Smartwatch Case Study

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There’s much being made about the seemingly swift decline in Swiss watch sales. CultOfMac, as is their wont, is pointing to Apple Watch sales while still others are moaning about millennials who refuse to buy a $6,000 James Bond watch. So what’s really happening? Watch exports fell 8.5 percent in the last three months, partially due to a slowdown in Asian luxury sales as well as a surge in the price of the Swiss franc. But the primary slowdown seems to be in the low end – meaning the $200-$500 mark – even as Switzerland is trying desperately to convince younger people that a $6,000 watch is a great deal. So what’s happening? Smartwatches are killing the low end. I predicted this almost a year ago when I wrote about how the watch industry…show more content…
Massive consolidation and a downturn as bad as the quartz crisis. This is the end for many smaller manufacturers, including the OEMs who provide garbage watches for Calvin Klein, Fossil and Burberry. Cheaper manufacturers with a history – Timex, Citizen and Seiko primarily – will survive because there will always be a market for an inexpensive timepiece that gets the job done. But everyone else is toast. The smartwatch – not just the Apple Watch – is eating most of the low end…show more content…
Swiss watches, we’re told, are intrinsically better. They aren’t, really, simply because many aren’t made with the care that goes into even the lowest end electronic device. In fact, at this point most affordable watches are mass-produced junk. These are the watches that will disappear. But a subset of the high-end watches – mostly still made by Swiss and German makers – are still intrinsically important as works of art and science and well worth the investment. But how do you tell that to someone who wants an Apple Watch in aluminum with an orange band but will settle for no watch at all? Anecdotally many of us still say that the Apple Watch is rarely seen in the wild but this doesn’t mean they aren’t selling. There aren’t many watches in the wild at all these days and most of us aren’t watch hounds who notice exactly what people are wearing from across the room. But the smartwatches are out there. Apple has probably sold about 6 million of these things and they will sell more. Android devices are floating around and I’ve seen more Samsung watches in New York than Omegas. Things are changing. Related Articles Another Swiss Watch Company Jumps On The Activity Tracker
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