Tick-tech – time for new Swiss watch?

(EVO) – Few places can claim to have as much time as Basel.

But then the Swiss city is hosting the world’s most important watch show, kicking off this year not with a bang, but with a beep.

“Smart” is the key word here.

Talk not of time, but of tech, and the fight for the wearable technology market.

Tag Heuer announced it will launch a smartwatch later this year.

Owner LVMH working with Intel and Google’s Android software to compete with tech giant Apple.

The Apple Watch goes on sale next month.

If iPod, iPad and iPhone sales are anything to go by – watch makers will have stiff competition.

And it’s not just Tag fighting for a share of this new market.

Bulgari’s trying to muscle in too – using the show to launch their E-Magnesium watch, which can store personal security data.

Jean Christophe Babin is its CEO.

SOUNDBITE: Bulgari CEO, Jean Christophe Babin, saying (English):

“Not only does it provide you with the ultimate Swiss precision but at the same time it protects all your personal data, which can be banking data, which can be traveling data, which can be ID, which today are more and more vulnerable that all people really want to protect.”

Watchmaking is a key industry for Switzerland.

And the new tech challenges come as the country confronts a tougher economic climate

The revaluation of the Swiss franc two months ago has hit hard – the latest growth figures for this year halved to just one percent.

If watchmakers here can make tech work for them, the revolution in wearables could come just in time.