FreakoutITGeek's Blog

Random IT postings from Freakz

Watch is going on?

There have been a lot of rumours going around about Apple’s iWatch.

One rumour I have read is that Apple were talking to the Swiss pop watch maker Swatch.

As a fan of Swatch, back in the mid 90’s, I decided to dig out some of the catalogue a as I remembered them song some groundbreaking, amazing things with watches back then.

The first innovation I remember was in their 1996 fall/winter Collection. The Swatch Access range was a watch that included a chip that allowed skiers on the slopes to use the watch as a ski pass. After googling the product I came across the link above and an link to a PDF document where the product is called ‘SnowPass’.
Here’s an image of the 96 catalogue pages
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Below are pictures of the Swatch Access watched from the Swatch 1997 Spring Summer Collection. In addition to the ski pass Access watches, Swatch also did a Salzburg Access Swatch watch that could be used as a digital wallet to use on transport, cafes, bars, and more.

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In the 1996 catalogue a Swatch ‘Solar’ appeared (left page in image below) with a description of “A fifteen minute charge gives you hundred hours of running reserve” and it didn’t look like the traditional solar PV crystalline cells that we are all used to seeing.

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So what else have Swatch done since? Unfortunately I stopped being a member of the fan club so stopped received the catalogues (and the Glasgow Swatch store closed around the same time – new ones have recently opened in the last few years ) so I don’t know what other advances they have brought forward over the past 20 years.

But if the rumours are true what are Apple talking to Swatch about? Is it the technology behind the watches I have mentioned? There have been talk about Apple using solar charging in future products and Near Field Communications (NFC) is getting big with NFC payment systems appearing in most UK stores (and on all Barclaycard credit card) and London’s Oyster card being used on busses, Tube and other forms of travel. Even Glasgow is implementing a NFC card type system after years of planning.

Or do Swatch have something else that Apple want? Is it their design ethos, their links with designers, skills in integrated design in small products? Only time will tell.

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One response to “Watch is going on?

  1. Pingback: Watch is going on? (part 2) | FreakoutITGeek's Blog

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