Never one to be bested, Rolex have announced that they will enter the smartwatch race with an über-luxury product. Their goal is not to play second or third to Apple, the newly announced TAG/Google product, or Frederique Constant’s Horological Smartwatch. Their goal is to leap to the head of the field.
Being the, or one of the dominant players in the industry usually means that you don’t have to read your press clippings. It is good to see that the people at Rolex still do. So much has been made of the fact that the new Apple Watch Edition will cost in excess of $10,000 – placing it squarely in the price bracket occupied by Rolex. Today Rolex announced that they will respond with a titanium version of their Submariner watch: the Sub-Oyster-Tron.
The Oyster-Tron will use a digital readout, which will be controlled by the rotating bezel. Proposed features will include: remote keyless entry for your luxury car, near field communication access to point of payment devices in convenience stores around the world, hours, minutes, seconds, day and for the first time ever in a Submariner, date. You will also be able to link the smartwatch to your smart-pen to give second-to-second readouts of ink levels. Other devices such as a proposed smart-letter-opener and smart-stapler will be incorporated into the suite of products called “Smart-Desk”.
Rolex press material enthusiastically proclaims: “…the Sub-Oyster-Tron will herald in a new age of desk-diving. From this point on, business people will have to manually check the number of staples in their stapler or the number of centimeters required to open a letter.”
We contacted an insider familiar with the Sub-Oyster-Tron (she asked to remain nameless). We could not garner the nature of the operating system. What we were told was that the digital features of the device mean that it is only water resistant to 10 feet. Asked if this was a last ditch attempt to corner another area of the market our insider said “NO!” but alluded to the idea that if the Oyster-Tron failed, Rolex would simply purchase Apple outright and rebrand their products.
These are heady days for watchmaking indeed! Stay tuned for more details as they are announced.