WILL SMART WATCHES BE ABLE TO SAVE THE WATCH INDUSTRY IN SWITZERLAND?

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The Swiss watch industry has faced a change in conditions since 2015. Exporters of mechanical watches received the lowest growth rate in 2016 over the past five years. At the same time, new opportunities for Swiss companies appeared in the field of smart watches.

For a long time, the industry, which usually gave birth to more than $ 20 billion dollars in annual exports, enjoyed the atmosphere of exclusivity and neglect of the Internet.

Now traditional watch manufacturers have stood in line to gain a share of the fast-growing market, using technology cooperation and investment.


For example, TAG Heuer recently started working with Google and Intel to create a TAG Heuer Connected watch. Frederique Constant, a manufacturer of luxury watches, is working on creating nine new designs for its Horological Smartwatch models. Five models will be developed for women and only four for men.

 
“If it's true that Apple sells about 20 million Apple Watches and owns 50% of the market, then the potential is huge,”

told industry veteran Jean-Claude Biver and head of the LVMH brand, SonntagsBlick, a Swiss newspaper.

“The market for expensive branded copies arose as soon as people wanted to stand out from the crowd. The same thing is happening now. With our know-how, Swiss quality and prestige, we have the best starting conditions for winning significant market share. ”

In addition, Biver added that the industry is not facing a real crisis, as it was in 1970. This time, the segment is close to weakening under the siege of such Japanese startups as Seiko watches pakistan retailers http://www.rafiqsonsonline.com/product-category/seiko/ who have introduced cheaper technologies and more accurate alternatives to the Swiss mechanical watch.

The rise of the category of smart watches is not the only cause of difficult market conditions. The weakening of foreign consumption, especially the key demand of the Hong Kong and China markets, is actually the greatest risk for the sector in accordance with the 2016 Swiss Watch Industry Audit.

The survey showed that 82% of watch manufacturers expect negative prospects from 2017, compared with 41% in 2015 and 19% in 2014. And only 2% received a positive review. The stable Swiss franc, an anti-corruption company in China, and the fall of the yuan are also causes of grim prospects.

Anyway, there are some pleasant moments. The unique position of the industry in the luxury segment, the strong position of the brands of most Swiss companies, the attractiveness of the brand “made in Switzerland” and in accordance with the audit report all the new segments were able to offer favorable opportunities.

“Although the volume of smart watches seems to be larger than Swiss watches in 2016, they are still far ahead in terms of sales,”

explained Jules Boudrand, director of audit in Switzerland and co-author of the review.

“Their development in such a short time is quite impressive, but there is still no confirmation that this growing category will confuse the existing Swiss watch industry.” Smart watches may be better viewed as an opportunity for some Swiss brands to modify themselves and capitalize your brand.

At the moment, Swiss brands do not play a significant role in the market of smart watches, relative to sales. However, if this happens, the industry cannot afford to ignore the potential provided by this new segment.


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Evan Murray

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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