The Apple Watch Is Now Outselling The Entire Swiss Watch Industry

10 February 2020
Gear, Tech, Iwatch, Apple, Business, Smartwatches
Image: Apple

While bankers and older buyers still covet the thought of a new Rolex, younger buyers are being bowled over by the digital side of wristwear

We're now five generations into the Apple Watch, but the low-key, unspoken success of the watch, especially when compared with the vast majority of the rest of the smartphone market, still catches us off guard to the point where it kind of feels like it's a new development. Apple Watches and their benefits still garner inquisitive questions from those who are yet to take the plunge, and even now, it feels like a bit of a novelty.

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But when you begin to look at the numbers, the success of the device is truly staggering.

As reported by The Verge, according to new sales estimates compiled by Strategy Analytics, the Cupertino giant shipped an estimated 31 million units of the series 4 and 5 Apple Watch in 2019, making it probably the highest-selling timepiece of any kind in the world. Even more impressively, sales of the watch, which we should probably stress costs well in excess of $467US a pop, have outstripped the entire Swiss Watch industry.

The same report estimates that Swiss Watch sales, from entry-level budget brands like Swatch and Tissot to higher-end offerings from the likes of Rolex and Patek Philippe, totalled about 21 million units over the course of last year, putting it not only at about two-thirds the size of Apple's total market share in the entire watch industry, but representing yet another slide in sales as the global economy remains shaky and people save their money for more tech-focused purchases.

According to fellow Strategy Analytics analyst Steven Waltzer, "Traditional Swiss watch makers, like Swatch and Tissot, are losing the smartwatch wars. Apple Watch is delivering a better product through deeper retail channels and appealing to younger consumers who increasingly want digital wrist wear. The window for Swiss watch brands to make an impact in smartwatches is closing."

"Analog wristwatches remain popular among older consumers, but younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches and computerised wristwear," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, continued.

None of this is to say that certain brands aren't trying to carve out their own chunk. TAG Heuer famously have their own smartwatch, while Alpina and both Frederique Constant both also now boast digital offerings. But the fact of the matter is that for younger, fashion-conscious buyers, luxury watches simply aren't as much of an appealing prospect anymore. And with a deluge of start-up brands aiming to tackle the affordable watch market and Apple still leading the innovation stakes, the outlook for the industry remains shaky.

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Via GQ Australia