• Swatch

Swatch (Photo : Reuters)

Switzerland's Swatch SA, makers of the trendy plastic watches that helped save the country's watch industry from cheaper Japanese quartz watches, has emerged as the most serious challenger to the Apple Watch.

Swatch enters the battle against Apple armed with a plethora of patents and advanced technology, including the thinnest watch battery made.

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It plans to launch a smartwatch in the next three months, or a month after the Apple Watch debuts in April. No name for the Swatch smartwatch has been announced, however.

Swatch's Internet-connected timepiece will run Android and Windows software. And it will allow users to make mobile payments like Apple Watch, noted Bloomberg. Migros and Coop Cooperative, Switzerland's two largest retailers, will permit customers to make payments with Swatch's smartwatch. More retailers will be added. 

CEO Nick Hayek said some of the Swatch timepieces to be launched this year will have technology derived from the record number of patent applications Swatch filed in 2014.

Among this is a powerful battery made of performance boosting materials. The battery will be so thin it can actually be bent but not break. Better yet, the battery won't need recharging, ever, Mashable reported.

Hayek said one advantage of the Swatch smartwatch is its ability to connect to the Internet without having to be charged. 

The Swiss smartwatch invasion doesn't end with Swatch, however. TAG Heuer intends to market a smartwatch this year with GPS and health monitoring capabilities, according to Digital Trends. There will also be a selection of unique apps specifically related to TAG Heuer's brand.

The name "Swatch" is a contraction of "Second Watch."