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The watch can connect to a smartphone or operate as an independent phone
The watch can connect to a smartphone or operate as an independent phone
 









Smartwatch available to Aussie jewellers

Jewellery retailers will be given the opportunity to sell smartwatches with the announcement that a local supplier has secured the distribution rights to one such device.

West End Collection (WEC) is the official supplier in Australia for the Burg smartwatch phone – a wristwatch developed by Dutchman Hermen van den Burg. What makes the Burg watch different from other smartwatches is that it can be paired to a wearer’s smartphone or operate as an independent phone (most smartwatches don’t act as stand-alone phones). 

While Australian consumers have had access to smartwatches such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony SmartWatch, they have not been readily available in jewellery stores. 

WEC managing director John Rose said the global demand for wearable technology was enormous and as such it was important for the supplier to be at the forefront of the smartwatch market. 

John Rose, managing director of West End Collection
John Rose, managing director of West End Collection
“The smartwatch is a new category that is being created and I think that in terms of the future, the smartwatch will be a very important part of the overall watch market,” Rose explained, adding, “It’s got the potential to be as important and game-changing to the watch market internationally as the quartz watch movement was when it was first introduced.” 

Rose met with a number of smartwatch manufacturers earlier this year in BaselWorld and said that Burg appeared to be the most experienced contender. 

“They’ve been producing smartwatches now for three years and their products were more commercial and realistically priced than any of the other competitors that I saw.” Models retail for between $149 and $269. 

As previously reported by Jeweller, the Burg smartwatch was officially launched at the Hong Kong Clock and Watch Fair in 2012 and was reportedly the first of its kind to enter the marketplace. Aside from having phone functionality, the smartwatch offers features including text messaging, camera, two-way communication, radio and Bluetooth. 

WEC intends to launch three different models, which are expected to be available at the beginning of December 2013, subject to production schedules. The supplier has secured its first retailer and while Rose was not at liberty to disclose the business name, he said it was a large national jewellery retail chain.  

WEC was founded in 2002 and supplies watch brands including Storm London, Disney, Daniel Wellington, Asics and Puma. The business, which recently relocated from Brisbane to Melbourne after securing a new backer, is planning for greater expansion.





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