While the Apple Watch may never reach the popularity of the iPhone, the smartwatch is currently making enormous waves in the wearable technology industry. The impact of the device is also now being felt in the Swiss watch industry, as exports for Swiss watches have declined to a six-year low.
Exports of Swiss watches saw their biggest drop in six years for the month of October, spurred by a 39 percent decline in exports to Hong Kong, which is the largest market of the industry.
Overall, Swiss watch shipments dropped by 12 percent to about $2 billion, according to a statement released by the Swiss customs office. When adjusted for the lesser working days, the decline was 7.6 percent. Swiss watch shipments to the United States, meanwhile, declined 12 percent.
"2015 has been one to forget for the watchmakers," said Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox.
The report cited competition from the Apple Watch as one of the reasons for the declining Swiss watch demand, as the smartwatch has stolen sales for the low-end brands of Swiss watches.
It would seem that the Apple Watch's growth is not yet over, as the smartwatch is currently on pace to sell over 10 million units by the end of the year. A report revealed that Apple has placed an order to ship four million units of the Apple Watch for the upcoming holiday shopping frenzy, revealing the confidence of Apple in its smartwatch.
The strong market performance of the Apple Watch, with 3.6 million units sold for the second quarter, is placing a significant burden on the Swiss watch industry. Whether Swiss watch exports bounce back or continue to decline as the Apple Watch, along with other wearable devices, take a firmer hold of the market remains to be seen.
Apple said that sales of the Apple Watch have gone beyond expectations. London-based designer Marc Newson, who helped in the design process of the smartwatch, believes that the device will be seen as a game changer, though it might take years for the Apple Watch to reveal its true significance.
Newson frowned on the impatience being shown by consumers and analysts regarding expectations for the Apple Watch. It should be noted that when Apple launched the iPhone back in 2007, the smartphone also had disbelievers.