The all-new Apple Watch has come out on top of the rest.
Even Swiss watches are being given a run for their money. The Apple Watch costs three times less than the Swatch Company’s Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch. That makes it a competitor despite the difference in prices.
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The Apple Watch can perform a large number of jobs from opening garage doors to making a payment for a purchase from a store. "From the design point of view you cannot say it's a watch—more an iPhone for the wrist," said Alain Spinedi, chief executive of privately owned Montres Louis Erard SA.
This of course throws the gauntlet to the Swiss watch companies in a direct and straightforward way. And it is the low-priced Swiss watch market that will bear the brunt of this burden first. Such brands as Swatch and especially Tissot will feel the pinch.
“There can be little doubt Apple will quickly sell millions of devices,” Geoff Blaber, a vice president of research for the Americas CCS Insight, said in a note. “In a stroke, Apple has become a leader in smartwatches and massively raised consumer awareness of the wearables segment.”
Apple is all set to sell this device in the millions of units next year. So it’s got it made. But what is to become of the rest of the market that is being badly affected by Apple’s popularity?
“Things aren’t going to look too rosy for smaller or more low-end watch brands,” said Ariel Adams, a watch blogger. “In the short term, all but the most solid watch brands are going to suffer and money is simply going to be funneled away from them in anticipation of the Apple Watch.”
What Apple Incorporated did to the smartphone industry, it is now doing to the timepiece market in the selfsame manner. All of Switzerland, which is famous for its expensive luxury watches, is in a tizzy.
The Apple Watch costs $349(£216). This is somewhat of a miracle and a golden opportunity for those looking for a bargain. The low-end market will be facing some tough times ahead.
"Everything that makes millions of people more open to putting something on their wrist will boost the opportunities to sell more watches," said Mr. Nick Hayek, chief executive of Biel-based Swatch Group AG.
The funds that usually went into the coffers of the Swiss companies will be whisked away from them by Apple thanks to its Watch. When the Japanese competition came from Quartz and Seiko way back in the 70s and 80s, the Swiss watch industry suffered huge losses.
Now it almost seems like as if history is repeating itself. And Tissot will get hit more than any other segment of the Swiss watch industry. “Tissot could be the one brand in the Swatch armory to be hit,” wrote John Guy, an analyst at Berenberg.
The scenario remains bleak for the Swiss economy while Apple is on cloud nine. Apple’s Watches will be selling like hotcakes and the Swiss Synchronicity Systems will be seeing a downfall of the sort that they have seldom seen before. Such is the irony of fate in an electronic and silicon-based world.
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