Swatch’s entry into the smartwatch scene has been a difficult one. The company is now making a comeback with the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar. The Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar is a hybrid watch. It can be connected to a paired smartphone for fitness tracking, notifications, and, of course, time. As the name suggests, it uses solar power for charging and has a battery life of up to six months. The watch runs on an operating system designed by Swatch called SwALPS OS, which stands for Swiss Autonomous Low Power System. We are assuming that this must be the same SwatchOS that CEO Nick Hayek was talking about in 2018 when he also promised a Tissot smartwatch, which never appeared. Hayek had promised a smartwatch in 2017 too, right after the company announced that its 2016 profits had dropped by 47% and revenue was down by 11%.
The new smartwatch looks like a project that had been on the back-burner which has now been rehashed to keep investors happy ahead of what is possibly lean times for the Swiss watch industry. As for the features, the watch comes in a 47mm case; which means it is a bit oversized. But it will come in good quality materials, with a choice of titanium or ceramic. It will be compatible with iOS and Android. The smartest move by the company is that it has made the watch compatible with Huawei Harmony OS as well which opens a market for Tissot smartwatches in China as well. Unfortunately, heart rate tracking will not be available — which makes the watch look like a product from 2018. It is an extremely expensive watch that is light on features. There are not enough details available, and it looks like Swatch was rushing to announce the news during its annual news conference that was streamed online. Swatch also said that features will be revealed after launch, including GPS navigation. But since there is little possibility for a built-in GPS, it must be coming from a smartphone.
It is also unclear whether the navigation is via Google Maps or some special offering. The company has been vocal about a smartwatch since the launch of the first Apple Watch back in 2014 but has not come up with any solid technology. Also, even though the smartwatch revolution has not affected the Swiss watch world much, Swatch’s numbers aren’t looking all that great. As the Journal Haute Horlogerie says, “Since the Cupertino tech giant [Apple] launched its Apple Watch in 2015, sales of Swiss watches retailing at under 38,500 INR have fallen by 37% in the number of units. It’s a similar story in the 38,500 -92,500 INR bracket, where sales declined by 21% over the twelve months in question.” Meanwhile, the Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar will be launched in June or July and is expected to be priced at 80,000 INR which is approximately 72,500 INR.