Tissot launches new hybrid watch; new era for Swatch Group?



Swiss watch manufacturer Tissot – part of the Swatch Group – has launched a new hybrid sports watch, the T-Touch Connect Solar, which is an upgraded version of the original T-Touch Solar released in 2014.

Scott Jungwirth, general manager of Tissot Australia and New Zealand, said, “The T-Touch Connect Solar comes at a time where interest in fitness-related functions is growing, while still paying homage to Tissot’s roots in luxury fashion.

“With a contemporary and sporty design the watch has an impressive presence on the wrist and provides the perfect accessory for lovers of sport, leisure and style,” he added.

Hybrid watches combine many of the functions of smartwatches – including step counters, navigation, and weather – with the design of a traditional mechanical watch.

According to data from Mordor Intelligence, the hybrid watch market is predicted to increase by 14.5 per cent between 2020 and 2025, equal to smartwatches.

Swatch Group’s history with the smartwatch/hybrid category is somewhat chequered; CEO Nicolas Hayek once described the Apple Watch as “an interesting toy, but not a revolution”.

The group announced it was working on a proprietary operating system – then known as ‘Swiss OS’ – in 2017 and the first hybrids bearing this system were expected to launch in 2018.

However, the project was delayed indefinitely.

According to a Tissot statement, Swatch Group invested CHF30 million to develop the operating system, now named swALPS, which is present in the T-Touch Connect Solar. Notably, swALPS does not rely on software from Google or Apple, though it is compatible with both iPhone and Android.

A Tissot statement emphasised the privacy advantage: “Its exclusive, proprietary operating system means that your data is securely stored on servers that ensure your privacy. The watch, its applications, and any paired smartphones cannot send data to third parties.”

Tissot is stocked at Angus & Coote stores and independent chains Salera’s, Mazzucchelli’s, and Gregory Jewellers, among others.

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Above: To launch Tissot’s T-Touch Connect Solar, the company has teamed up with iconic Australian athletes Ryan Papenhuyzen (Melbourne Storm), Marcus Bontompelli (Western Bulldogs) and Corey ‘Homicide’ Williams (NBL).

 





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