Apple Watch, Luxury Watches, Luxury Watchmakers, omega watches, Patek Philippe, Rolex Watch

Some luxury watchmakers are actually cheering on the Apple Watch

A very interesting article from qz.com about Luxury Watchmakers attitude on the recent release of the Apple Watch.

BASEL, Switzerland—“I was expecting a smartwatch tsunami.” That’s what a senior executive from a luxury watchmaker told Quartz at Baselworld, the enormous annual trade fair for the watch and jewelry industry. After all, it was the first edition of the show since Apple unveiled its much-hyped smartwatch.

But aside from a handful of “connected” watch launches from the likes of Tag HeuerGucciand others, the flood of cloud-connected timepieces did not materialize, at least not at the volume that some industry insiders anticipated. From the conversations that Quartz had with some of the biggest brands at the top end of the market, Apple’s intrusion into the industry is either nothing to fear, or may actually be a good thing.

Of course, now that the established brands have seen what Apple’s smartwatch can do, they have had time to craft their responses. Two years ago, bespoke European watchmakers in Basel were openly dismissive of Apple’s rumored watch project—sniffy, even. “We’re not going to lose one customer,” a luxury house representative told Quartz at the time.

Get smart

It’s a different story today—Apple’s invasion is a “kick in the ass” for the normally staid industry, one exec says. (Mind you, it’s the other watchmakers at the fair that should be the most worried, the person added.)

At the very top of the market—Breguet, Patek Philippe, Rolex, and the like—the $17,000 it will cost for a gold “Edition” model of the Apple Watch is little more than a downpayment on flagship pieces that can run two, three, or even ten times more. (A common joke around the booths of Baselworld was to emphasize “smart” in the non-technological sense of the world—“now this is a smart watch,” “our watches are already smart,” and so forth.)

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