Swiss Watch Makers: Apple Watch Not Seen as Competition for Us

The Apple Watch is official as of yesterday, but it has been making waves since the first rumours of such a device surfaced. Now that it’s here and we’ve seen its design, as well as some of its features, analysts are predicting its effect on the watch industry, and all eyes are on Swiss watchmakers (via Reuters).

Apple watch

A Swiss watch industry expert dismissed speculation of Apple luring away customers. In fact, he says the Apple Watch is not competition for the classic Swiss watch industry.

Franz Tuerler, owner of a luxury watch store on Zurich’s main shopping boulevard, Bahnhofstrasse, said the appeal of Apple watches would be to a different class of customer who prizes technology over prestige and emotional attachment.

“I think the Apple Watch will be successful. But it’s not competition for the classic Swiss watch industry,” Tuerler said.

Apple says the Watch’s retail price starts at $349. However, this compares to watches priced between $646 and $1,900. Such devices could feel the Apple pinch, but industry sources point to the low- and mid-end level watches and their manufacturers. These players will likely feel the impact next year.

Investors have singled out Swatch Group, which makes a fifth of its sales in the low and mid price ranges.

You may recall that Swiss manufacturers have shown no interest in partnering up with technology companies to launch a smartwatch. Swatch was the only one to say that it had the know-how to make a smartwatch on its own, and it doesn’t want to partner up with anybody.

Now, it still remains to be seen whether Apple will, in fact, succeed in redefining what people expect from a wristwatch.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • BrodieTheDog

    I don’t see apple being much of a threat to more than the lower end Swiss watchmakers. I’ll take a nice self winding Swiss watch that I never have to charge an day over an apple watch. The apple watch is really nothing more than cool gadget.

  • dudemaster

    I’m sticking to my Tag Heuer Carrera 17, thank you. This Apple Watch is NOT competition for quality Swiss watches. I do not know what Apple has been smoking to make such a silly claim!

    It MAY be competition for Pebble – but I suspect not with a battery life of 24 hours. I have a Pebble and charging it is annoying – & it’s battery lasts a week….

  • Didn’t Nokia and Blackberry say something similar when Apple entered their space with the iPhone?

    Short term, it’s a cool gadget now, and some people will buy it to have something cool and novel to try out. On mass, people will have to get used to the idea of charging their watch.

    Long term. I think people will get used to charging a watch, if there are enough benefits to their life to have one. When that happens, this will have a huge impact on the watch industry. It won’t be just a gadget anymore, it will be the watch people will want to buy over the other watches in the $200-$600 range (the majority of watches). Maybe Tag, Rolex and others in the $5000 space will still keep their wealthy clients, but I’m sure some of those clients will also buy an Apple Watch since $350 is a drop in the bucket for them.

    Are the benefits there yet? We’ll have to see when people actually get their hands on them. Until then, it’s all speculation.

    Bottom line, it’s going to be a hit eventually.

  • WatDah

    Apple never made such a claim. Silly reporters are compairing the 2 on their own.

  • FragilityG4

    This watch may not compete with Swiss watch companies, yes. But what it will do is grab market share from people, a lot of people, who would otherwise not buy a Swiss watch.

  • slicecom

    Sounds exactly like what RIM said when iPhone first came out.

  • Lee
  • WatDah

    So did you hear or is it a quote directly from Ive? It’s someone else saying that someone in Apple claims Ive said it. Even so, that’s Ive’s personal opinion regarding his design, not Apple’s.

  • Jordan

    “$500, fully subsidized, with a plan! That is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers, because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine.”

    “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item.”- Steve Ballmer 2007

  • Still hilarious!