"The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??
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  1. #1
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    "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    Recently you run into articles like this, "...with the rise of smartwatches, the luxury watchmakers are done, the Swiss better be prepared to discount heavily and re-invent themselves" and other similar nonsense.
    Media writers are either very young or they forgot history in my opinion.
    What is your take on this??
    Someone should tell these people (a bit too much in love with high-tech) that are predicting the doom of the world watchmaking royalty that there haven't been "logical" reasons to buy expensive luxury watches for decades, even before the Quartz revolution. People buy these timepieces because they admire the craftsmanship, the perceived status, etc.. not because there weren't more practical, more functional and, mostly, more cost effective alternatives. Maybe is a surprise to them but people could buy a Timex diver as durable as a diver from Omega, Rolex, etc....for a fraction of the price.
    More news to them, we had already a "smartwatch" wave starting in the 1980s when a flood of multi-functional quartz sport watches hit the market....do they also realize what actually happened to the real price of a Submariner in that era?? It skyrocketed....did the availability of tough as nail G-Shock divers with a multitude of functions to make your head spin and capable of running circles around the famous Swiss luxury divers for serious heavy duty and for a laughable price tag in comparison limited their appeal?? Not at all.....and automatic watches actually experienced a revival during the years...
    I love when one article wrote that "Apple now is one of the largest watchmaker in the world, ready to overtake Rolex"...sorry Apple you do not play in the same market space as Rolex...it's like celebrating that Seiko sells more watches than PP....
    Finally, I was at an event last night and I noticed something that inspired me to write this post, two people (one of them my brother in law) wearing their Smartwatch/Fitbit on one wrist and a regular dress watch in the other...the logic why many media commentators think that the new smartwatches should mean trouble for the luxury watchmakers escapes me, especially given the past experience...if anything, I predict turmoil only in the Casio/Timex multi-functional sport watches market segment.
    Tell me if I'm missing something.
    Last edited by saturno_v; June 4th, 2018 at 21:12.

  2. #2
    Member Steelerswit's Avatar
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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    its called blog clickbait.
    Call Sign - Wit
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    Quote Originally Posted by kubr1ck View Post
    the benevolent caretaker of a halfway house for recovering G-Shocks.
    Quote Originally Posted by kubr1ck View Post
    And the grand rehabilitator strikes again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Time4Playnow View Post
    For most of us, when we wear a bad-a** watch, the characteristics of the watch "bleed over" to us -- and suddenly, WE are bad-a**es!
    For some members here though -- like Steelerswit, and Kubr1ck -- they have so much inherent "bad-a**ery" that when they put on a bad-a** watch, the energy flows from them TO the watch, making the watch EVEN MORE bad-a**!!! Yes, it's a real scientific phenomenon that obscure mad scientists only recently discovered.

  3. #3
    Member Hands90's Avatar
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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    Quote Originally Posted by saturno_v View Post
    Recently you run into articles like this, "...with the rise of smartwatches, the luxury watchmakers are done, the Swiss better be prepared to discount heavily and re-invent themselves" and other similar nonsense.
    Media writers are either very young or they forgot history in my opinion.
    What is your take on this??
    Someone should tell these people (a bit too much in love with high-tech) that are predicting the doom of the world watchmaking royalty that there haven't been "logical" reasons to buy expensive luxury watches for decades, even before the Quartz revolution. People buy these timepieces because they admire the craftsmanship, the perceived status, etc.. not because there weren't more practical, more functional and, mostly, cost effective alternatives. Maybe is a surprise to them but people could buy a Timex diver as durable as a diver from Omega, Rolex, etc....for a fraction of the price.
    More news to them, we had already a "smartwatch" wave starting in the 1980s when a flood of multi-functional quartz sport watches hit the market....do they also realize what actually happened to the real price of a Submariner in that era?? It skyrocketed....did the availability of tough as nail G-Shock divers with a multitude of functions to make your head spin and capable of running circles around the famous Swiss luxury divers for serious heavy duty and for a laughable price tag in comparison limited their appeal?? Not at all.....and automatic watches actually experienced a revival during the years...
    I love when one article wrote that "Apple now is one of the largest watchmaker in the world, ready to overtake Rolex"...sorry Apple you do not play in the same market space as Rolex...it's like celebrating that Casio sells more watches than Omega....
    Finally, I was at an event last night and I noticed something that inspired me to write this post, two people (one of them my brother in law) wearing their Smartwatch/Fitbit on one wrist and a regular dress watch in the other...the logic why many media commentators think that the new smartwatches should mean trouble for the luxury watchmakers escapes me, especially given the past experience...if anything, I predict turmoil only in the Casio/Timex multi-functional sport watches market segment.
    Tell me if I'm missing something.
    Some news anchors and talk show hosts used to wear Rolies now they wear Apple watches.
    So yeah, there is a hit to the market. I mean if one person buys an Apple watch instead of a 8K Rolex it's making a difference to the Swiss market.

    All that said I agree with you 100%. I'm sorry they are getting hit by the market but the last time I checked Rolex seems to be doing just fine.

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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelerswit View Post
    its called blog clickbait.
    ....is not just blogs, the WSJ, Forbes and, according to one source, one of the leading Apple Watch designer believes in this crap....
    slcbbrown likes this.

  6. #5
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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    Quote Originally Posted by Hands90 View Post
    Some news anchors and talk show hosts used to wear Rolies now they wear Apple watches.
    So yeah, there is a hit to the market. I mean if one person buys an Apple watch instead of a 8K Rolex it's making a difference to the Swiss market.

    All that said I agree with you 100%. I'm sorry they are getting hit by the market but the last time I checked Rolex seems to be doing just fine.

    Someone buying an Apple smartwatch does not mean that he/she is selling his/her Rolex or that is not interested in buying a Rolex. I do not understand the logic...are we all forced to own only one watch??
    I think the recent decline in Swiss watches sales are almost totally unrelated to smartwatches.
    drhr and slcbbrown like this.

  7. #6
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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    Quote Originally Posted by saturno_v View Post
    Someone buying an Apple smartwatch does not mean that he/she is selling his/her Rolex or that is not interested in buying a Rolex. I do not understand the logic...are we all forced to own only one watch??
    Yes. Some people me included are serial flippers. I buy then sell my old watches.
    In the end of the day if people are choosing to strap a banana peal to their wrist instead of a Rolex it will effect the market.

  8. #7
    Member rdoder's Avatar
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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    As temperatures get warmer, I see people's wrists more clearly. Some (many?) don't wear watches. My guess is, they use cell phone to tell time instead. Some (many?) wear quartz watches. Some for sure wear Swiss luxury mechanical watches (most spottable being Rolex models).

    I don't think cell phone + smartwatches = death of mechanical + quartz watches, but they sure eat away part of the market.
    Taraboste likes this.

  9. #8
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    Well,

    Swiss watches in almost all price segments gained ground in April, in terms both of the number of pieces and in value. The 500- 3,000 francs (export price) range continued to make the strongest progress, closely followed by watches priced at over 3,000 francs.
    Watch exports to Hong Kong (+43.4%) grew at a three times faster pace than the world average, representing their highest monthly variation rate of the past six years. After some hesitation, the United States also seems to be confirming the return to positive territory with an increase of 12.8% against April 2017. Progression in China (+11.0%) slowed slightly, but remained on a very high level, while the recovery continued in Japan (+9.1%). In Europe, Germany (+12.8%) reported strong growth unlike the United Kingdom (-14.7%) where the situation has deteriorated sharply in the past three months. Italy (+2.0%) and France (+5.3%) saw an improvement, although it remained below average. Talking about doomed.
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  10. #9
    Member Baka1969's Avatar
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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    Smart watches have planned obsolescence built in. Swiss mechanical watches don't.
    You're either qualified or not qualified

  11. #10
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    Re: "The Swiss luxury watch makers are doomed" so they say...real danger or Quartz Crisis 2.0??

    The talk of doom and gloom was so 2016-17. Sales are on the rise again.
    Yada_Gaijin and slcbbrown like this.
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