The smartwatch market is about to get more crowded with Swiss Army Knife maker Victorinox joining other European makers such as Swatch in challenging Apple’s offering.
“Most notably, it is unclear what operating system the upcoming device will use. One likely scenario is for Victorinox to embrace Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android Wear, a freely available, ready-made smartwatch platform. Alternatively it might develop its own minimalist smartwatch software offering — a riskier route.
Either way, the smartwatch will likely be a compelling entrant given the strength of the brand. While other luxury watchmakers — including the veteran Tag Heuer brand of France’s Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.E. (LMVH) (EPA:MC) — are planning to launch offerings in the same window, Swiss Army’s offerign is compelling in the sense that it is expected to offer a bit of a different take. Traditionally while most luxury brands have marketed themselves primarily on luxury and complexity, Swiss Army has made its name via a reputation for rigorous durability atop an entry level luxury facade.”
This announcement comes on the heels of Victorinox announcing a 5-10% price increase in the Eurozone. This is due to the increase in the value of the Swiss Franc, which was allowed to float against the Euro earlier this year, ending trading caps which kept the Swiss currency artificially weak. There is no word on possible price increases for North American market at the time of this writing.