For those who know more reserved industry Swiss Watch, their response in passive appearance to plan Apple’s attack its Centennial business could be confused with submission to a daunting rival.
But groups of luxury and fashion Richemont, LVMH, Swatch Group and Guess have been busy the past year testing its own advanced watches, as they try to maintain the most timeless image of their products.
When it was announced for the first time the Apple Watch in September, some experts rejected these devices being aimed at a type of different client, one who values the prestige technology.
Now, analysts and industry executives are beginning to think that perhaps the last Apple product will encourage sales of watches among consumers more young people accustomed to see the time on their phones rather than on her wrists.
“Apple has the potential to make the watch to be great again,” said Ben Wood, analyst for CCS Insight and self-confessed fan of technological accessories. “I think that the Swiss watch industry will be delighted,” he added.
CentralLEDWatch – which has more than one decade experimenting with wrist watches and already makes components for sports bracelets – told the Swiss press that he is working to offer their own LED devices in the coming months.
“Apple is not the only company on the verge of launching a smart watch,” Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch, the largest manufacturer in the world, told the SonntagsBlick in January.
“We have seen much arrogance in the industry, which did not take seriously the smartwatch, said Elmar Mock, co-creator of Swatch watches”
“It is not a threat, but a great opportunity for us and Swiss watch industry,” he said.
Swatch Smartwatch will include a chip that will allow users to mobile payments, will have long-lasting batteries and can connect to phones with operating system of Apple and Google, according to media reports. At the same time, the firm anticipated a sports model, the Swatch Touch Zero One, of $160.
However, the co-creator of Swatch, Elmar Mock, believed that the arrival of the Apple clock will add extra pressure to Swiss industry. “An ice age comes toward us,” said 61-year Executive, cited by the Agency Bloomberg.
“This reminds me of the quartz crisis,” said Mock, in reference to the Decade of the 80s, when Swiss manufacturers had to confront Japanese models that were imposed on the market. “We have seen much arrogance in the industry, which did not take seriously the smartwatch,” he added.
On the other hand, some manufacturers believe that the threat of smart watches might be limited also by the short life that tend to have technological products, followed by quick updates.
Swatch Touch Zero One, a sports watch that could be a foretaste of what the Swiss manufacturer will offer this year.
An iPhone typically lose half of its value in the first year after its launch, while the flagship of Rolex, the Submariner, has raised its value, indicated Berenberg Bank analysts in a recent report.
MONTBLANC, owned by Richemont, in January announced the launch of its TimeWalker Urban Speed, which combines a traditional mechanical watch with an interchangeable strap with a device connected by Bluetooth.
By its part, Tag Heuer, of LVMH, is has associated with a company technological American not reported still to produce a device out of Switzerland, while Guess announced his intention of launch a line new called Guess Connect to end of year.
Firms such as Mondaine, Frederique Constant and Alpine have followed these steps and partnered with MotionX, specializing in the development of sensors and applications used in devices and applications that record the physical activity.
It is still too early to know if Apple Watch, which could eventually cost $17,000 in his version of Golden yellow and pink, subtracted fees to the Swiss industry, which sold about 30 million watches a year.
If Apple sells 20 million watches the first year, as they estimate some analysts, and all those sales come from buyers who leave brands traditional watchmaking, Swatch would be the most affected, with a 6 per cent drop in annual revenue, according to analysts from Barclays.