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The Peak (Malaysia) - - Pursuits • Horology -

bel­lowed with that trade­mark bom­bast so closely as­so­ci­ated with him. “Thank god I didn’t re­tire! Pre­sent­ing this wed­ding to you is my proud­est mo­ment af­ter 41 years in this in­dus­try.”

Fol­low­ing this, Biver took a mo­ment to ad­dress the mil­lion dol­lar ques­tion that was on ev­ery­one’s mind. How did one of the largest Swiss watch brands go from a “smart­watches, bah!” at­ti­tude to one that em­braces the dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy with open arms? “The Watch Val­ley has al­ways pro­duced clas­si­cal, high qual­ity time­pieces that can last for eternity,” Biver said. “But now we must ask our­selves, how do we cre­ate a con­nected watch that young con­sumers will de­sire and that can con­nect gen­er­a­tions?”

In con­trast to many of its peers, TAG Heuer chose not to un­veil its smart­watch at Basel­world, and this was the first inkling I got that the brand was up to some­thing po­ten­tially game-chang­ing. Dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with Françoise Bez­zola at Basel­world 2015, TAG Heuer’s Vice Pres­i­dent of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, she told me, “We didn’t want to rush to launch our Con­nected Watch for Basel­world. It was im­por­tant that we took the time to work with the best part­ners pos­si­ble in­stead of just putting a chip in­side a bracelet and say­ing that we had a smart­watch of our own.”

TAG Heuer’s rea­son for go­ing all the way to Sil­i­con Val­ley in search of al­lies on this quest to build a smart­watch is sim­ple: it knew it could not do it alone. “It would be hubris to imag­ine we could de­velop our own OS!” Biver ex­claimed, throw­ing his hands up in the air for em­pha­sis. “With­out our part­ners at Google and In­tel, we would still be say­ing ‘con­nected watches are not in­ter­est­ing’ like many other Swiss watch­mak­ers.”

THE NUTS AND GUTS OF THE As the count­down timer struck “00:00”, the screen be­hind Biver lit up to show to the world the cul­mi­na­tion of a year-long col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween the two Val­leys. A mas­sive wheel of cheese cre­ated at Biver’s own rus­tic moun­tain farm in Switzer­land was then care­fully ma­noeu­vred onto the stage. As Biver hacked it into ed­i­ble pieces with a foot-long saw, he took the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain how many of the early Swiss watch­mak­ers were farm­ers to be­gin with.

Af­ter the cheese had been cut up, Krzanich took his turn at mak­ing

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