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

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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32 Comments

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

29. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 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.

31. juanyunis

Posts: 73; Member since: Aug 31, 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.

2. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 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?

5. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

8. Daftama

Posts: 641; Member since: Nov 03, 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

9. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 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.

10. BillyG

Posts: 305; Member since: Sep 24, 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.

13. Diazene

Posts: 129; Member since: May 01, 2013

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

17. Furbal unregistered

premium watches are not sold in high volume anyway.

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.

18. mariosraptor

Posts: 179; Member since: Mar 15, 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.

32. juanyunis

Posts: 73; Member since: Aug 31, 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.

3. Reverence

Posts: 224; Member since: Jul 16, 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!

4. istitch

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 19, 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.

6. Bozzor

Posts: 248; Member since: May 02, 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...

7. Shrihari

Posts: 104; Member since: Jan 29, 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....

11. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 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

12. sonofzeus

Posts: 95; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

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

14. fwinst

Posts: 64; Member since: May 08, 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.

26. gtrxman

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 10, 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.

28. fwinst

Posts: 64; Member since: May 08, 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.

16. dkpitman

Posts: 35; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

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

20. RealTech

Posts: 4; Member since: May 06, 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.

21. 0bsessions

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 19, 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.

27. gtrxman

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 10, 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.

22. tedkord

Posts: 17410; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

24. EspHack

Posts: 70; Member since: Sep 04, 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

25. Decapitat3d

Posts: 7; Member since: Apr 15, 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.

30. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

LMAO and they do know watches.

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