“What does Switzerland’s fabled watch industry make of the Apple Watch?” John Revill reports for The Wall Street Journal. “‘It looks a little cold, and lacks, for my taste, a bit of personality,’ said Jean-Claude Biver, a legendary figure among Swiss watchmakers who led the revival of Switzerland’s Blancpain brand in the 1980s before stints at Omega and Hublot. ‘It looks perfect, but perfection sometimes has a lack of sexiness.'”
“Mr. Biver, who now serves as president of French luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s watch business, delivered a succinct verdict on Apple’s entrant: ‘This won’t create another crisis for the Swiss watch industry,'” Revill reports. “Still, the Apple Watch, which has been forecast to sell up to 30 million units in its first year of availability, has promised the biggest upheaval the Swiss industry has faced since competition from cheaper Japanese quartz watches brought it to its knees in the 1970s… Apple’s powerful brand, tech know-how and size make it a formidable competitor, and the company is attempting to appeal to customers’ sense of style with an array of colors and materials including 18-karat gold. The device has spawned a great deal of online fawning.”
“‘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, referring to Apple’s popular mobile phone. ‘People may travel with it, but it won’t replace the watch you wear to a party,'” Revill reports. “Nick Hayek, chief executive of Biel-based Swatch Group, the world’s biggest watchmaker by revenue, said smartwatches like Apple’s are an opportunity. ‘Everything that makes millions of people more open to putting something on their wrist will boost the opportunities to sell more watches,’ said Mr. Hayek.”
MacDailyNews Take: Just like Palm, Motorola, Nokia, and BlackBerry sales went through the roof with the debut of iPhone.
Revill reports, “‘People want special workmanship, lovely dials, all handcrafted, they want something that is unique to them,’ said Paul Herzog, who manages the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique on Zurich’s exclusive Bahnhofstrasse, which sells watches that cost between 6,000 and 250,000 Swiss francs. Apple’s new entrant, therefore, won’t bring any big change to one of Switzerland’s mainstay industries, said Mr. Herzog.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Just getting these guys on record. And now for some quotes, new and old:
• “When you actually do the calculations, it’s millions and millions,” – Jony Ive, discussing Apple Watch’s unique design possibilities, September 9, 2014
• “There are different materials for the actual case, there’s two different sizes, you can choose one of six different straps or bands,” – Jony Ive, noting the myriad watch faces that can be chosen within Apple’s all-new, Digital Crown-controlled user interface, September 9, 2014
• “The iPhone’s willful disregard of the global handset market will come back to haunt Apple.” – Tero Kuittinen, RealMoney.com, January 18, 2007
• “The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple is unlikely to make much of an impact on this market… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.” – Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, January 15, 2007
• “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” – Ed Colligan, Palm CEO, November 16, 2006
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