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Swiss watchmaker laughs off possible Apple iWatch, says it's not a threat to luxurious wristwatches

Posted: , by Victor H.

Swiss watchmaker laughs off possible Apple iWatch, says it's not a threat to luxurious wristwatches
Apple might be the world’s largest company by market capitalization, but its alleged plans to launch a smart wristwatch don’t worry luxury watch makers a bit. At the annual Baselworld expo dedicated to watches and jewelry watchmakers laughed off the possibility of an Apple iWatch being a threat to a business where they sell $65 000 platinum watches.

“A wristwatch is the ultimate rare status symbol, and Apple poses absolutely no threat to our market,” Victorinox product director Francois Nunez said. “There’s not one bespoke watchmaker who worries about wrist computer-phones.”

That sentiment is not new for Apple, though. Long established phone makers met its iPhone with laughter denouncing its absurdity, and they couldn’t have been more wrong. The same happened with the iPad.

It’s hard to judge whether Apple would be successful with a product it hasn’t even announced yet, but one thing is certain - going on an uphill battle is what Cupertino loves most.

source: Business Insider

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posted on 06 May 2013, 06:35 3

1. FlushGordon (unregistered)


If only Steve was probably alive then the iWatch might have a huge chance at success but considering how Tim Cook et al is effing things up right now, Nada...Nil...mild success at best

posted on 06 May 2013, 15:31 2

29. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


I watches suck. WTF are you going to do with it besides customize your watch? Oh wait its an apple product so you would get no customization.

posted on 06 May 2013, 20:39

31. juanyunis (Posts: 72; Member since: 31 Aug 2012)


hahaha indeed, you are so right man. It's a shame that you need to jailbreak it in order to customize it a little bit, at least they should give you the option to use an advance or an easy mode.

posted on 06 May 2013, 06:37 6

2. Altair (Posts: 324; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Yeah, many old companies have been laughing for new techs. Such as Kodak, Fuji, Canon, Nikon and many music companies. I bet they don't laugh anymore.

When Apple starts selling 200 million iWatch compared to 150k Switch premium watch. LOL?

posted on 06 May 2013, 07:24 4

5. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8242; Member since: 14 May 2012)


200 million? Highly doubt it. I don't think it's going to be successful. And if it does, it won't be that successful.

posted on 06 May 2013, 07:52 1

8. Daftama (Posts: 563; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Oh it will be successful. .how much successful you got remember if apple came out with is**t theey would still buy it..not hating. .just sayin

posted on 06 May 2013, 07:59 2

9. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


So you're saying that Canon and Nikon are not using new tech? Just to let you know, Canon and Nikon are easily the best camera makers in the world. They have always been, they are and they always will be.

posted on 06 May 2013, 08:00 3

10. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


don't forget RIM and Nokia who also laughs at apple back then... and now they close many stores and suffer from low sales.

posted on 06 May 2013, 08:35

13. Diazene (Posts: 123; Member since: 01 May 2013)


sorta, canon and Nikon are two companies which make semiconductor manufacturing tools, so they aren't old

posted on 06 May 2013, 09:56 1

17. Furbal (Posts: 293; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


premium watches are not sold in high volume anyway.

posted on 06 May 2013, 10:45

19. Aeires (unregistered)


That's exactly it. Rolex doesn't make millions of watches, and they aren't going out of business as a result of their volume.

posted on 06 May 2013, 10:34 4

18. mariosraptor (Posts: 109; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


have you ever worn a premium watch?
you might think your status gets upgraded by having an iphone but wear a Rolex and go to enter at a club.
a plastic toy or even aluminum cannot be compared to hand crafted premium material (gold, titanium etc).
they are right at laughing cause cause it will never happen that Apple to take a chunk off of their business.

posted on 06 May 2013, 20:46

32. juanyunis (Posts: 72; Member since: 31 Aug 2012)


I agree with you, but some companies try to merge premium materials with electronic devices like smartphones(Vertu) and for me they have failed. I would rather use a non-luxury device that helps me and entertains me, than a luxury phone. That's my humble opinion.

posted on 06 May 2013, 06:38

3. Reverence (Posts: 224; Member since: 16 Jul 2012)


they are and it's evident from the statement...sony, pebble and motorola introduced their smart watches last year and no such statement came..Ballmer said something similar about the iPhone and many said that iPad was a flop! As far as symbol is concerned, if there can be a gold iPhone, then i wont be surprised to see a gold iwatch
You never know whats gonna happen and if iwatch is unique and different, it is possible that these watches might see a drop in sales but they will never fade away!

posted on 06 May 2013, 06:50 6

4. istitch (Posts: 161; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


A traditional wristwatch is not replaceable as of now, not even in the next few years
Unless they can have a revolution in battery life, or else, a traditional wristwatch is always better.

posted on 06 May 2013, 07:30 2

6. Bozzor (Posts: 112; Member since: 02 May 2012)


Fact is, pretty much every individual who has a $10,000+ watch will also likely buy a sub $1,000 Apple watch. No one I know with an expensive watch has just one...

posted on 06 May 2013, 07:37 1

7. Shrihari (Posts: 79; Member since: 29 Jan 2013)


Many days ago Nokia said the same thing to android and iPhone now you can clearly look at their position...so never ever underestimate your opponents...who knows these watches may come with many functionalities and may be hit with the masses....

posted on 06 May 2013, 08:28 1

11. buccob (Posts: 1409; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Battery is the main concern, and thats what Pebble from Kickstarter got right. They use e-ink for the screen, and in the end is just a watch with messaging capabilities... We probably do not need color screen for it. Waterproof, bluetooth integration (specially with Android). I will probably get the 2nd Generation of this series.

If apple pulls something with those features in mind, it will be a success... people already shows it with the former iPod Nano

posted on 06 May 2013, 08:35

12. sonofzeus (Posts: 95; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Wristwatches will always be a classic.I will love to own an iwatch,but it will never replace my wristwatch

posted on 06 May 2013, 08:40

14. fwinst (Posts: 55; Member since: 08 May 2010)


The Swiss watchmakers did this once before when they "laughed-off" the new tech of quartz movements. That mistake almost entirely killed off the Swiss watch industry. While new watch technology is not yet the rage, the Swiss should be a bit less arrogant, and a lot more observant.

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:09

26. gtrxman (Posts: 106; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)


There is no way that a wearer of a fine timepiece would ever consider an iWatch as a replacement. Really, an Apple watch over an IWC, Rolex, Tag, Omega, Patek Philippe? Hardly.

posted on 06 May 2013, 14:36

28. fwinst (Posts: 55; Member since: 08 May 2010)


That's exactly what they said about quartz movements. Did it completely kill the Swiss watch industry? No. However, it had a HUGE impact. Will it kill the high end watch market? No. But more and more younger people will buy tech. It could do more harm by shrinking an already relatively small market.

posted on 06 May 2013, 09:37 1

15. Leo_MC (Posts: 516; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


A bespoke wristwatch/pocketwatch is a jewelery that, incidentally, shows the time too.
A man doesn't buy a watch because he needs to know the time but because it's the only jewelry (besides wedding ring) a man can wear; the more money you have, the nicer the watch will be.
I wear suits every day so I wouldn't be caught dead wearing a quartz (not even an Omega) let alone an iwatch. But my friends that wear jeans - that don't own watches, don't need them, don't want to spend money on them - may be persuaded to buy a gimmicky thing like this wrist-devices.
So everyone gets a place in the market.
Trust me: iwatch, pebble or whatever this devices are to be be called, will never-ever-ever-ever replace a beautiful Zenith or Longines, let alone a few hundred thousand euro Vacheron or Pateck (whos owners uses Vertu).

posted on 06 May 2013, 11:32

23. 0bsessions (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


Pretty much this. I wear a watch because it's the societal standard, not because I need to tell the time, my phone does it faster and with more efficiency.

Watches are glorified men's jewelry, that's it. Technological advancement does not adversely affect things that are bought as an affectation.

posted on 06 May 2013, 09:49

16. dkpitman (Posts: 35; Member since: 24 Mar 2011)


Ha, couldn't help but read the quote in Steve Ballmer's voice. Deja vu?

posted on 06 May 2013, 11:15 1

20. RealTech (Posts: 4; Member since: 06 May 2013)


iWatch will be successful in that non-watch consumers will delve into a product that they never invested in before. iWatch won't be a threat to the swiss watch industry because people buying the latest tech gadget aren't necessarily in the same pool of people buying highly engineered time pieces.

posted on 06 May 2013, 11:23 1

21. 0bsessions (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


Saying this is a ludicrous stance based on previous trends is comparing apples to oranges. To be frank, the guy's right.

People don't buy a Rolex to tell the time, they buy a Rolex to look affluent. If functionality was the primary goal of people who buy luxury watches, luxury watches would've gone extinct decades ago.

As long as there are rich people who want to remind everyone they're rich, luxury watches will have a market.

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:14

27. gtrxman (Posts: 106; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)


How about the achievement of mechanical engineering? The ability to accurately measure time and date as well as other features without winding or the assistance of any network signals, quartz chips or other electronic means must count for something.

posted on 06 May 2013, 11:31

22. tedkord (Posts: 4719; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Its so funny to see Apple spoken of the way rabid iFans speak of Android.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:06

24. EspHack (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)


these luxury guys have nothing to worry, as did vertu and the rest of luxury phone makers about the iphone, but that sony smartwatch and pebble etc... they will have a hard time dealing with this

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:22 1

25. Decapitat3d (Posts: 7; Member since: 15 Apr 2013)


These are completely different markets IMO. On the one hand, you have a watch that is a status symbol and cost you $65,000 (how many people can afford that?). On the other, you have yet another technology toy that may not be appealing to everyone.

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:43

30. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6408; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


LMAO and they do know watches.

posted on 06 May 2013, 21:15

33. mydi.maus (unregistered)


looks like a bracelet gone tech,.apple whats going on?

posted on 07 May 2013, 21:29

34. 9thWonderful (Posts: 232; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)


that's one sexy looking wa--uhh....bracelet?

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