Sales of traditional watch manufacturers in the US have had the most dramatic drop in the last 7 years. One of the main reasons is that Apple has launched the Apple Watch smartwatch. This makes many consumers no longer interested in traditional watches.
According to data from retailers, the revenue from the sale of traditional watches in the US reached $ 375 million in June, down 11% compared to the same period in 2014. This is the sharpest drop since 2008- according to Fred Levin- the head of the market research department.
Traditional watch market with less than $ 1,000 price may be affected most when consumers in this price range starts to choose Apple Watch. They prefer a smart watch rather than a watch which just has the function of viewing hours. Sales of traditional watches from 50-999 dollars has declined by 24%, according to data from NPD.
In the previous quarterly report of Apple, Apple Watch sales have not been clearly announced. Thus, the analyst had to guess basing on Apple’s sales. According to estimates, Apple sold about 4 million smart watches and accounted for three quarters of total smartwatch revenues worldwide.
Elmar Mock, one of the founders of the Swatch watch brand said that Apple could cause an ice age for the industry which survived more than four centuries. That likely will come true because the Apple brand is becoming increasingly popular. And this smartphone makers have done the same thing for mobile market when it launched the iPhone.
However, the traditional watch maker such as Omega believes Apple is not a threat. And Omega company will continue to promote sales of the product traditional watch in the long run by changing the perception of young people and making them understand the significance of a traditional mechanical watch.
Meanwhile, some Swiss watch makers felt great competition from the smartwatch products in the near future. Therefore, they have decided to change the traditional watches and integrate smart features that can appeal to young users.
The battle between tradition and SmartWatch is just beginning. The biggest drawback of the current SmartWatch is the design is still not really impressive like mechanical watches. Therefore, if watch makers can improve the design further, certainly the SmartWatch will be selected by the majority of ordinary users.
For luxury brands, Rolex or Breguet, perhaps Apple Watch in particular or SmartWatch in general are not a big problem.