Movado Group Inc. is getting smarter.
The watchmaker unveiled a partnership with Google to launch the Movado Connect smartwatch collection, which will be powered by the newly updated Android Wear 2.0.
Movado, which has been dabbling in the smartwatch category, is one of the first to design a watch specifically for the new operating system. The Movado Connect collection will be unveiled at the Baselworld trade show, which starts March 23, and will launch this fall. It will include five men’s styles starting at $495 and be available in the U.S., the Caribbean, Canada and the U.K.
Efraim Grinberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Movado Group, said the new line will feature “our proprietary edge-to-edge crystal design” and is “iconically Movado.”
Late last year, Grinberg told Wall Street that the company had “taken kind of a patient approach to the wearable technology space and smartwatch space. So we’re really proud of the hybrids that we’ve introduced in our fashion brands and the one that we’ll introduce in Movado this year. And we’re continuing to explore other opportunities in that segment as well, but we also see a really continued large market for conventional watches as long as you drive them with innovation, image and design.”
The Movado Connect offering includes five customizable dials that are inspired by the brand’s Museum dial and allow the user to tailor the display on their watch.
Each dial controls three to four customizable elements including backgrounds, watch hands and complications.
The watches have access to thousands of apps, including Google’s Android PayTM, and also display fitness tracking and other digital wonders.
David Singleton, vice president of Android engineering at Google, said, “With our combined expertise in watchmaking, design and software, we are able to create a beautiful yet functional timepiece that helps people live their everyday lives.”
According to International Data Corp., global smartwatch turnover in the third quarter fell to an estimated 2.7 million units shipped, a 52 percent drop from a year earlier.
The decline was seen as reflecting tough comparisons following the 2015 introduction of the Apple Watch and some hesitancy among vendors who were waiting for Android Wear 2.0.