Luxury watch makers were supposed to be shaking in their boots at the news of the appearance of the Apple Watch.
Apple’s design chief, Jonathan Ive, suggested that the new Apple Watch would put traditional Swiss watchmakers in the difficult predicament of being bested for the first time since…well, all time.
The new Apple Watch is pretty impressive and has introduced a new segment of luxury watch, however, those Swiss watchmakers don’t seem at all intimidated.
Jean-Claude Biver, Swiss watch-making legend said, “It looks a little cold, and lacks, for my taste, a bit of personality. It looks perfect, but perfection sometimes has a lack of sexiness.”
He added, “This won’t create another crisis for the Swiss watch industry.”
Franz Tuerler, the owner of a luxury watch store located on Bahnhofstrasse street in Zurich, said, “I think the Apple Watch will be successful. But it’s not competition for the classic Swiss watch industry.”
Watch industry analyst Rene Weber said that “(The Apple Watch) is the first convincing smartwatch, and we believe it will impact the entire watch industry, but mainly at the low- to mid-end price level.”
I think the average person’s idea of low- to mid-range watch price is a little different than Weber’s.
The Swiss watchmakers may not have anything to fear from the Apple Watch, but they may have to keep their eyes on British luxury watch brand Christopher Ward.
The online-only luxury watch company made their debut in 2004 and has only grown better recently with the launch of its own in-house movement called Calibre SH21.
Mike France, one of three Christopher Ward co-founders, shed some light on the significance of the launch in a statement, saying,
“Last year, the CEO of a major Swiss luxury watch brand heard rumours about SH21 and his – frankly, affronted – comment was, “What gives you the license to do that?”
He explained, “We give ourselves license to do this. Ten years ago we launched the world’s first pure online business model for luxury watches; a new paradigm in blending supreme quality with unprecedented value that challenged the industry norm.”
He continued, “Today, we are advancing to a new level of independence that strengthens the future growth of the business and enables us to develop a family of movements, the first of which is the beautiful C9 Harrison 5 Day Automatic, housing the Calibre SH21, which we also launched today.”
Yeah, Swiss luxury watchmakers better…watch…their backs.