Tech Transformers

Swatch has made 20,000 smartwatches already

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Swiss watchmaker Swatch will launch its first smartwatch in the U.S., China and Switzerland this summer, its chief executive said Thursday -- and has already made 20,000.

The Internet-connected watch will enable people to pay for items by tapping their watch on a contactless reader, in a bid to challenge the likes of Apple and Samsung which already have similar products on the market.

"We will launch it in the U.S., China and Switzerland," CEO Nick Hayek told the Wall Street Journal, adding that the company will announce some "big" partners in the payment space.

"We have 20,000 already in stock and we are very optimistic about the watch," he added.

Earlier this year, Hayek confirmed it was working on a smartwatch to be launched in the summer. The chief executive has previous said, however, that the company is not looking to create a "mobile on the wrist," with extensive mobile functions like the Apple Watch for example.

Swatch produces high-end timepieces like Longines and Omega, but analyst warned that its lower-end Swatch range was most at risk of being cannibalized by the Apple Watch.

On Thursday, Swatch reported first-half net sales up 3.6 percent at constant exchange rates, but said net income had plunged 20 percent due to the "massively overvalued" Swiss franc and the negative exchange rates in Switzerland.