Many Swiss-based watch companies are becoming concerned about the threat Apple watches present to the Swiss Watch industry, only last year Apple overtook Rolex to become the number one watch brand by revenue, managing to sell an estimated 18 million units in 2017.
“I feel that the Swiss watch industry still doesn’t understand how much the Apple watch and other smartwatches have eaten into the figures for quartz watch movements … The Apple Watch is now in its third generation and who knows what they will bring with the fourth generation. If they start to adapt the case and have something other than just a black screen, then the Swiss watch industry could be heading for trouble. I still say quite frankly that many of my colleagues in the industry don’t know what is happening.” – Peter Stas, co-founder and CEO of Frederique Constant
Since last year, when Apple overtook Rolex to become the number one watch brand by revenue, Many watch companies within the well established Swiss watch industry have been becoming increasingly worried about the possible threat Apple could present to their industry as a whole, including Peter Stas, CEO and co-founder of Frederique Constant who announced on 11th March that despite the estimated sales increase of hybrid connected watches from 14 million units last year to approximately 80 million in 2022.
Stas says the Frederique Constant group has managed to sell 150,000 Horological Smartwatches – a watch that replaces a touchscreen dial with hands and an analog dial, whilst incorporating motion based technologies – however, Apple users are responding positively to the health features incorporated in Apple watches and as a consequence, using their superior ability to research and develop on a greater scale, the concern is that they should progress rapidly in terms of providing health based information, therefore seizing a much larger share of the market, presenting a threat to even the rapidly expanding Swiss watch industry.
“We see this in the research data. We thought that smartwatches were being bought by 30-somethings, but they are not. They are mostly bought by 50-to-60-somethings, at least in our segment [which is] the more expensive watch. And this is logical, because older people are more interested in their health. “- Peter Stas, co-founder and CEO of Frederique Constant
“So, once Apple or others start to provide this information, then people are going to continue to wear those watches. The health part is only starting now. We better be very, very careful. Apple knows much more than we do, and I see clearly what they are doing. They will go more and more into this area, finding ways to inform people about medical situations. And they will only get better.”- Peter Stas, co-founder and CEO of Frederique Constant