Apple’s iWatch could take out Swatch, others, even luxury watch makers

“Despite the consumer shift away from cheap watches, the luxury watch market is still quite successful,” Louis Bedigian writes for Benzinga. “In fact, Alexander Zacke gave up his lucrative career as an eBay PowerSeller to start his own real-time auction website, Auctionata — which just happens to have a new section dedicated to luxury watches.”

“But while the art that Auctionata sells will never go out of style, one has to wonder if it is only a matter of time before Apple — which is rumored to be making a revolutionary smartwatch — will take over the traditional and luxury watch markets,” Bedigian writes. “Dr. Oliver Hoffmann, Chairman of the Wristwatch Section at the German Society for Chronometry (DGC) and the Director of the Watch Department at Auctionata, told Benzinga that Apple is most likely to hurt mainstream watch makers like Swatch.”

Bedigian writes, “If there is any problem that luxury watch makers could face, it’s the fact that consumers may not have any desire to go back to a traditional watch after wearing a smartwatch. ‘That’s a bit tricky,’ said Hoffmann. ‘If you think about wearing a luxury watch, you probably would wear it to some events. If you’re used to a digital intelligent watch, you probably wouldn’t like to miss it. It’s like an iPhone — people that have it never want to put it away. They feel naked without the iPhone. I could imagine it would be the same [for an] intelligent watch.’ In that event, the luxury watch market could be in trouble.”

Read more in the full article here.

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

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      1. Emerald Chronometer is an iPhone application that models high-end mechanical watches.

        These models contain many of the most complex “complications” found in real watches, plus refinements found nowhere else.

        All displays maintain the look and feel of real mechanical objects, but with the time and location accuracy of the iPhone.

  1. People will keep buying luxury watches because those are basically jewelry, especially for men. It’s not something you usually wear every day.

    A smartwatch, however, would be something that would replace a Swatch, Timex, etc. as your everyday watch. The real key with any smartwatch is going to be battery life. If you have to charge it nightly, it will lose its appeal very quickly.

  2. Young people have ready freed up their wrists. For many of them it will only take a few compelling functions for an” iWatch” to grab that real estate.

    For those of us with an automatic watch fetish, it will be harder. Won’t happen overnight. But I think it will happen. Eventually we’ll all wonder why we’re missing out on some really useful feature(s).

    There will be a few holdouts, but there always are. (They’ll be the ones with a tacky yellow gold & stainless Datejust who have to pull their iPhones out of their fanny packs during meetings to check their messages.)

    1. They’ve freed up their wrists because they carry a phone which also tells the time. I don’t think it was a deliberate decision to stop wearing anything on their wrist, it was simply abandoning something that is redundant. I always used to carry a pocket diary, but no longer do so as my phone does that job better.

      So long as a smart watch does something that it perceived to be very useful, then it will find favour. As a discreet accessory to a phone, it could be a winner. It all depends on exactly what extra functionality is added by a smart watch and how elegantly it’s executed.

  3. Vacuous Speculation:
    one has to wonder if it is only a matter of time before Apple — which is rumored to be making a revolutionary smartwatch — will take over the traditional and luxury watch markets

    Fastasy as technology journalism.

  4. I don’t think so. Above $500, the person is not wearing it to tell time. A $5 quartz watch will keep more accurate time. A quality mechanical watch is both an investment and a conspicuous consumption status symbol.

  5. I really don’t see these wristwatches taking off. Much too feminine and the pocket watch is a REAL status symbol that has been around since the 16th century and has stood the test of time (pun intended of course). NOTHING will unseat the watch fob. Why else would every gentleman wear a vest but if not to carry his pocket watch? Furthermore, it’s… Uh… Oh.. Sorry, I thought this was 1913, not 2013.

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