LVMH’s Jean-Claude Biver sees tougher 2016 for Swiss watch industry

“LVMH watch chief Jean-Claude Biver said 2016 is set to be a tougher year for the Swiss watch industry,” Andrew Roberts reports for Bloomberg. “The introduction of Apple Inc.’s smartwatch, combined with a surge in the Swiss franc and China’s slowing economy, have clouded the outlook for Swiss timepieces.”

“Exports fell in August, heading for the first annual decline in six years, and Swiss watchmaker executives are the most pessimistic in four years, according to a study published this month by Deloitte LLP,” Roberts reports. “Swiss watchmakers have struggled with a shrinking Chinese market since the country’s government started discouraging exuberant spending among officials in late 2012.”

“According to Biver though, the Chinese are still spending. ‘We see the consumer from China is traveling all over the world, in every country,’ he said, citing demand in places as far flung as Finland. ‘They’re buying outside China,'” Roberts reports. “Biver also said LVMH’s answer to the Apple Watch — the TAG Heuer smartwatch — will go on sale at 11 a.m. in New York on Nov. 9 and will look like a regular watch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Calling something a “smartwatch” does not make it smart.

Jean-Claude Biver
Jean-Claude Biver
The TAG Heuer stupidwatch is DOA.

This watch has no sex appeal. It’s too feminine and looks too much like the smartwatches already on the market… To be totally honest, it looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester. — LVMH watch chief Jean-Claude Biver, commenting on Apple Watch in September 2014

We do not foresee anyone wanting to take off their Apple Watch in order to wear a “jewelry watch.” Apple Watch is not just a watch to be replaced with another regular watch. Maybe wearing two watches in come into vogue for special occasions?MacDailyNews Take, April 16, 2015

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

Swiss watch exports decline most since 2009 – August 20, 2015
I own two $6,000 Swiss watches, but I wear my Apple Watch most of the time – August 14, 2015
Swiss watch exports hit worst slump in five years as Apple Watch debuts – June 19, 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 colleague used to wear TAG. He is now wearing Apple Watch all the time. At one special occasion he wore both watches in a same time, one on each hand. The funny thing is I actually predicted it as I read MDN and told him this will happen, He laughed back then. Now its a fact.

  2. This is a great example of an Apple product impact that MDN nailed from the pre-release briefing. All we have to do is sit back and watch MDN’s predictions unfold month by month…

    Disruption…it’s what’s for dinner, stupid watch makers.

  3. I agree that the Apple watch is feminie looking. If you wear a Rolex Submariner for example……seeing an Apple watch on your wrist is kind of an aesthetic let-down. But wearing the Apple watch you get accustomed to the feedback and info you learn to gather from it.

    It’s just washed out and ugly for a man’s watch.

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