Luxury Brands Take Aim at the Smartwatch Sector

published on 23 Mar 2017
Richemont-owned watchmaker Montblanc last week joined the likes of Breitling, de Grisogono and Frederique Constant in venturing into the smartwatch sector with the launch of Montblanc Summit, a smartwatch that aims to bring the fight to Apple's door. 

Based on Google's Android Wear 2 platform, the 46mm Summit won't strike you as a smartwatch because it was designed to resemble a 1858 classic mechanical timepiece, offering it a unique allure which Montblanc hopes will attract both fans and millennials. In terms of features, the Summit is similar to TAG Heuer's latest creation, offering a suite of Android apps, a heart-rate monitor and a display big enough for users to easily use apps, text and send emails. It comes with a price of $960 (€890).

However, luxury watchmakers still have a long way to go before being able to go toe-to-toe with Apple, whose share of the smartwatch market is 40 percent. Demand for smartwatches is also declining as consumers have yet to find a clear, unique purpose for them, with Apple Watch sales down 70 percent in the third quarter of 2016. On a brighter note, smartwatches and wearables in general could become more important in the future,  especially in the wake of the U.S. and Britain's bans on laptops and tablets on flights from the Middle East. 

Photos: © Montblanc