“The numbers are in and it’s not great news for the Swiss watch industry. The Q3 figures, published by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, reveal an 9.9% drop in watch exports for September, leading to an 8.5% slide for the quarter overall,” Hugh Langley writes for TechRadar. “It’s a big slide – the biggest quarterly drop since 2009 – so it’s understandable why flags are being raised. But what’s most interesting is that the original report suggests the Apple Watch ‘could finally be taking a bite out of the Swiss industry’s stake.'”

“According to the data, watches residing in the low to mid-segment, the domain where the Apple Watch Sport currently competes, were hit the hardest. It’s reasonable to speculate that smartwatches are eating into the cheaper end of the market,” Langley writes. “A September 2014 New York Times column claimed that Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive had said Switzerland was in trouble thanks to the Apple Watch – “though he chose a much bolder term for ‘trouble.'”

“‘Traditional watch makers are coming under pressure,’ Ben Woods, Chief of Research at CCS Insights, told us. ‘It would be naive to think the Apple Watch has not impacted the traditional market in some form. Watchmakers are reticent to acknowledge that’s happening because it’s not in their interest,'” Langley reports. “The reason the higher end of the market isn’t feeling the burn right now, claims Woods, is obsolescence. Where premium makers market their watchers as an heirloom to be passed down to the next generation, the technology inside the most expensive Apple Watch will probably be obsolete in a couple of years time. ‘Those high end companies can’t ignore smartwatches completely, but they are more likely to go down a path where we see intelligent bands,’ said Woods.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve suggested previously (see below), Swiss watch makers, especially high-end Swiss makers, need to make wearing “two watches” into vogue: The heirloom traditional watch armed (pun intended) with a smartwatch band. Your jewelry is displayed in it’s traditional spot and all of the real work is done by turning your palm up to see the “smartband.”

Apple would do well to produce an Apple Watch smartband (Apple Watch Band, available in a wide range of colors, styles, and materials) that can be affixed to traditional wristwatches. It’s basically an Apple Watch that sits in the inside of your wrist where the traditional buckle is now (ergonomically easier to use and atop better veins from which to gather biometric readings, by the way) while allowing for your traditional watch to sit where it’s always been.

Apple Watch Band. Shots of California and Apple Watch uses interspersed with images of Switzerland and a traditional watch being glanced at and slipping under a suit cuff. Tag: “The best of both worlds.”

The watches do not need to communicate; that’s not the point.

In fact, it’s already been done: Nico Gerard’s Pinnacle timepiece (US$9,300, Apple Watch included in purchase) includes a special attachment that allows users to affix an Apple Watch to its strap, creating a two-faced wearable. Obviously, Apple could offer Apple Watch Bands starting at much more affordable prices. Users add their own traditonal wristwatch.

 

Nico Gerard PINNACLE. This classic timepiece shows the world you have an affinity for discerning tastes, and provides you with the technology that respects you to the core of your being. The 41mm case exudes style personified. Inside the case lays the mechanical wonder of the NG2824A movement, certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, and is rated to 100-meter depths for pressure. The bracelet mechanics meld fine, Swiss-watchmaking traditions with the support of the 38mm Apple Watch.

Nico Gerard PINNACLE. This classic timepiece shows the world you have an affinity for discerning tastes, and provides you with the technology that respects you to the core of your being. The 41mm case exudes style personified. Inside the case lays the mechanical wonder of the NG2824A movement, certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, and is rated to 100-meter depths for pressure. The bracelet mechanics meld fine, Swiss-watchmaking traditions with the support of the 38mm Apple Watch.

 

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

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s Jony Ive: Switzerland is in deep shit – September 4, 2014
LVMH’s Jean-Claude Biver sees tougher 2016 for Swiss watch industry – September 29, 2015
Swiss watch exports decline most since 2009 – August 20, 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

Swiss watch exports post biggest quarterly export drop since 2009 – October 20, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]