The conditions have been very challenging for Swiss watch market in recent few years. This has happened due to the growth in popularity of smartwatch markets around the world. Smart wrist bands have also made a contribution in these conditions. Swiss watches are set to see their lowest point of exports in around 35 years.
The industry usually generates around $20 billion yearly in exports around the world and it was not accustomed to facing much of a competition until now. As stated by Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Switzerland shipped more than 18.9 million units in first 11 months of 2019. This is a 13% reduction in export units as compared to the first 11 months of 2018. This also caused the revenue to go down by 3.5% in this time period. This entire situation has affected the conventional watchmakers who are losing their share in the market very rapidly. The severity of situation can only be matched by the crisis of 1984 when the sale of the export units were at 17.8 million. This was caused by the introduction of less costly quartz watches which presented themselves as an alternatives for mechanical Swiss watches.
Now in 2020, the Swiss watchmakers are facing another challenge. Smart watches have already established themselves as an everyday electronic devices in most parts of the world. Smartwatches have established themselves along the same lines as smartphones now as everyday electronic devices for most of the consumers. 2019 was probably the break out point for smart watches industry as many smart watches were unveiled during this ranging from high end to low end and budget to luxury.
Nevertheless, Swiss watchmakers have positioned themselves on the luxury end of the market and they are holding that position very strongly for now their strong brand recognition and “Made in Switzerland” label. Mechanical watches that cost well over three thousand US dollars have become the focus of attention for most of these watchmakers. It is yet to be seen how they are going to overturn their fortunes and cope with this challenge.