Swiss watch exports hit worst slump in five years as Apple Watch debuts

“Swiss timepiece exports had their biggest monthly drop in more than five years as the strong franc and the introduction of the Apple Watch weighed on deliveries,” Corinne Gretler reports for Bloomberg.

“Shipments slid 8.9 percent to 1.71 billion francs ($1.9 billion) in May, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said on its website Thursday,” Gretler reports. “That’s the steepest percentage decline since November 2009 and means exports in the first five months of the year fell 0.3 percent.”

“The advent of Apple Inc.’s wrist gadget is compounding the industry’s difficulties, and the device is due to arrive in store shelves in more countries, including Switzerland, next week,” Gretler reports. “That may lead retailers to reduce orders of Swiss watches on concern of rising competition.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

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. $1.9B in one month? Apple beats the entire Swiss watch industry by selling 3 million Apple Watches (using a conservative ASP of $700). Apple can easily sell 3 million Apple Watches in a month, once WatchOS 2 is released and Apple REALLY ramps up production for the holiday season.

  2. I don’t know what the effect of Apple Watch will be on Rolex, Cartier, or insert-Swiss-luxury-watch-brand-only-rich-people-have-heard-of, but it’s going to absolutely murder Casio, Timex and Swatch. I was walking past the watch display at Walmart the other day and it struck me that those digital watches are exactly the same as the digital watches I was wearing in high school in the ’90s. Same industrial design, same interfaces, same capabilities. They haven’t innovated in 20 years. Future Apple Watch roadkill.

  3. Dubious! People wear expensive Swiss watches to show off. Watches give egomaniacs their identity. “My watch is more expensive than your watch. That’s why I’m so cool!” Half the ads in New Yorker and New York Times are for expensive Swiss watches. Nobody cares about checking their blood pressure on their watch.

    1. It may be true they these people want to show off their beautiful and expensive watches. But how cool are they going to look wearing two watches – an Apple watch and a Swiss made one? It would be too obvious that they’re just posers. And that’s not cool!

      MDN is dead right on this one. Swiss watch makers are in big trouble unless they can make wearing two watched cool. And that’s going to be a hard sell.

  4. A high end mechanical watch will always be a engineering marvel and thing of beauty. I don’t see the Apple Watch replacing that- but we will probably see more smart bands being sold with mechanical watches, or hybrid mechanical/OLED watches. Who knows- maybe we will wear one on each wrist like MDN said…

      1. The purpose of a Rolex was never to tell the time. Nobody’s paying $20,000 to watch the hands spin around the clock face. The primary and only function of a Rolex has always been to tell other people that the wearer is wealthy.

        1. Partly right, but there is much more to a high end mechanical watch than that. To those who care, there is the beauty of all those mechanical bits, whirring to a precise rhythm on one’s wrist. There is the beauty of the design and precise build and craftsmanship. There is allegiance to one’s favorite brand and there is no battery to replace or recharge – ever! Apple Watch looks to me like one of those dumb, black faces that appeared at the dawn of the digital watch in the mid 70’s. They needed a button press to light up the face in fierce red for a few moments to tell the time. Until Apple can have the time up on the face 24/7 it’s a no goer for me.

  5. My wife bought me a really expensive Tag some years ago. While I am intrigued by the apple watch i am reluctant to take her truly gift of love off my wrist.

  6. I think you’re missing the point. Apple are making a new device for the wrist. The question the Swiss have to ask is whether they can encourage people to wear a device or watch on both wrists – or whether people will junk the wrist watch in favour of the communicator.

    Many junked the watch when they started carrying a phone – because it could give them the time as well.

    The Apple watch is the next logical step in the evolution of carrying a personal communicator. Wearing a mechanical watch on the wrist may be reduced to the popularity of those who chose to wear a fob watch with a Dinner Jacket.

  7. Come on folks! This has not a lot to do with Watch in facts.
    Problem is the change rate of swissfranc, worldwide crisis and other economics and poloitics. The smartwatch sales are not yet that strong to influence the 20000$ watch industry anyway.

    1. Not also to mention, people are not wearing watches like they use to being everyone has a phone on the at all times. Ain’t nothing to do with the apple watch. Awfully dumb of yourselves to think so. I’ll take my tag any-day over the the apple watch.

  8. Only one sighting of an Apple Watch in the wild so far. White band and dumb black face on some Chinese chick’s wrist. It just looked kinda sad. She played endlessly with her iPhone for the 20 minutes I observed, but never once looked at the watch. Occasionally the watch face burst into life as she moved her hands, but otherwise it sat there with its black face looking like an ugly bauble on her wrist. Challenge to high-end mechanicals? Ha!

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