back to article Jony Ive: Apple iWatch will SCREW UP Switzerland's economy

The New York Times has profiled the wearables market and there's an intriguing little hint that, as a designer, Apple's Jony Ive is in fact a great marketing guru. For he seems to be thinking that the iWatch is going to be so cool that it'll entirely screw over the Swiss watch industry. This isn't, needless to say, quite what …

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  1. dotdavid
    Coat

    Switzerland's economy will PLUNGE after the iWatch launch

    No they'll need to release the iChoc (maybe a Toblerone with rounded corners?) and the iCheese first.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Experts said the Titanic was unsinkable.

      Some biased Apple employee with delusions of fanbois grandeur does nothing to influence my purchase decision.

      1. Eltonga
        Meh

        Actually, it does influence my decision... towards the negative.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      You're reading it wrong

      Switzerland is in trouble.

      He means of course, once Apple release the "device for communicating to the user the chronological point in a 24 hour period worn on the wrist" they have "invented", aka patent "1-800-MEETOOWRISTWATCH-CATCHUP", granted 01-Sep-2014, their lawyers will naturally be suing anyone who copied this stunning innovation before them, since as usual they have the best judges money can buy.

      And what they have in mind for those with the affront to use round corners on their cheap imitations just doesn't bear thinking about.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: You're reading it wrong

        Sadly, you're probably right.

      2. LDS Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: You're reading it wrong

        Just, a round watch as no corners...

    3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

      Harry Lime in The Third Man

      1. Financegozu

        Sorry, the cuckoo clock is not Swiss

        Its origin is in the so-called Black Forest region which is just north of the Rhine river (http://www.naturparkschwarzwald.de). It's just for tourstic reasons it's being sold in Switzerland

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Harry Lime

          clearly forgot about the Swiss army knife.

        2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
          Paris Hilton

          Chocolate was a Dutch invention

          Do you suppose that Apple's Cocoa is killing the Swiss chocolate industry?

      2. Eltonga
        Headmaster

        Erm... Switzerland´s centuries of democracy and brotherly love were supported by ahem... "outsourcing" armies all over Europe. Their crosbow equipped mercenaries were sought after by every warring king of the time. This is... they were the Rolex of Renascence armies. The Vatican still hires them for guard duties.

    4. jgarbo
      Devil

      iCheese - will the round holes be contravening any Apple patents? Maybe Switzerland really is in trouble....;-p

  2. Slap

    Bang on

    Bang on article which totally tells the truth (I'm in Switzerland by the way).

    I don't think I'm the only one to see this smart watch thing as a solution looking for a problem. A smart watch is today's equivalent of those 80's Casio calculator watches - really not cool.

    1. bpfh
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Bang on

      Oh come on, when I was in primary school in the late 80's, we would have sold our parents into slavery for a calc watch! (even if they were only 8 quid in the local paper shop for the cheapos). This was in the dark ages when us 11 year olds would go out, into the real world and play, with real friends, and the extent of fanboism deciding who was the best out of Marvell and the Beano...

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Bang on

        The Beano, natch.

      2. Haff

        Re: Bang on

        2000 AD surley ?

        1. Thunderbird 2

          Re: Bang on

          Judge Dredd partnering with Strontium Dog Johnny Alpha, best story ever.

      3. Havin_it

        Re: Bang on

        Bollocks, the remote control watch was the uber status symbol in them days. Hours of fun disrupting video lessons ;)

    2. Van

      Re: Bang on

      "I don't think I'm the only one to see this smart watch thing as a solution looking for a problem."

      Look around you. It appears people actually need to have their faces in a screen as much as others need to have a cigarette in their mouths.

      Did people really have the same need to have their faces in calculators as much in the 1980s? No they didn't, poor poor comparison.

      John Ive believes the iwatch and what it contains will be something people need to have on them.

      Was moving a clock off the wall into the pocket, then onto the wrist, really considered cool back in the day?

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Bang on

        The people gawking at their screens all the time are not going to be too interested: a watch is too small. Hasn't Ive noticed the phones have been getting larger rather than smaller, to allow for a decent screen. A traditional watch has a different task, it just shows one piece of information so its "screen" can be small.

      2. ThePhantom

        Re: Bang on

        "Was moving a clock off the wall into the pocket, then onto the wrist, really considered cool back in the day?"

        >> Absolutely! Pocket watches were required by railroad men so that they knew whether their trains were running on time or not and by town "watchmen" to keep track of their shifts. But before that came pendant clock-watches - which were not worn to tell the time. The accuracy of their verge and foliot movements was so poor, with errors of perhaps several hours per day, that they were practically useless. They were made as jewelry and novelties for the nobility, valued for their fine ornamentation, unusual shape, or intriguing mechanism, and accurate timekeeping was of very minor importance.

        Back in the day, wrist watches were almost exclusively worn by women, while men used pocket-watches. Since early watches were notoriously prone to fouling from exposure to the elements, they could only reliably be kept safe from harm if carried securely in the pocket.

        But as watches became more hardened, it was clear that using pocket watches while in the heat of battle or while mounted on a horse was impractical, so officers began to strap the watches to their wrist. In fact, watches produced during the first WW were specially designed for the rigors of trench warfare, with luminous dials and unbreakable glass - and the rest is history...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG OMG OMG I LITERALLY CANT WAIT TO BUY AN APPLE WATCH PLEASE DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN PRE ORDER ONE I CANT CONTAIN MYSELF WITH EXCITMENT

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      RE: OMG OMG OMG I LITERALLY....

      Don't worry- just pop down the supermarket and you can find some iNcontinence pants.

      1. Havin_it
        Joke

        Re: RE: OMG OMG OMG I LITERALLY....

        iWouldn't. The iPood brand has already had the Apple legal treatment (Reg covered it a year or three ago).

  4. Erik4872

    Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

    ...like banking.

    Someone saying that Rolex is doomed because Apple is rolling out a really fancy Timex calculator watch is a little silly. The author is right in this case -- even above Rolex, there are higher end watchmakers like Patek Philippe, etc. whose watches command even higher sums. And never mind that these luxury timepieces are insanely expensive, they're also throwbacks. Mechanical watches are actually less accurate than ones with quartz movements, but they cost way more due to the workmanship. You're paying for the 15 watchmakers left in the world hunched over a table hand-assembling micro-scale mechanical watch parts..Look at a couple YouTube videos about watchmaking...I have no idea how those guys don't go insane working with such tiny, fragile metal parts. (Also, luxury watches need to be serviced periodically which is extremely expensive (and labor intensive.)

    Mind you, I think buying a watch that costs as much as a car is a very strange way to blow one's money. But I guess if you're at that end of the market and you already have everything else, why not go for it?

    I think the iWatch will find a place with most of the Apple faithful, but I doubt any executive is going to give up their Audemars Piguet or Rolex.

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

      "Mind you, I think buying a watch that costs as much as a car is a very strange way to blow one's money. But I guess if you're at that end of the market and you already have everything else, why not go for it?"

      Agreed and yet.....human beings are hugely status conscious creatures. And alpha males really do get more legover than the rest of us. One friend worked in SE Asia for a number of years and he said that his (real, gold) Rolex was the best investment he'd ever made.

      Doesn't wear it anymore now he's married, of course.

      Of course, not even when the wife's out of town.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

        I lived in the far east for a few years. Unless your friend looks like Wayne Rooney and Peter Beardsley's bastard son, he probably never needed the watch.

        Aside from the fact that unless these ladies were expert watchmakers, they'd not be able to tell a fake Rolex from a real one anyway.

        1. JLV Silver badge
          Facepalm

          >tell a fake Rolex from a real one anyway.

          True story.

          - My, my, Janine, nice Rolex. Cost a lot?

          - (giggle) No, got it for a steal in Thailand. Who'd pay the full price for the real thing?

          later... at the Paris Rolex service dept.

          - Excuse me, my watch has stopped working. Can you fix it?

          - Errr, you are aware it it s a counterfeit?

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

        Presumably, being the type of guy that wears a Rolex, he managed to avoid the cognitive dissonance that comes with knowing that the girl/woman/person wouldn't be sleeping with you if it wasn't for the watch you were wearing.

        Quite apart from the obvious fact that that person is not really in it for the long term, it would seem less good in the short term.

        Probably why I drive a regular car, don't replace my great phone with an expensive shiny all the time and keep the money saved in the bank so I can work less, thus spending more quality time with my partner and kids.

        1. Skiper

          Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

          What cognitive dissonance ? It's about getting laid, not finding a long term relationship...

          There's no cognitive dissonance in parading with an expensive watch and trying to get one night stands.

        2. southen bastard

          Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

          did that once, the partner and kids thing, i can tell you, bling and hookers is so much more furfulling, we are only here for a good time not a long time so why piss around with a ball and chain with screeming brats.

    2. Turtle

      Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

      "Also, luxury watches need to be serviced periodically which is extremely expensive (and labor intensive)."

      I read a very interesting book by Paul Fussell called "Class" which dissects the way status symbols work in the US although most of his points apply to any stratified society, i.e. any society that has ever existed. He mentions that service being expensive (because labor intensive) is actually a benefit from the status-symbol point of view. Because the watch (or other status symbol) is both expensive to obtain and to maintain - it is more difficult for the lower classes to overreach themselves. Okay, you've bought that 40 foot wooden-hulled sailboat - let's see if you afford the marina fees, the cost of sails, the upkeep for that wooden hull, or if it's going to bleed you dry.

      At any rate, I kind of doubt that anyone with real money considers Apple to produce high-status goods as any good produced in the millions or tens of millions is, by their definition, pretty plebeian. So from their point of view, nothing says "low-brow" like thinking Apple is "high-brow".

      But the plebes and the proles are impressed - bless their stupid and pointy little heads.

      1. HelpfulJohn

        Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

        Apple gear is the "as-seen-on-film", chinese-copy, cotton version of the silk dress worn by the Famous Actress.

        It looks expensive so they can charge more for it and the buyers still think it's a bargain.

        True, in some ways some Apple gear is quite good but the equivalently priced non-Apple gear is, too. But other PCs and phones aren't "celebrity must-haves", they are just the everyday clothes of the rest of us so they don't have the cachet of a Mac or iDevice.

        Looking like a film star by carrying a film-star's gear or wearing clothes that look like theirs is nothing new. Aspirational acquisitiveness is as old as stratified societies.

        And if it keeps the money flowing it can't be all bad.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

      "Mind you, I think buying a watch that costs as much as a car is a very strange way to blow one's money. But I guess if you're at that end of the market and you already have everything else, why not go for it?"

      There are also people who get crazy from some shiny stones and metals bound together, and they don't even tell you the time...

    4. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

      (Also, luxury watches need to be serviced periodically which is extremely expensive (and labor intensive.)

      So does my Seiko Kinetic at £70 each time should I ever bother to do it. It's cheaper to let it die a slow lingering demise.

      1. J__M__M

        Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

        So does my Seiko Kinetic at £70 each time should I ever bother to do it. It's cheaper to let it die a slow lingering demise...

        A kinetic is not a mechanical watch, it's a quartz.

        1. SEDT

          Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

          Seiko also make mechanical watches. I have a self winder, costs under £70 and keeps good time.

          I enjoy the fact that its not electrickery. Its timeless (Unh?).

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

      Watches in the upper price band don't depreciate, whereas expensive cars depreciate faster than mid-range ones.

      My father had a friend who, many years ago, collected watches made by a firm called Breguet. Pension fund? I believe his heirs are still rich on the proceeds.

    6. bpfh

      Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

      > I think the iWatch will find a place with most of the Apple faithful, but I doubt any executive is going to give up their Audemars Piguet or Rolex.

      Anyone with a decent sense of taste and elegance will keep wearing quality timepieces. Idiots with more money than sense will buy a 250 quid iwatch. Hum. Compared to my Hamilton, I wonder how long it lasts?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Switzerland still has plenty of other industries...

        "Idiots with more money than sense will buy a 250 quid iwatch"

        Please post back when an iwatch can do everything a smart phone can. I want to see if you'll be wearing your Hamilton on the other wrist or whether you'll stick with a smart phone rather than look like a tool.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well said

    "Another way of putting the same thing would be to say that a Rolex isn't just a watch: it's a statement that you've got $10,000 to blow on a bracelet. The only reason they make it as a watch is so that it's recognisable as having cost $10,000, which is the whole point and purpose of the entire exercise. That it also tells the time is an irrelevance."

    One of the most astute and observant statement yet made in regards to our consumerist society, and I'm IN that luxury business!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Well said

      Tim is wrong that a $400 iWatch isn't a status symbol in the same way a $10K Rolex is - it's more of a status symbol.

      A $10K Rolex on somebody under 40 means that daddy is/was rich.

      An iWatch means you are not only at least comfortably off - it means you are high-tech/high-skill/modern techno-literate pillock.

      That is more status than being the recipient of a trust fund.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iWatch Status symbol

        Would mark you as a c*ck, definitely. Not sure i'd classify that as "status", but anyway

        1. Charles Manning

          status is subjective

          Status is all in the mind of the person trying to make the statement and the intended audience.

          Even animal print lycra is "status" in the right surroundings.

      2. Erik4872

        Re: Well said

        "A $10K Rolex on somebody under 40 means that daddy is/was rich."

        Usually, but it can also mean they're in sales or senior management. Talk to high-end salespeople in very status-conscious industries...guaranteed you'll see a lot of gold Rolexes. $10K is part of a monthly commission check for some of these folks. And salespeople don't tend to save, they blow their money on flashy toys.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Well said

        " $10K Rolex on somebody under 40 means that daddy is/was rich."

        Or that (s)he was able to get rich and was not a nerd...

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Well said

          ...or was a nerd.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well said

        "A $10K Rolex on somebody under 40 means that daddy is/was rich."

        hmm. I bought my first Patek at 21 and my first Ferrari at 30. My dad didn't pay for them and I didn't have a trust fund either. I worked hard, saved my coins, and achieved a few goals. My wealth, such that it is, is the result of my effort (I am not a trader or speculator, I get paid a salary).

        You comment drips of envy.

        Poor people are poor for reasons other than lack of money. I suspect you are an example of this.

      5. Triggerfish

        Re: Well said

        I'd disagree with that my friend has a couple of Breitlings, a Rolex and one from IWC, he paid for them all by himself.

        I don't know if that makes it a status symbol to only those who know about watches, but the IWC is also very simple looking you probably at first glance wouldn't think its a pricey timepiece.

      6. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Well said

        "A $10K Rolex on somebody under 40 means that daddy is/was rich."

        Daddy was a blue collar factory worker (sheet metal), and I'm under 40. $10k is what in real money... about £6k. I can afford to go and buy the Rolex - the only reason I don't is my mrs bought me a different watch to celebrate something, and I've never really aspired to a collection of expenive watches.

        Most people have a car, including the under 40s. For 6k you'd only get a Dacia Sandero in poverty spec. I'll hazard a wild guess the Rolex will outlast the Dacia. I see a lot of young people blowing £100 on drink and club entry every Friday, and there's nothing wrong with that, but those that want the Rolex could miss every other week and buy the watch after 2 years.

        Maybe you should adjust your thinking a little to reflect real life?

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