Smartwatches. Would they or wouldn’t they take off? A question that you don’t hear so often anymore. To industry analysts it was kind of inevitable that they would, especially since Android Wear and Apple entered the scene.
Why would I need a smartwatch when I already have a smartphone? That was the question that would crop up the most. To make sense of the answer we need to look at the key word in the question is “need”. Cell phones were telling the time back in the 90s, but it didn’t stop people from wearing a watch. Why are people willing to fork out $3,000 and upwards for a Tag Heuer or Rolex if all they need to do is tell the time? The point is, people’s affection for wearing a watch goes beyond need. Why does somebody need to wear a bracelet?
Smartwatch Sales vs Swiss Watches
According to yesterday’s press release from strategyanalytics.com figures show that smartwatches outsold Swiss made mechanical watches in Q4 of 2015. The stats show that 8.1 million smartwatches were sold in comparison to 7.9 million Swiss watches.
The report also shows a 315.6% smartwatch sales increase since Q4 of 2014, in contrast to Swiss watch sales which have dropped 4.8%. The massive surge in smartwatch sales since Q4 of 2014 which saw 1.9 million units shipped is no doubt largely thanks to the Apple Watch.
A few months after the Apple Watch launched, the CEO of LVMH, the parent company of Tag Heuer, Mr. Jean-Claude Biver told a German newspaper that he believed the Apple Watch wouldn’t have a negative impact on the Swiss watch industry. In light of the recent sales analysis it seems that he’s better at making watches than he is at making predictions..
I can’t really see any way that the traditional Swiss watch makers can pull the figures back in their favor, I can only see them falling further behind in 2016 and beyond. However, it’s not all bad news for the Swiss watch makers as they are starting to adapt to the connected age and produce modern wearables, such as the Tag Heuer Connected Android Wear smartwatch. Plus, why would you worry if you live in a 90 bedroom mansion, fly around in a private jet and spend your weekends sipping on Dom Perignon while entertaining glamor models on your 200 foot super yacht?