Swatch to Face Off Against Apple Watch

Ready for a smartwatch face-off? While the world eagerly awaits the April launch of the Apple Watch, Swiss watch maker Swatch has been working on its own alternative, which may start selling within the next three months.

Bloomberg spoke to Swatch CEO Nick Hayek, who said the Swiss timepiece will pack NFC capabilities and work with Windows and Android devices. It will also enable mobile payments, which sounds similar to the Apple Pay feature on the iPhone 6 and upcoming Apple wearable. Hayek told Bloomberg that his company has been in talks with retailers on its payment system, and that its device will hit the market in two to three months.

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This isn't the first time we've heard about Swatch trying to jump on the smartwatch bandwagon. A representative for the company said last year that it would be adding fitness features to its Touch line of digital watches, which currently cost about $140 each. The Touch timepieces feature curved touch-screen LCD displays and are water- and shock-resistant, and offer alarm and timer tools.

No word yet on what operating system the unnamed Swatch device will run, but Hayek did say the company applied for a record number of patents in 2014, with these being reflected in "numerous innovative project launches in all segments" this year. Bloomberg reports that some of these patents include batteries that can last twice as long thanks to new materials.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an earnings call in January that the Apple Watch is on track to ship in April. The company's wearable will work with iOS devices and offer fitness monitoring, NFC pairing and Apple Pay tools for a starting price of $350.

Staff writer Cherlynn Low needs a smartwatch because she keeps losing her dumb watches. Follow her @cherlynnlow. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide on Facebook.

Cherlynn Low

Cherlynn is Deputy Editor, Reviews at Engadget and also leads the site's Google reporting. She graduated with a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University before joining Tom's Guide and its sister site LaptopMag as a staff writer, where she covered wearables, cameras, laptops, computers and smartphones, among many other subjects.