How will Google steer itself in a post-Nexus era? Where it could call its phones its own (despite us knowing the original device manufacturer)?

Well, the answer is to make a couple of smartwatches and do business like it has done with the Nexus brand.

Product manager of Android Wear Jeff Chang spoke to The Verge about Google’s first two Android Wear flagship watches that will be made and solely branded by a manufacturing partner familiar to the platform — no “Google” or “Pixel” here.

In fact, he alluded to the Nexus smartphone program when talking about Google’s plot for smartwatches and argued against working with more partners for more wearables.

“We’ve enabled a lot of diversity with our hardware partners to target different types of consumers and preferences,” Chang said.

To that point, Google recently picked up staff from one of its newfound competitors, Cronologics.

That said, there’s definitely more to come from these partners in 2017. The “first-party” watches which will launch with an updated Android Wear operating system have a target launch time within the first quarter. Other OEMs will make announcements at CES in Las Vegas and at the jewelry-focused Baselworld in Switzerland late in March. We suspect that there will be a split between announcements from our “meat and potatoes” manufacturers and the more traditional and luxury watch brands. Google will back these releases as best it can.

For the rest of us waiting for Android Wear 2.0 on our current smartwatches, you can expect an update for the following products right after Google’s flagship announcement:

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The update will also follow a fifth Developer Preview for the platform coming in January — a package that will feature Google Assistant and Android Pay on select NFC-enabled devices (take the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE). Android Wear 2.0 feature compatibility will be different between Android and iOS, but Android Pay will work universally.

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