Swatch Group AG will introduce a model that can make mobile payments around July or August, which will give Apple Inc.'s smartwatch more low-price competition.
The Swatch New Gent watches, which will work via NFC technology, will probably cost 5 francs ($5.49) more than regular models, Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek told reporters at the St. Gallen Symposium business conference. Swatch sells New Gent watches for 70 francs and up.
With the Apple Watch on sale for as little as $349, traditional watchmakers are adding electronic functions to their own products. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA plans to sell intelligent watch-straps under the Montblanc brand for 350 euros ($396) each, while LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has said it will introduce a $1,400 TAG Heuer smartwatch later this year.
Swatch will enter a partnership with a big, global credit card company that has proposed easy ways for the company to start, Hayek also said. Swatch may add NFC payment functions to other brands as well, he said.