Swatch unveils a smartwatch that allows users to make payments with the swipe of their wrists via programmable chips. How will it fare against Apple's new wristwear? Grace Pascoe reports.
Apple have done it, Android have done it. Now the world's bestselling watchmaker is doing it. Swatch have revealed its latest product. A smartwatch, available this summer. Its boss Nick Hayek... (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWATCH CHIEF EXECUTIVE, NICK HAYEK, SAYING: "Whatever use that you want, you ask some creative people to create some apps and then our chip has different layers that you can programme, yourself. We give it to you. You buy your swatch, the one you like, and then you configure it." Making payments with the swipe of the wrist is one feature which directly rivals Apple's new watch. Swatch have teamed up with China UnionPay, a major credit card company, suspected to be Visa, and a Swiss bank. Is it a wise strategy? Michael Hewson is from CMC Markets: SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) CMC MARKETS, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Swatch has probably got its eye on what happened in the 70s and the 80s where it lost market share to Japanese digital watchmakers. But I think as with any technological thing I think there is a tendency for it to become a fad. I think it really depends on what tier of the market they are aiming at. But if they are looking to pitch to slightly the more gadget-conscious then certainly diversification in that area would not be a bad thing." The Swatch Touch Zero One will cost nearly 135 U.S. dollars, making it over 200 dollars cheaper than the lowest spec Apple Watch. It will be a watch, not a mobile phone but will be able to 'buddy up' with one via Bluetooth. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWATCH CHIEF EXECUTIVE, NICK HAYEK, SAYING: "We are not going to transform and put the mobile phone on the wrist. Let do it the others. Samsung did it, Sony did it, everybody does it." Markets seem pleased with the announcement. With shares rising by over 5 percent to over 438 Swiss Francs in two days.