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Apple truly disrupts the established luxury watch industry


Jony Ive was right when he said that the Swiss watch industry could be in jeopardy. But it isn’t only the Swiss industry, it is the entire watch industry. The Apple Watch will do for the watch world what the iPhone did for Nokia and rest of the old dumbphone brigade. Luxury watches have had a good run over the past century and, no doubt, they will continue to sell to connoisseurs who want a faultless piece of jewellery on their wrists. But for the rest of us (and I speak as a former Swiss watch fan and currently IWC owner) the Apple Watch is likely to be the timepiece of choice.

Just as the iPhone showed that the humble phone had much greater potential, the Apple Watch demonstrates just how much more use can be made of the valuable space on the wrist. If it were some cheap, tacky plastic confection we might have some doubts. But the stainless steel or 18-ct gold watch cases with the ability to swap straps for different occasions and activities turns this into an object of real desire. I never thought I would say this, but I can see the Apple Watch supplanting my Swiss timepiece. And I will not be alone. Switzerland does indeed need to start worrying.