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Swatch plans multiple smartwatches, but they'll be simple

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Swatch has only just dipped its toes into the smartwatch waters, but it already has grand ambitions in the category. CEO Nick Hayek tells Tages-Anzeiger that next year's Touch Zero Two (due around the Rio Olympics in August) is just the start. There should be multiple smartwatches, and the company is also releasing NFC-equipped, payment-capable watches later this year. In other words, Swatch isn't treating these devices as exceptions or one-off experiments, like some other Swiss watchmakers.

Not that you should expect Swatch to directly challenge the Apple Watch or Android Wear. Hayek doesn't want a multi-purpose "computer for the wrist," or to depend on outside companies for help -- Swatch got burned when Microsoft abandoned MSN Direct, so it's not about to rely on someone else's platform regardless of its sophistication. Instead, you're more likely to see simple, focused devices that just happen to do more than tell the time. It's too soon to know if this strategy will work, and market share estimates suggest that it might not (shipments of narrow-purpose smartwatches like Withings Activité pale in comparison). All the same, it's good to know that Swatch's wristwear is evolving.

[Image credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images]

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