Where Apple failed to convince the well-heeled to splash out on a four-figure smartwatch, Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has found success.

Tag chief executive Jean-Claude Biver has said the company sold almost three times as many of its £1,100 Connected watch as expected. The watch runs Google's Android Wear operating system and features several digital face designs which mimic the company's Carrera analogue watch range.

Having shifted a claimed 56,000 units in 14 months, far more than the 20,000 it expected to sell, Tag will launch a second-generation Connected in May. Biver says Tag plans to sell 150,000 smartwatches in 2017.

The numbers will make for interesting reading at Apple. While the company's new Watch Series 2 range starts at £269, a flagship ceramic model is priced at £1,299. Apple had previously attempted to sell real gold versions of the Watch, priced as high as £13,500, but this range has now been discontinued.

Unlikely to see much of a design change, the new Tag Connected will include a contactless payment feature (meaning an NFC chip will be installed), along with more accurate GPS, longer battery life (although two full days might still be a push), and a more powerful display.

During an interview with German publication Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Biver also said Tag will release a smaller version for women. With a 46mm screen diameter, the current Connected is a large watch, some 10% wider than most men's watches. There will also be new colours and materials, Biver said, expanding on the current three-watch lineup.

Biver explained how the smartwatch as a product category is "only at the beginning of its existence...we are certainly still in the Stone Age of this product". The CEO also explained how, once Tag can sell 100,000 smartwatches per year, the product will have a "comfortable" profit margin, similar to that of mechanical watches.