“Swiss watch exports slid the most in more than five years in July amid plunging shipments to Asia as Chinese tourists stayed away from Hong Kong and avoided South Korea following the outbreak of a deadly virus,” Corinne Gretler reports for Bloomberg. “The decline in watch shipments to South Korea came after the country faced an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which Weber said kept Chinese tourists away. The country said the virus was no longer a concern on July 28.”

“Exports fell 9.3 percent to 1.9 billion Swiss francs ($2 billion), the steepest monthly decline since November 2009, according to figures released Thursday by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry,” Gretler reports. “Swatch Group AG shares fell 0.4 percent to 380.70 francs at 12:38 p.m. in Zurich. Investors have increased bearish bets on the biggest maker of Swiss watches to a record, with short interest reaching 18 percent of shares outstanding, more than any other company in the Swiss Market Index… All price segments saw a decline in units and value, with watches costing 200 francs to 500 francs having the steepest drop of 15 percent.”

“The debut of the Apple Watch is an additional cause of worry for the Swiss watch industry, as it may lead retailers to reduce orders of timepieces on concern of rising competition,” Gretler reports. “Shoppers may also forgo a Swiss watch in favor of an Apple Watch as they are in similar price segments.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Blame it on the flu.

The Apple Watch flu.

Imagine the decimation if Apple actually had Apple Watches ready to sell when they launched back in April!

We do not foresee anyone wanting to take off their Apple Watch in order to wear a “jewelry watch.” Apple Watch is not just a watch to be replaced with another regular watch. Maybe wearing two watches in come into vogue for special occasions?MacDailyNews Take, April 16, 2015

Here’s what makers of Swiss or any other watches should do: Push the idea of wearing of two watches, one on each wrist or two on one wrist, into vogue. Because once people start using Apple Watch, they aren’t going to want to leave it at home. Ever. They won’t want to go to dinner parties without their Apple Watch. And that’s bad, bad news for watchmakers not named Apple. Watch and see.MacDailyNews Take, April 16, 2015

I own two $6,000 Swiss watches, but I wear my Apple Watch most of the time – August 14, 2015
Swiss watch exports hit worst slump in five years as Apple Watch debuts – June 19, 2015
As Swiss watchmakers dismiss Apple Watch, Swiss National Bank increases Apple holdings by 60% – May 10, 2015
Apple Watch Edition is poised to disrupt the classic Swiss watch – April 16, 2015
Jean-Claude Biver changes his tune, calls Apple Watch ‘a fantastic product, an incredible achievement’ – January 20, 2015
TAG Heuer plans smartwatch as honcho Jean-Claude Biver changes mind as Apple Watch looms – December 16, 2014
Apple Watch starts countdown on face off with Swiss industry – October 31, 2014
The fashion elite crowd around Apple Watch at Colette in Paris – September 30, 2014
Jean-Claude Biver: ‘The Apple Watch cannot compete at all with European watches’ – September 15, 2014
Jean-Claude Biver: Apple Watch ‘too feminine; looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester’ – September 16, 2014
Barclays: Apple Watch could crush companies like Fossil – September 16, 2014
Jean-Claude Biver: ‘The Apple Watch cannot compete at all with European watches’ – September 15, 2014
Old school watch makers don’t get Apple Watch – September 12, 2014
Apple Watch, the world’s first real smartwatch, will be a massive hit – September 9, 2014
Apple iWatch designer Jony Ive: Switzerland is in deep shit – September 4, 2014