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Exclusive: Apple Watch Edition could face luxury Withings rival

The ludicrously priced Apple Watch Edition is as luxury as smartwatches come, but a pricy rival could be in the works.

Withings, the company behind the gorgeous Activite and Activite Pop smartwatches, has had internal discussions about building a super-premium wearable, TrustedReviews has learned.

We spoke to Withings’ co-founder and CEO Cedric Hutchings, who revealed a ritzy Apple Watch Edition competitor may be in the works.

“So we have proposals,” the CEO says, when we asked whether such a wearable has been considered. “We might do it.”

However, the company wants to make sure it doesn’t damage its branding by simply plastering an Activite in precious metals.

“That was really not our, for sure at the start, it was not our core,” warns Hutchings. “We do not do the reasoning of saying, okay this is a tech device, let’s put goldy stuff and gold branding so people will pay a lot of price on it.”

The CEO continues: “Let’s do a watch that people will want to wear because it’s a nice and convenient watch.”

Withings top-end smartwatch, the Activite, currently retails at £320. That falls well short of the £8,000 Apple Watch Edition starting price.

However, it’s fair to say the Activite is far more attractive than many
of its smartwatch rivals, largely because it’ offers a classic
Swiss-made design.

withingsThe Withings Activite Pop and Withings Activite

“We really started making a nice watch and so, sapphire glass, no trade-offs on the materials, in the right price range that we have on this, really what you expect if you want to buy a watch,” says the Withings co-founder. “So again, it’s not about wrapping a piece of technology with highly desirable and super expensive goldy stuff.”

He adds: “It’s about making an honest and genuine watch that integrates these benefits and features.”

Related: Apple Watch 2 release date

Withings currently peddles two smartwatches – the Activite (£320), and the cheaper Activite Pop (£120). Apple’s base offering, meanwhile, is slightly more expensive: the Apple Watch starts at £479, while the Apple Watch Sport is cheaper at £299.

If Withings offered a high-end smartwatch, it would give the company an opportunity to draw well-heeled customers away from the Apple Watch Edition.

Several manufacturers have already dabbled in producing more ‘premium’ smartwatches including LG with the LG Watch Urbane and Samsung with the Gear S2 Classic. However, neither of these really step on the toes of Apple’s exceptionally expensive Watch Edition.

Do you think more smartwatch manufacturers should cater for oligarchs, oil barons, and lotto winners? Let us know in the comments.

Check out our Withings Activite video review below:

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