Apple approaching Swiss watchmakers for partnership; tries to poach experts for iWatch project

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Apple wants to partner with Swiss watchmakers for making the iWatch, according to a Financial Times report. While a partnership offer by Apple might be considered prestigious by some companies, Swiss watchmakers aren’t too keen on accepting the offer.

Swiss watchmakers have an expertise in watch design and metallurgy, and Apple wants to partner with them to make use of this expertise. Swatch CEO confirmed that the company has been approached by several wearable players, including Apple, but that they didn’t move forward with the partnership. The Financial Times reports:

“We have been in discussions – not ever initiated by us – with practically all players in smart wearables up until today,” Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek told the Financial Times. “However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement.”

He added that his priority was to protect Swatch’s intellectual property advantages over tech rivals, including ergonomic design, longevity and battery life.

Earlier this month, Jean-Claude Biver alleged that Apple tried to poach employees from his company, Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot, and other major Swiss watchmakers as well:

“Apple has contacted some of my employees – I saw the emails personally,” Mr Biver told a Swiss publication, claiming that all those who had been contacted refused the iPhone maker’s advances.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company will enter new product categories this year, most likely referring to the iWatch. Health and fitness will reportedly be a key iWatch feature, as Apple ramps up its sensors teamhires sleep researchers and physiologists. This data will be used in a new new iOS 8 app called Healthbook that’ll help you stay healthy and fit.