Apple’s iWatch could clock Swiss watchmaker Swatch

“Apple’s heavily heralded iWatch, tipped to launch in the autumn this year, could dent the profits of the Swiss company behind the popular Swatch brand, according to analysts,” Jenny Cosgrave reports for CNBC.

“The Swiss watch market is dominated by two brands: Richemont — home to luxury brands such as Piaget, Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc and Jaeger-LeCoultre — and Swatch — which also makes timepieces under the Breuget, Tissott and Rado labels,” Cosgrave reports. “Managing director at consumer consulting firm Neev Capital, Rahul Sharma agreed that Swatch is the most vulnerable brand, because it uses ‘pretty much no technology… It (a regular watch) is the kind of thing that people have already started to forgo. It is now much more a fashion item and has been in decline for a while. Something like an iWatch is kind of the final blow, but also in some ways the iWatch is creating its own market,’ said Sharma.”

Cosgrave reports, “The Apple iWatch is rumoured to have a September/October release date, with analysts estimating Apple could sell 50 million or more such devices in its first year, according to Bernstein Research.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple hires TAG Heuer sales director – July 6, 2014
Don’t tell Apple’s iWatch what it can’t do – June 30, 2014
Swatch CEO: ‘We’re going to wait’ on smartwatches – June 17, 2014
Swatch objects to authorities over Apple’s filing for ‘iWatch’ trademarks – May 4, 2014
Apple’s iWatch could take out Swatch, others, even luxury watch makers – May 29, 2013
Swatch CEO on Apple iWatch potential: ‘Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution’ – March 6, 2013

22 Comments

    1. Call me an imbecile, but I expect I watches to come in as many as six configurations, with two (men’s and women’s) being $1000+ full on gorgeous watches made to compete with the highest end traditionals. The champaign color of the 5s is clearly the result of testing inside Apple for a pleasing alternative to gold. These high end watches will look like fashion pieces, but have the hidden sensors that will track their biometrics. After all, Apple won’t expect them to strap a plastic fitness band on their wrist next to a $20,000 Rolex to go to the symphony.

      The middle tier will be men’s and women’s at about $499. The lowest tier will be around $199/$249.

      Expect upgraded-champaign-metal, space-gray-metal, a metal-plastic hybrid, and both black and white rubber.

      1. Nope. You don’t sell a product on the scale of Apple with that type of “tiered” differentiation. Apple is NOT entering the traditional watch market. Apple is creating a NEW market by re-defining the watch. It may be called “iWatch,” but the only things it will have in common with a traditional watch are that it goes on the wrist and it can tell you the time.

    2. I think the point is that Swatch is a heavily ‘style’ orientated brand even if the style isn’t to my liking. The iWatch is clearly going to have a big influence in that market and overlap as no one is likely to wear it and another ‘watch’. So seems a valid point to me.

  1. Tumbleweed tumbling across the scene into the wilderness as a result of MDN bloggers stunned into utter disbelief at the constant mindless drivel vis a vis iWatch.
    Only Apple inc. knows what Apple inc. knows!

  2. How in hell can anyone estimate how many iWatches will sell when no one even knows if there is one in existence . Talk about angels dancing on a pin. My own estimate is that even Apple has no good number, if of course there is a watch.

  3. I have two iPhones, and an iPad, and I see no conceivable reason why I should swap either my analogue automatic Seiko SPORK, or my daily wear, 40 year-old Yema Rallygraf chrono for an iWatch, or any other similar device.
    I wear a watch for one purpose only: to tell me the time.
    For anything else, I can use my phone.
    I’m not a slave to emails or social media, and I really don’t care about any other functions this thing might possibly have.

    1. I have two iPods, and a cell phone, and I see no conceivable reason why I should swap either my Motorola Razr, or my daily wear, iPod for an iPhone, or any other similar device.
      I wear a phone for one purpose only: to make calls.
      For anything else, I can use my iPod.
      I’m not a slave to emails or social media, and I really don’t care about any other functions this thing might possibly have.

      1. I have an iPhone, a MacBook Air and an iPad.
        I’m not a slave to emails or social media, but I see every reason why I’d want something on my wrist providing key information and functions, to be used when driving, cycling, skiing.

  4. the team being put together for apple wearables is astounding.

    If apple gains just the market of those of us who have not worn a timepiece for years, that would not be huge market disruption, but that is not how disruption shook out in the cellphone industry. What me worry?

  5. Well, I agree that the big luxury-only companies like Richemont, Rolex and LVMH are not particularly vulnerable to an iWatch. They make mostly mechanical watches that cost several thousand dollars at the very least. Mechanical watches are anachronisms and people who buy these are not going to buy an electronic gadget instead. Swatch is a lot more vulnerable – since they make a lot of high-tech quartz watches. However, I disagree that Swatch is the most vulnerable brand – I’d say that mid-priced brands like Tissot and Hamilton are going to be affected the most.. Something like the T-Touch is squarely in the sights of the iWatch.

    That being said, the Swatch group is relatively safe because the majority of their income is from high-end mechanical watch brands like Longines, Omega, Breguet etc. The companies that are in danger are the big Japanese watchmakers like Seiko, Citizen and Casio. These guys get most of their money from mid-priced quartz watches and a successful line of iWatches will hurt their bottom line quite a bit.

    – HCE

  6. True, the iWatch remains speculation and analysts often prattle about things with no basis in fact.

    Watch makers are worried. They see an increasing number of people who no longer wear a watch, because the time is available on their mobile phone. My iPhone not only tells time, but there are stop watch and alarm functions.

    I have a gold Rolex left to me by my father. I don’t wear it. It’s a beautiful object, but it’s so valuable that I would worry about its attractiveness to muggers. I’m not the fashion statement type.

    I’ve worn a succession of cheaper watches. The last one quit working a couple of months ago. My wrist is naked. Yes, I’ve usually got my iPhone in a pocket. Even so, if I need to check the time I look at that naked wrist. Habits die hard.

    My bet is that 2014 will indeed be the year of Apple’s iWatch. I would expect that device to do more for me than tell the time, as well as satisfy my habit of checking the time by looking at my wrist. I’ll probably be a customer, although I hope it doesn’t have the fashion statement/mugger magnet oomph of that gold Rolex.

  7. “Apple’s heavily heralded —–, tipped to launch in the autumn this year, could dent the profits of —–, according to analysts,”

    Wow! What brilliance! What insight! That’s never happened before. It’s so great that we have analysts.

  8. Everyone is losing sight of what distinguishes the yet to be known iWatch. It is a whole different beast than anything already of the market. It is an extension of your iPhone, helping it tap into your personal information in ways not yet available. It probably should not even called a watch.

    I have a Citizen eco-drive radio controlled watch for daily wear which I am not about to give up, unless of course the “iWatch” is a whole lot more than a watch.

    I have an 18KT solid gold Omega Constellation and a 9KT solid gold Zenith that keep remarkable time for mechanical watches, these I wear for special occasions.

    I do not have any plastic Swatch nor any plastic Casios, which would clearly be in danger if the :iWatch” is priced in their neighborhoods.

  9. As long as we are speculating here, I will add my two cents. The iWatch could certainly be worn as a fashion statement, but I think that it would be more popular with techies and health nuts for its biometric functionality. If Apple lets developers create apps for it, it could certainly attract a larger audience, like students, gamers, executives, etc.

    However, I think that there is a larger market here for health monitoring. Imagine that you are a health care provider, or you take care of elder parents, and could simply have them wear a watch all day. The accelerometer could detect a sudden fall, it might be possible for the watch to detect changes in blood pressure or blood sugars or other health related functions. It could report these changes to a central hub that would then be used as part of the patient support. Such a watch would allow the wearer to live at home and go about their regular activities while the watch collected data that would be analyzed on the next doctors visit. And yes, the watch could do other things like tell the time, remind the patient to take their meds, play a little music or call for help.

    Properly done, the iWatch could have many purposes and be attractive to many different people.

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