What does the imminent technological transition mean to traditional watchmakers, such as the Swiss manufacturers? Well, they have to adapt and respond to the smartwatch craze or face the risk of losing the war.

Watches have historically been regarded as staple accessories for women and men around the globe since they are worn as both a fashionable item to compliment an outfit and as a useful tool for tracking time of day. Their ability to be a fashion item that holds its worth for many years, coupled with the added value that watches generate as a generational memento makes them favorable gifts or investments.

Given the variety of options from sport to luxury watches, low to high price ranges that present different materials, and the currently popular smartwatches, the global watch industry continues to flourish despite disruption from smartphones and related technologies. Overall, the global watch market value is projected to hit the 50 billion dollar mark in the next three years with a combined annual growth rate of nearly 7%.
Switzerland’s Patek Philippe, Tag-Heuer, Omega, and Rolex, are some of the brands that are at the forefront of the global watch business, not forgetting France’s Cartier. In the recent past, Apple thrust itself into the limelight with the introduction of its Apple watch that entices watch lovers to pair their devices with the iPhone. This strategy brought with it a plethora of technological functions.

The Fate of Swiss Watches Given the Technological Shift

For a long time, the “Made in Switzerland” label has been regarded as the hallmark of quality in making mechanical watches. Analog watches still rule in Switzerland in an increasingly digital era. Uncertainties in global trade, the advent of smartwatch, and an industry-wide restructuring are projected to halt growth and investment in the watch industry.

These changes imply that Swiss watchmakers have no choice but to smarten up their act. At the moment, they have acknowledged that smart devices will be a considerable part of the wrist-wearing future. While some of them have been making smartwatches for years, the industry has generally accelerated in adopting the technology in the recent past.

For example, in the 2018 annual watch festival in the Swiss city of Basel, several watchmakers launched several products, which were different from the traditional black-faced Apple watch. Most were hybrid devices that incorporated traditional features with connectivity. Mainly, Frederique Constant went beyond the conventional quartz battery-powered technology to make the world’s first smartwatch with a mechanical movement. Frederique Constant’s President praised the watchmaker’s new watch regarding it as a revolution” for the industry.”

Traditional and wealthy lovers of luxury watches who wished to own a connected product were the primary target for the new timepiece that cost up to $3,800.

Is Smartwatch Technology a Threat to Traditionists?
The traditional watchmakers have underlined their being at the forefront of the digital game if the Swiss watchmakers’ response to the smartwatch craze is anything to go by. Most have released at least one smartwatch model into the market to get feedback from what is obviously a younger consumer on the admirable features and refinements for future refinements.

The declining sales among younger generations as they turn to smart devices underlines a significant problem facing traditional watchmakers, especially in Switzerland, where most of the popular global brands reside. While smartwatches could revolutionize the industry, hybrid devices are also opening up a new market. They are designed for people who still prefer traditional design and something that is connected.

Even then, analysts do not see smart devices overtaking traditional watches’ sales soon. Some still believe that watches with a conventional design evoke an emotion, and therefore, lovers of good watches are passionate about them. The emotional link is the primary reason that traditionalists doubt smartwatches. On their part, hybrid manufacturers face a marketing challenge of convincing buyers that they are not just a gadget.

Overall, given the usefulness, long-term value, and uniqueness, watches are expected to hold their place as an accessory that fits in all forms of society. The industry has even more potential to grow as tech-boom and smartwatches continue to revolutionize how the world functions, while the promising future growth in the industry and overarching economy favor the global watch market.

Author's Bio: 

Malik Waqas is a web development, SEO Expert and freelance writer who specializes in solving issues people face in their everyday lives.
Holding a degree in BS Software Engineering from Pakistan, Malik Waqas found with the aid of his degree and love of writing, He was able to pen wonderfully engaging and thought-provoking self-help guides.
Malik Waqas loves to solve unique problems people face in everyday life with a particular focus on whether new technology can help us save time and free up our lives. His favorite topic to write about is technology in the home and work environments as it also ties in with his hobby of building and fixing electronic equipment.