Swatch Boss Describes Apple Watch as “Interesting Toy”

Luxury Swiss watchmaker, Swatch has derisively referred to the Apple Watch as an “interesting toy” and not a “revolution” in timekeeping. The company’s chief executive, Nick Hayek discussed Apple’s wearable product line in a Swiss newspaper. According to Hayek, Swatch considered making their own smartwatch but cancelled the project after hearing the battery limitations on the Apple Watch. Apple’s premium device requires daily charging which makes it a fairly inconvenient proposition.

It’s not surprising to see this public outcry from Swatch, as their CEO has been critical of Apple for sometime. Obviously, they now see Apple as a new competitor in the wearables market and perhaps concerned about the future of hand-made, mechanical timepieces. However, I agree with Hayek’s argument, and the Apple Watch feels like a toy compared to traditional, Swiss watches. Of course, any Apple product will always have a market and interest from certain consumers but the Apple Watch has become a device to ridicule Apple’s pricing strategy.

Wearable technology is becoming a lucrative market and Apple believes their can offer a legitimate alternative to Swiss watch companies with years of history behind their name. Frankly, this comes across are fairly arrogant and I think the Apple Watch in the long-term will be a difficult device to sell to the mass-market.

Thank you Sky News for providing us with this information.

Swatch in No Hurry with Smartwatch, but It Is on the Way

Swatch Group is in no hurry to join the smartwatch wagon and don’t want any outside help either. They are happy to go the route alone and are planning for a launch of their own watches with smart features next year.

We’ve already seen all the big technology companies like Apple, Motorola and Samsung, as well as some smaller yet unknown companies, leak, present and release their own smart watches. Swatch doesn’t see this as a threat but rather a huge opportunity with a market that’s potentially worth $93 billion.

Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek said these new watches might allow the wearer to count the number of steps they take and calories they burn. He continued, “and there will be a few other cool Swatchy things on offer via latest Bluetooth technology.” “All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don’t rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas. But we can also do many things on our own.”

Smartwatches and other wearable gadgets are expected to be the next big thing in the tech-world, allowing the users to monitor their health, fitness and on-line statuses when connect to their smartphones. Smartwatches themselves are seen as the biggest threat for the traditional watch makers, as less and less people even wear watches and just use the phone’s build in clock instead. So it is no wonder that Swatch is betting on the new era as well, just not yet.

“For Swatch, this could mean a 2 percent hit to revenue and earnings before interest and tax for each 10 percent share that the iWatch was able to gain in its addressable market,” Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli said in a study in July. Ortelli has a “market perform” rating on Swatch’s shares.

While the spotlight is on Apple at the moment with their special invite event next month, where everyone expects the iWatch to be officially introduced, Swatch’s stocks are dropping. The possibility of an iWatch launch is partly responsible for Swatch shares losing almost 15 percent so far this year, lagging a 3 percent rise in the European sector.

Many in the industry, as well as customers, have spoken out for an alliance between Apple and Swatch. But Swatch has no interest in this relationship, as they say, “they sell watches and not technology”. Swatch is about fashion, branding and style.

“Our first message for customers is the watch. If they like it, they might also be interested in the extra functions,” Hayek said. “It is a problem if you only define a product by its technology. Technology alone doesn’t sell, not in watches.”

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Swatch.