Breitling, the Swiss watchmaker best known for its chunky aviator timepieces, will soon unveil its first commercial smartwatch, as the race to respond to the Apple Watch heats up. Family owned-Breitling, one of the few remaining Swiss watch brands not to be part of a major international luxury goods group, will launch its new Exospace model in New York City on Dec. 16. That will be a little more than a month after rival sports watchmaker Tag Heuer, part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, also chooses the Big Apple for its long-awaited smartwatch premiere.
The choice of location was purely coincidental, Jean-Paul Girardin, Breitling’s vice president, said. A Breitling employee since 1992, and de facto chief executive officer of the group, owned by the media-shy Schneider family, since 1999, Girardin revealed the name and timing at a watch media lunch on Wednesday.
The new model is based on the B55 Connect prototype first seen at this year’s Basel World watch show in late March. Although development and production had progressed quickly after the positive initial public reactions, Girardin said the first models would probably only be available in most markets in early January. Breitling declined to give any precise pricing for its
Follow WWD on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.