It has been assumed for some time that Apple is working on an iOS-loaded smart wristwatch, commonly dubbed the iWatch. The company has even set its lawyers to register the brand name as a trademark in multiple countries around the world - with moderate success.

But British newspaper The Financial Times today reports that the Cupertino consumer electronics giant has recently embarked on a hiring spree to add outside experts to the project, provoking thoughts that it may not be as close to announcing the watch as some might have previously thought.

The FT says that people familiar with Apple's plans for the wearable device have told it that Apple has begun to hire "aggressively" for the project in recent weeks. This doesn't sound that great for the firm, considering other sources told Reuters in February that a team of 100 had already been assigned to the project.

One of FT's sources is quoted to as saying that the new employment drive is because existing Apple engineers have encountered "hard engineering problems that they've not been able to solve".

If true - and considering Apple's rarely altered stance on realising products only when it is totally happy with them - it is unlikely that we'll see the iWatch until 2014 at least.