Samsung to fight Apple Watch Edition with luxury Gear S3

Samsung is teaming up with de Grisogono again. Photo: Samsung

Samsung is teaming up with de Grisogono again. Photo: Samsung

Samsung will launch its next-generation Gear S3 smartwatch later this year, according to a new report, and the company has teamed up with a Swiss jeweler to create a luxury version that could take the fight to the all-gold Apple Watch Edition.

Samsung was one of the first consumer tech giants to embrace smartwatches when it launched the original Galaxy Gear in 2013, and although many considered its early offerings to be fairly laughable, they’ve gotten better and better with each generation.

The Gear S2, the South Korean company’s latest device, is one of a the few smartwatches with a round display. It also boasts a unique rotating bezel for navigation, and it’s the first Samsung watch to support third-party Android devices, with iPhone support coming soon.

Fans and critics still bemoan the lack of apps, thanks mostly to Samsung’s decision to use a custom Tizen OS rather than Android Wear, but on the whole, the Gear S2 has been well-received. So it’s no surprise Samsung is planning a successor.

The Korea Herald reports that the Gear S3 will be unveiled at IFA 2016 in Berlin this September. That’s no surprise given the Gear S2 will be a year old then, but that’s not the most exciting but. Samsung is also said to be planning a luxury model for March 2017.

What’s more, an official with Swiss jeweller de Grisogono has confirmed it is “currently collaborating with Samsung to develop its next-generation smartwatch.” The two have already produced a limited-edition Gear S2 covered in diamonds, which sells for $15,000.

There’s no word on what the Gear S3 will bring, but we will almost certainly find out more as IFA draws closer. We can also be fairly certain that the luxury model will be the same device internally, but with a lot more diamonds and precious metals.