For The Love Of All That Is Good And Holy, Please Purchase A Swiss Watch
Occasions within the tiny Swiss watch ateliers are getting robust. Whereas I initially assumed that Swiss watches would survive the onslaught of smartwatches, I used to be improper. “To recommend that the iWatch will affect Swiss watch consumers is like saying the marketplace for a advantageous Bordeaux is affected by the arrival of a brand new taste of Vitamin Water,” I wrote in September. Boy do I really feel foolish.
Right here’s the actual state of affairs: watch gross sales are falling month over month at a startling fee. Gross sales have been down 12.three% in October, one of many business’s most necessary months, and it doesn’t seem like November can be a lot better. The vacation season is likely one of the most essential for any producer – Black Friday is known as “black” as a result of it makes retailers worthwhile – and the vacations and commencement season are the 2 most essential factors in a watch producer’s yr. Positive October isn’t prime watch gross sales territory however whether it is any indication then issues will worsen earlier than they get higher.
Briefly, smartwatches are consuming the Swiss market. Tag can launch as many smartwatches because it needs and everybody can add movement monitoring to their watches nevertheless it doesn’t change the truth that a smartwatch is a commodity product available in shops all over the world whereas watches are, traditionally, bought in specialised outlets that make the typical shopper really feel like an intruder.
Can Switzerland save itself? I don’t assume so. The necessities are pretty easy: a discount in costs on the entry degree ($500-$800 vs $1,000-$5,000), a transfer away from shops and boutiques to on-line gross sales (“doorways” within the watch parlance), and a compelling gross sales case for the younger shopper. Switzerland is terrible at doing all of these issues.
Watch corporations act like they’re Apple and, for many years, they have been. For many years they have been the one purveyors of a superior product to a mass of semi-rich shoppers that needed the most effective watch at costs that may make most individuals balk. These days are gone. Now they’re simply one other PC maker in a sea of clones. Why do I want a strong gold Rolex when my “rose gold” Apple Watch can lead me to my my subsequent appointment? Why do I want a Patek to cross right down to my grandchildren once I can personal a couple of dozen Android Put on watches over an eighteen yr interval? I do know the reply and so do most watch lovers. However the mass of shoppers don’t know that to help the watch business is akin to supporting the final vestiges of a mechanical previous and the only hope for a singular future in micro mechanics. To them a watch is only a watch and that’s why Switzerland is within the hassle they’re in.