Apple is making a dent in the high-end watch industry

Apple Watch


The Apple Watch Hermès edition.

Swiss watch exports have declined for the first time since 2009, according to Quartz.

Exports shrank by more than 3.3% to around $21.1 billion (£14.7 billion) in 2015, down on all previous years since the financial crash.
The Apple Watch, however, had a good holiday quarter.
Apple does not break out sales specifically, but the revenues generated by the "Other" group of devices - made up of the Watch and Apple TV - grew by more than 40%.

Bloomberg notes that other factors may have contributed - macroeconomic uncertainty, for example - but the Apple Watch is certainly a part of the reason Swiss watch sales are falling.

The Watch comes in three variants: A Sport model, which starts at £249 ($349); the Watch, which starts at £479 ($549); and the Edition model, which starts at £8,000 ($10,000).

Apple Watch

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Apple Watch.

According to market research, the Apple Watch currently makes up around half of all smartwatch sales, with the rest going to a diverse group of manufacturers, such as Pebble and Samsung. Swiss watch makers have been very skeptical of the Apple Watch, opening mocking it. One watch executive described it as a "toy" while another brand made a video mocking Apple-style product launches.

The second generation version of the Apple Watch is rumoured to be pegged for a September announcement, with a smaller update - reportedly the addition of a FaceTime camera - coming in March.

Apple also recently made the Hermès edition of the Watch, which comes with the iconic strap and costs $1,500 (£999), available online rather than in a select few Apple Stores.

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