Apple Watch is making the luxury watchmakers uncomfortable

Our products should have very long life cycles. In modern technologies the life cycle is exactly the opposite. It may be the hottest thing today, and in one year it’s already outdated, and in two years you’re made fun of for still using it. — Alexander Schmiedt, managing director for watches at Montblanc

I don’t think that customers are going to be ecstatic to throw away watches in one to two years when the technology is obsolete. — Johann Rupert, owner of Montblanc

“I thought those two quotes summed up the luxury watch industry’s reaction to Apple Watch pretty well. Jean-Claude Biver of TAG Heuer has said something similar, unsure how to compete with something that isn’t timeless,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “Such uneasiness towards Apple Watch originates from the changing value proposition found in the luxury watch industry. With Apple Watch, consumers can begin valuing utility on the wrist. A luxury watch’s timelessness was something that you were required to value if you wanted high-end jewelry for the wrist.”

“I suspect we are entering an era where people are still going to want the jewelry aspect found in their old watch, including the craftsmanship, but no longer place the same kind of value on a device’s timelessness,” Cybart writes. “For an industry built on timelessness, you can start to see how the Apple Watch spells trouble.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, we imagine being stuck between a rock and a hard place is rather uncomfortable.

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


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


      1. My apple watch is supposed to arrive today. I guarantee I’ll never wear it at same time with my Omega Seamaster. Just like I don’t wear my Timex Ironman and Omega at the same time. Different watches for different occasions and purposes.

    1. Trust me, they have ZERO to worry about, as the Apple Watch sucks big time!

      Here’s a device that should be controlled by voice, but for the most part it’s not. SIRI only works with specific apps. Most apps you have to control by touch, button, or wheel, with either one or two hands, using microscopic menu controls that can be several layers deep; also keep in mind there is no standard and each app has it’s own unique/confusing layout and they are frustratingly slow… and this is more convenient than just pulling out your phone?

      You’ll pull out your hair first! The Apple Watch has only a few serious markets: idiots, douchebags, and of course the requisite, delusional, and most likely gay Apple Fanbois.

  1. Many or most of the luxury watch makers are European, and I therefore eagerly anticipate the death of their businesses. You can’t badmouth America and Americans ad nauseam and expect for there not to be ramifications.

  2. Being retired and not tied to a schedule, I wasn’t wearing my faithful Rolex all that much lately anyway, but now that I’m LOVING all the cool features of Apple Watch, I find myself earnestly wondering when I might want/prefer to wear my Rolex again? Truthfully, I’d rather someone “accidentally notice” my Apple Watch and ask me about that these days (wink wink).

    Apple Watch is going to be a smash hit once couples and teens discover TAPTICS method of more-intimate messaging! Watch will take off as something very cool and convenient (and not radically expensive for what you get.) Watch it become a big gift item for Holiday, 2015. After all, what else could really compete except perhaps GoPro camera?

  3. Apple will take well over half, if not two thirds, of the total worldwide revenue for watches in the $200-600 range in 2016. If you are in that space, be very worried. The only thing that will save you is if Apple grows that space enough so you can survive. It isn’t looking good for you.

  4. The first time I saw an Apple watch in the wild other than my own the guy had the Apple Watch on one arm and a Rolex on the other. I must have laughed for 5 minutes

    1. One must wonder what the purpose of the Rolex was. If it was just to let everyone know he could afford a Rolex, he probably knew in his heart that he couldn’t really afford it. That is kind of a sad image.

  5. Many people admire and want old cars and say that “they just don’t make them that way any more.” The reality is that these cars were once wonderful and will be handed down to our children but we see that most of us drive the new cars with better technology. Watches are in the same space today; relics to be admired.

  6. I think Apple will put a camera into the watch once the technology enables it. I expect we will be able to swap out the original interior and install the new system. Buying a beautiful and expensive case will then make sense.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.