The Apple Watch: A Gateway Drug to Horology?

We review Fortune Magazine and Harvard Business Review’s stance on the Apple Watch and its threat to the watch industry:

The Apple watch is no doubt the first time in many many years that a large amount of the world heard of, and cared about a watch. The days of luxury watches being a must-have in a man or woman’s wardrobe seemed far behind, save for a small number of collectors. However, Fortune Magazine believes that an Apple Watch may spark a new interest in watches, and act like a gateway drug into more expensive and elegant horology. Swatch CEO Nick Hayek even sees the watch as a big chance rather than a threat,

“Everything that makes millions of people more open to put something on their wrist will boost the opportunities to sell more watches.”


Swiss watches are meant to survive and be passed down like an heirloom, which the Apple watch is not: Apple products tend to have a 18-month cycle before the “new” technology is obsolete.

Harvard Business Review states that the Apple Watch is aimed at 18- 35 demographic, a group that is cell-phone centered and typically not watch-wearing. However, the Apple Watch may do what Swatch did for watches back in the 1980’s: someone will begin wearing the “trendy” watch and then start exploring the history of watches, being drawn to more expensive and classic brands like Rolex, creating a watch aficionado, moving on to brands like Audemars Piguet, and Patek Phillipe later in life. Like e-books have sparked a trend of bibliophiles, Harvard Business Review writes,

“It is quite possible that the Apple Watch could spark a new generation of watch aficionados and collectors.”


Having the latest Apple Watch on one’s wrist might create an excitement for having a fine piece of machinery as part of your everyday wardrobe. Apple also announced Hermès now has a Apple watch designed with their own leather straps. As fashion comes into context with technology, many men and women may start to seek out more – more fashion driven watch choices and even more historic, elegant, and timeless pieces when the novelty of having an extension of your cell phone wears off.

Fortune even mentions Jean- Claude Biver, president of LVMH watch division and TAG Heuer CEO who bought his wife a Patek Philippe, “A connected watch from Apple or any other brand will not compete with eternity.”



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Read the full article on HBR |