Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has announced it is to build an Android Wear-powered smartwatch.
The firm – which is part of the luxury goods-maker LVMH Group – is forming a partnership with Google and the chipmaker Intel to create the device.
Switzerland dominates the high-end watch sector. This marks the first of its companies to join Google’s wearable tech ecosystem.
One analyst linked the move to Apple’s entry into the market.
The announcement was made at the Baselworld trade show in Switzerland.
Jean-Claude Biver, president of LVMH’s watch division, told the BBC that it made sense to look beyond Switzerland’s borders once his firm had decided to enter the smartwatch market.
“There are two operating systems: one is Apple’s iOS, the other is Android Wear – who are we to invent another language at that level?” he said.
“It would be absurd, it would be arrogant to believe that we could develop our own [operating system]. It would be a catastrophe to believe such a stupid thing.
“There is no doubt that we could eventually go to Apple, but why should we do a partnership with Apple, who is producing watches? On the one side they would be partners, on the other a competitor.
“Google is not producing watches, so the relationship is perfect.”
About 720,000 watches powered by Android Wear were shipped in 2014, according to market research firm Canalys.
To date fitness tracking wristbands have outsold the smartwatch sector as a whole by a wide margin.
However, next month’s launch of the Apple Watch – backed by a big budget marketing campaign – is expected to raise interest in the sector.
Apple’s wearable is only compatible with its own handsets, and phones powered by the Android operating system are much more widespread.
“Tag Heuer’s decision to partner with technology companies to deliver a smartwatch will likely be the first of many similar deals. As the Baselworld event shows, the luxury goods space is big business.”
The Swiss firm has not revealed any images of what the device will look like yet.
But Mr Biver suggested it would stand out from other smartwatches.
“The whole look of the watch will be different,” he said.
“It will be a traditional look. It will not look like an Apple Watch. An Apple Watch looks like a miniaturised copy of its phone. Our watch will never look like a phone.