Guess Watches has moved to Android Wear 2.0 for its 2017 touchscreen smartwatch collections.
The Guess Connect Touch collection, which will go on sale in the UK in the autumn, is an update to a range first introduced in 2015 by the company, and builds on its strategy of targeting younger, fashion-forward customers for its watches.
Brett Gibson,president and chief commercial officer at Sequel International, parent group of Guess and Gc watches, told WatchPro at Baselworld that the group wants to put style at the heart of its smartwatch marketing message.
“The focus is on fashion, not fitness and performance,” Mr Gibson says.
The most advanced smartwatches will be known as Guess Connect Touch, and use Android Wear 2.0 running on the powerful Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset.
The watches will retail for around £329-379 when they go on sale.
Android Wear 2.0 works best with Android-based smartphones, but compatibility and functionality has been improved with Apple’s iOS as well. “The iOS experience is dramatically better in 2.0,” Mr Gibson claims.
The smartwatch market is still in its infancy, and Mr Gibson says he wants to manage expectations as consumer understanding and expectations grow.
He also needs retailers to understand that the economics of smartwatches are different to traditional watches, and that profit margins are unlikely to improve.
“Margins on smartwatches are lower than normal watches. The consumer electronics market, the fashion market and the traditional watch market are clashing, and retailers will need to get used to smartwatches that have a shorter shelf life and use by dates,” Mr Gibson describes.
“This is not going to be a 50% margin product,” he adds.
Traditional jewellers selling smartwatches will have to start working to the same sort of rhythm as consumer electronics shops, said Mr Gibson. “Short shelf life can be a positive or a negative. Upgrade paths are key to keeping customers,” he advises.