I want your opinion! Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, said: “Switzerland is in trouble”. Do you agree? Will the Swiss Watch Industry really be in trouble?
Last week Jonathan Ive announced troubles for the Swiss Watch Industry, today I learned through Reuters that Apple Inc also invited top fashion editors and bloggers for the September 9th event. What do we have to expect?
9to5Mac reported last week:
“Ahead of Apple’s September 9th event that will include the introduction of Apple’s first wearable computer, along new, larger iPhones, The New York Times has profiled the existing wearable market. The juiciest bit from the story? A purported quote from Apple design chief Jony Ive, relayed by another Apple designer. Said Ive, referring to the existing watch market, ‘Switzerland is in trouble.’
Here’s the full section:
According to a designer who works at Apple, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, in bragging about how cool he thought the iWatch was shaping up to be, gleefully said Switzerland is in trouble — though he chose a much bolder term for ‘trouble’ to express how he thought the watchmaking nation might be in a tough predicament when Apple’s watch comes out.
So, it appears Jony did not actually say ‘trouble.’ He said something ‘bolder.’ Perhaps ‘screwed’?”
Today Reuters reports:
“Apple Inc has invited top fashion editors and bloggers in unprecedented numbers to its Tuesday launch gala, further evidence that the iPhone maker is preparing to take the wraps off a smartwatch. Apple is forging closer ties to the fashion world as it plots its foray into the fertile field of wearable technology, trying to win over a critical crowd that may prove crucial to the success of consumer gadgets worn around the body.”
Guys what do you think? Is Apple going to endanger the Swiss Watch Industry with its new iWatch or however Apple is going to call the device?
Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch Group, gave a clear answer and said: “No! The Swatch Group is ready to launch its own smart watch next year and Swatch Group was a pioneer for smart watches when launching the Swatch Paparazzi already in 2004. We have never stopped producing smart watches since then.”
The picture shows you the very first two smart watches, the Swatch Paparazzi from 2004 and the Tissot High-T from 2005. If you wish to see more detailed pictures of these watches please click HERE and scroll through the five pages…
Please do also listen to my interview with Nick Hayek taped in Basel during Baselworld 2014. Nick Hayek and I discussed the smart watch intensively … Click HERE to get to the interview…
Here are my two cents:
I personally think any smart watch will seriously harm the traditional mechanical sector of the Swiss Watch Industry. We are talking about two totally different segments and also a different buyer. I could be that someone who was used to wear a mechanical watch will now also wear a digital smart watch, but it will never replace the mechanical timepiece on his wrist. In contrary, I believe that Apple and all the other producers of smart watches will probably stimulate people who never before wore a watch to buy one now and I could imagine that these people later start buying other watches and finally some of them end up buying a mechanical watch. I don’t even think the smart watch will harm the quartz sector, since I know that today many companies have gathered a lot of know-how and they are ready to shoot back if necessary. The fact why no one in Switzerland has yet presented such a watch is, that they wait to see in which the developments really go. There is no need for the Swiss watch manufacturers to take the lead here…
Another question is: Will Apple really present a watch or will it be a “digital” bracelet? I believe it first will be a bracelet. A “digital” bracelet could be worn by anyone. People who don’t wear watches at all and also people who already have a watch on their wrist could wear it. This “digital” bracelet would only replace some other bracelets at the wrists and it could become a new fashion to wear such a device. In this case Apple would create a new market and not compete against any watch manufacturer.
Another question is: If Apple really presents the iWatch, will it then be a round shaped one or just a kind of Bonsai-iPhone for the wrist?
Now it is your turn…
Please let me know what you think!