According to reports, LVMH’s Tag Heuer had received requests for more than 100,000 Connected smartwatches through early December, nearly twice what the company had originally anticipated. Tag Heuer has had to ramp up production to more than 2,000 pieces per week to meet the demand for the smartwatch version of Tag Heuer’s popular Carrera mechanical-watch line. Tag Heuer also said it will suspend online sales of the Connected through either May or June to give the company time to match in-store demand with supply.
You should take this with a grain of salt (just like everything from the often aptly named Fool), but if there’s even some truth to this, Tag’s got some heavy interest in its Connected smartwatch. With an average selling price ($1500) nearly three times that estimated for Apple Watch (around $550), the 100,000 units cited above translate to about 300,000 in “Apple Watch numbers.” Assuming Apple has moved roughly four million of its wearables in the first quarter of availability (and that’s being pretty generous), Tag’s taken a whopping 7.5 percent of the mindshare market from Cupertino. Overlap notwithstanding, whodathunkit?
Still, Tag’s numbers aren’t exactly pre-orders but “requests” or “statements of interest” from potential customers, so real-world sales will likely be smaller. Even so, the volume the luxury watchmaker now expects to move is pretty shocking given how dead-in-the-water this thing seemed when it was announced and unveiled.
Of course, even Apple Watch suffers with sticking power, so it’s probably a good thing Tag is offering that trade-up program.