Thanks to Apple Watch, smartwatches are now more popular than Swiss watches

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in Q4 2015, compared with 7.9 million Swiss Watch shipments. It is the first time ever that smartwatches have outshipped Swiss watches on a global basis.

“We estimate global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in Q4 2015, rising a healthy 316 percent from 1.9 million in Q4 2014. Smartwatches are growing rapidly in North America, Western Europe and Asia,” Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. “Apple Watch captured an impressive 63 percent share of the global smartwatch market in Q4 2015, followed by Samsung with 16 percent.”

Steven Waltzer, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “We estimate global Swiss watch shipments reached 7.9 million units in Q4 2015, falling 5 percent from 8.3 million in Q4 2014. Global demand for Swiss watches is slowing down, and major players like Swatch are struggling to find growth.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The Swiss watch industry has been very slow to react to the development of smartwatches. The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away. Swiss brands, like TAG Heuer, accounted for a tiny 1 percent of all smartwatches shipped globally during Q4 2015, and they are long way behind Apple, Samsung and other leaders in the high-growth smartwatch category.”

Exhibit 1: Global Smartwatch vs. Swiss Watch Shipments in Q4 2015
Strategy analytics: Global Smartwatch vs. Swiss Watch Shipments in Q4 2015
Numbers are rounded. A “Swiss watch” is an iconic product category and is defined as a wristwatch produced and shipped from Switzerland. A “smartwatch” is an emerging product category and is defined as a computerized wristwatch with a high-level or expandable operating system produced and shipped from any country worldwide.

The full report, Smartwatches Outsell Swiss Watches in Q4 2015, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service, details of which can be found here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you do not have an Apple Watch on your wrist, you’re missing out!

Jean-Claude Biver
Jean-Claude Biver
The Apple Watch cannot compete at all with European watches… I welcome the Apple Watch and thank them for helping to promote and prepare the wrist for us in the Swiss watch industry… The Apple Watch cannot compete with any prestigious watch from a prestigious brand. The only thing you might be able to do with your 18k gold Apple Watch is to melt it down and recoup the few grams of gold; end of story!
Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer CEO, September 2014

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 Apple Watch sales ramp, Swiss watch makers suffer biggest slump in six years – November 19, 2015
TAG Heuer stupidwatch demonstrates how poorly it understands Apple Watch – November 10, 2015
TAG Heuer must think Android Wear users are stupid – November 9, 2015
Watch TAG Heuer announce their answer to Apple Watch – November 9, 2015
Swiss watch makers in deep shit, as Apple Watch designer Jony Ive predicted – October 23, 2015
Swiss watch exports post biggest quarterly export drop since 2009 – October 20, 2015
Apple’s Jony Ive: Switzerland is in deep shit – September 4, 2014
LVMH’s Jean-Claude Biver sees tougher 2016 for Swiss watch industry – September 29, 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. The articles and comments that suggest that the Apple Watch was a failure, are disingenuous. The Apple Watch was a success for the entire watch industry, by reminding people that there is such a thing as a watch, and now there is the Apple Watch which is amazing.

  2. That’s what it sounds like when people hype the Apple Watch… the most INANE product ever marketed in history.

    To say it’s a joke is a vast understatement; in fact anyone who ever purchased an Apple Watch looks in the mirror at a SUCKER every single day!

  3. Hey, do these dumbasses realize that conventional watches are made and sold by much more that the Swiss watch industry? Christ on a crutch, there’s Japan with Seiko, Citizen and Orient, not to mention the scads made in China that are pretty decent by the way. And what’s included in the Smart Watch category, Fitbits and all the $20 pieces of shit on eBay?

  4. Well Swiss Watches aren’t replaced often since ironically they are timeless in design.

    Apple Watch can be updated in software for additional function, or replaced entirely for new hardware capabilities, so over time they will generate replacement sales at a much higher rate.

Reader Feedback

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