include Fitbit-style activity tracking as well as "control over certain devices connected to the Internet of Things."
IWC hasn't revealed when the stylish smartbutton will be released, nor how much it'll cost, but says it will be integrated into the straps of IWC sports watches, beginning with the iconic Big Pilot's Watch series.
"Seeing that many of our customers and brand ambassadors are wearing connected devices alongside their IWC watches, we chose to work with a like-minded digital technology company to develop an elegant, aesthetically complementary solution that eliminates the need to have additional devices on the opposing wrist to your IWC," Kern adds.
Mont Blanc has opted for a similar 'smart strap' approach, while Tag Heuer has teamed up with Google and Intel to develop a luxury smartwatch due by year's end, albeit with an estimated US$1,400 price tag.
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