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 Heuer, Gucci, and 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.
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.)