Swatch has announced that it will be bringing its Bellamy mobile payment watch to other markets in 2016.
The Swiss watchmaker announced the Swatch Bellamy back in October. This colourful, typically affordable watch had the added benefit of NFC technology for mobile payment purposes.
The Swatch Bellamy initially launched in China thanks to the country’s enthusiastic adoption of mobile banking, but the company has now revealed its plans for a wider rollout in the New Year.
Thanks to a new deal with Visa, the Swatch Bellamy will be coming to the US, Brazil, and Switzerland in early 2016. Despite this limited rollout, the Bellamny can be used to make mobile payments globally – anywhere there’s a contactless NFC-based payment system installed, in fact.
Exact pricing for this second phase is unknown at present, but the Swatch Bellamy will cost 580 yuan in China, which works out to around £59. Quite a bit less than an Apple Watch, then.
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Of course, despite these mobile payment capabilities, the Swatch Bellamy is far from being a smartwatch. It’s otherwise a pretty typical mechanical timepiece.
The Bellamy is named after 19th century American writer Edward Bellamy, who foresaw the arrival of credit cards way back in 1888. Swatch also points out that ‘bel ami’ means ‘good friend’ in French. So there’s that.
Check out our first experience with Apple Pay in the UK: