Apple Watch outsold all of the Swiss watch industry by sales volume in 2019

Posted:
in Apple Watch
Apple's wildly popular Apple Watch had a record-breaking year in 2019, with analysts now saying it outsold an entire industry historically known for making watches.




"We estimate Apple Watch shipped 30.7 million units worldwide in 2019, growing a healthy 36 percent from 22.5 million in 2018. A blend of attractive design, user-friendly tech and sticky apps makes the Apple Watch wildly popular in North America, Western Europe and Asia," said Strategy Analytics, Senior Analyst Steven Waltzer.

Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics' Executive Director added that "we estimate the entire Swiss watch industry together shipped 21.1 million units worldwide in 2019, falling 13 percent from 24.2 million in 2018." According to Mawston, Analog wristwatches are popular among older consumers, and younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches like the Apple Watch.

It isn't clear how precise Strategy Analytics' data is. Apple hasn't divulged Apple Watch sales figures for over a year, and the category is embedded in a larger business. For the purposes of this calculation, though, the accuracy may not matter, as the margin separating the Swiss watch industry and the Apple Watch is not small.

In 2019, Apple said that more than 75 percent of Apple Watch buyers were new to Apple Watch. In another first, wearables now have overtaken Mac revenue and is the size of a Fortune 150 company.

The Apple Watch had a particularly strong year in 2019, as did other Apple wearables. Apple's wearables category hit $10 billion this quarter, up from $7.3 billion a year ago, with both Apple Watch and AirPods setting new all-time revenue records for the company. The segment also includes Beats headphones as well as HomePod.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    I am not surprised.  My Rolex has been in a drawer ever since I got my first Watch.
    stanhopeGG1jony0jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Can we take this opportunity to call to mind all of the haters who dissed the Apple watch with such authority and fervor?  I have watches worth literally tens of thousands of dollars sitting in a jewelry case while i wear my Apple watch worth about $500 each and every day.
    lkruppStrangeDaysGG1visualzonejony0kudutmayjbdragonJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 37
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,627member
    stanhope said:
    Can we take this opportunity to call to mind all of the haters who dissed the Apple watch with such authority and fervor?  I have watches worth literally tens of thousands of dollars sitting in a jewelry case while i wear my Apple watch worth about $500 each and every day.
    Haters gonna hate. They’ve been wrong for forty years and it hasn’t slowed them down one tiny bit. They will viciously attack the next Apple product or service with every fiber of their being. It’s who they are. Over at c|net they’re still chugging along with the tired “Android had that years ago” and “The Amiga ate the Mac’s lunch."
    edited February 2020 StrangeDaysvisualzonejony0chiapscooter63tmaydannyboy323watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 37
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 858member
    I wear my $500 Apple Watch every day, while my myriad of $25 Timex watches go unused.
    sflocaljony0cy_starkmanroundaboutnowWgkruegerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 37
    The death of the traditional watch started a long long time ago, about the same time phones became truly portable.  By the time smart phones took off watches had become nothing but a fashion accessory.

    I have no plans to purchase an Apple Watch, but at least some people find it useful.  My phone does everything I need.  My phone will get replaced by a watch, when the watch can do everything I use my phone for. (Phone calls, texting, music, weather, navigation).  I use my iPad for everything else...
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Remember when people pretended that because Apple wasn't disclosing sales numbers (like everyone else) it meant it was a failure? Yeah. Good times.
    pscooter63tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 37
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,328member
    Wasn't this supposed to be DOA? That's what 95% of internet comments confidently claimed upon unveiling. 
    StrangeDaysjony0pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 37
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,179member
    MacPro said:
    I am not surprised.  My Rolex has been in a drawer ever since I got my first Watch.
    In a few years, it will the opposite, the AW will be in the drawer, stuck with an old version of WatchOS, while the Rolex will be working like new.   ;)
    cy_starkmandewmeavon b7
  • Reply 9 of 37
    The death of the traditional watch started a long long time ago, about the same time phones became truly portable.  By the time smart phones took off watches had become nothing but a fashion accessory.

    I have no plans to purchase an Apple Watch, but at least some people find it useful.  My phone does everything I need.  My phone will get replaced by a watch, when the watch can do everything I use my phone for. (Phone calls, texting, music, weather, navigation).  I use my iPad for everything else...
    The Apple Watch can do all that now. 
    jony0chiaking editor the gratejbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 37
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member
    1) While I don't usually prescribe to schadenfreude, I do hope the people that rallied against the Apple Watch as a product short sold Apple and lost big.

    2) Because of the jewelry and handcrafted aspect of fine, collectable watches, this industry will keep going in perpetuity, even if it's just a niche market. I can even see it growing later on as wearable tech gets more health-related and internal which allows for fine craftsmanship to be adorned on the body once again where wrist-worn devices no longer need to be.
    edited February 2020 tycho_macuserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 37
    The best part I find about the Apple watch is not having to dig in my pocket or look for my iPhone when I need to answer a call. Especially when it's cold and I'm outside or when my hands are wet I just hit the little greet dot with one finger and it's "hello world."
    pscooter63GeorgeBMacjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 37
    While I can see the validity of this article, it is really a misnomer. Luxury watches are just that, luxury watches. They aren't meant to compete against an Apple Watch which is essentially a computer on your wrist. When I am out and about I might wear my Apple Watch, but when I have a function where it is important to look nice, I tend to wear my Rolex, Omega, or Panerai. I even had the very first Tag Heuer Connect here in Finland, and it too was a great smart watch but not having a luxury label could make it a luxury watch. So in short, the Apple Watch has a place on either wrist.
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 37
    stanhope said:
    Can we take this opportunity to call to mind all of the haters who dissed the Apple watch with such authority and fervor?  I have watches worth literally tens of thousands of dollars sitting in a jewelry case while i wear my Apple watch worth about $500 each and every day.

    Same result will happen with News+ and TV+. The haters will be proven wrong.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 37
    danvm said:
    MacPro said:
    I am not surprised.  My Rolex has been in a drawer ever since I got my first Watch.
    In a few years, it will the opposite, the AW will be in the drawer, stuck with an old version of WatchOS, while the Rolex will be working like new.   ;)
    What bullshit - I bought an Apple Watch because I was tired of having to reset the time on my 2 year old, $8k Tag heuer “chronometer”. Also the Crown’s thread wore away inside of a year and needed replacement. (Which they weren’t willing to do for free.)
    The idea that these brands are producing a high-value, quality item is purely marketing. It’s typical fashion “thin end of the wedge marketing”.
    For the price of a “luxury” Swiss watch, I can buy a stainless steel Apple Watch every year for over a decade - then just give them away for free to friends after the year is up. 

    Also the ASP for Swiss watches is not as high as some people might think. While apple doesn’t disclose figures, I think it’s a fair bet to say that they have comparable ASPs. 
    SoliStrangeDayspscooter63tycho_macuserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 37
    1) Not every Swiss watch is some sort of family heirloom ("The way your dad looked at it, that watch was your birthright..."). Swatch being a line of very inexpensive Swiss watches.

    2) I have sold every one of my older AWes, and used the money toward new ones. Even Apple is now paying out $100 for trade-ins. So no, they don't just go into a drawer. Like other Apple products, they have high re-sale value, compared to the rest of the knockoff brands.
    tycho_macuserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 37
    lkrupp said:
    stanhope said:
    Can we take this opportunity to call to mind all of the haters who dissed the Apple watch with such authority and fervor?  I have watches worth literally tens of thousands of dollars sitting in a jewelry case while i wear my Apple watch worth about $500 each and every day.
    “The Amiga ate the Mac’s lunch."
    To be fair, in terms of performance, the Amiga did in fact eat the early Mac’s lunch. It never sold that well beyond video production, and faded into the dustbin.  
    cy_starkmanVermelhowatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 37
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,934member
    Soli said:
    1) While I don't usually prescribe to schadenfreude, I do hope the people that rallied against the Apple Watch as a product short sold Apple and lost big.

    2) Because of the jewelry and handcrafted aspect of fine, collectable watches, this industry will keep going in perpetuity, even if it's just a niche market. I can even see it growing later on as wearable tech gets more health-related and internal which allows for fine craftsmanship to be adorned on the body once again where wrist-worn devices no longer need to be.
    You've captured the essence of what's going on here. Since the earliest days of the widespread adoption of smartphones the traditional watch industry largely faded into being a niche market in much the same way as the jewelry has always been. The utility value of wearing a watch for timekeeping purposes, for the masses as opposed to scuba divers and other such niche users, is near zero when you have a GPS sych'd time source in your pocket that also provides a host of other essential functions that have become defacto requirements for everyday life.

    The Apple Watch is effectively operating completely outside of the traditional watch market, Edition versions notwithstanding. It truly is an Apples-vs-Oranges comparison in terms of comparing Apple Watch to the traditional watch market. The traditional watch market will take some marginal hits from Apple Watch, but for the most part the buyers of watches-as-jewelry and their association with personal, sentimental, and life milestone keepsakes with lasting value are not even on the same planet. Nobody (I hope) is getting an Apple Watch to commemorate their service with an organization or as personal acknowledgement of a noteworthy accomplishment. Giving your wife an Apple Watch as an anniversary gift is like giving her a blender or crock pot. Don't expect much from your thoughtlessness, especially once the gifted Apple Watch's firmware is no longer being updated and the battery doesn't hold a charge anymore. 

    Flipping the script, from a mass market (as opposed to niche market) smart device marketing perspective the Apple Watch is an awesome on-body peripheral (OBP) for smartphone users who want a lightweight and less-invasive access point into their connected life that's centralized around their iPhone. With cellular connectivity the Apple Watch becomes a semi-autonomous peripheral and centralization moves from the iPhone to the cloud. The Apple Watch is pure genius, but it serves a primary purpose that is completely orthogonal to anything that exists in the traditional watch market. If you're benching your Rolex for an Apple Watch it's because you're completely changing your reason for wearing a watch, but you're not picking the Apple Watch over the Rolex because it is a "better watch." 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 37
    1) Not every Swiss watch is some sort of family heirloom ("The way your dad looked at it, that watch was your birthright..."). Swatch being a line of very inexpensive Swiss watches.

    2) I have sold every one of my older AWes, and used the money toward new ones. Even Apple is now paying out $100 for trade-ins. So no, they don't just go into a drawer. Like other Apple products, they have high re-sale value, compared to the rest of the knockoff brands.
    The luxury watch market has shown steady growth, at least according to these Statista stats. Looks like the Apple Watch sells to a different market probably because the reasons why people buy Apple Watches is different than why people buy luxury watches. 

    https://www.statista.com/outlook/21020100/100/luxury-watches/worldwide


  • Reply 19 of 37
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,179member
    danvm said:
    MacPro said:
    I am not surprised.  My Rolex has been in a drawer ever since I got my first Watch.
    In a few years, it will the opposite, the AW will be in the drawer, stuck with an old version of WatchOS, while the Rolex will be working like new.   ;)
    What bullshit - I bought an Apple Watch because I was tired of having to reset the time on my 2 year old, $8k Tag heuer “chronometer”. Also the Crown’s thread wore away inside of a year and needed replacement. (Which they weren’t willing to do for free.)  

    The idea that these brands are producing a high-value, quality item is purely marketing. It’s typical fashion “thin end of the wedge marketing”.


    Why would Tag Heuer fix your out of warranty watch free of charge?  Do you think that Apple would repair free of charge a $10k out of warranty Apple Watch Edition?  I don't think so.  Second, I suppose your Tag Heuer it's working like new after the repair.  Compare that to the Apple Watch Edition, which customers pay +$10K for a watch that is stuck with WatchOS 4.  Does this means "high-value" for you?  I suppose "quality item is purely marketing" for Apple too.  
    For the price of a “luxury” Swiss watch, I can buy a stainless steel Apple Watch every year for over a decade - then just give them away for free to friends after the year is up. 

    Also the ASP for Swiss watches is not as high as some people might think. While apple doesn’t disclose figures, I think it’s a fair bet to say that they have comparable ASPs. 
    Are you saying that Apple Watches are disposables compared to luxury Swiss watches?  And Apple may have similar ASP to many Swiss watches, but there are others that are miles ahead of Apple ASP, and high end customers have no problem purchasing them.  Compare that to a $10K Apple Watch Edition, that is stuck at Watch OS 4, and was discontinued after a year and a half.  Do you think this is a good sign for a "luxury" watch?

  • Reply 20 of 37
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    The death of the traditional watch started a long long time ago, about the same time phones became truly portable.  By the time smart phones took off watches had become nothing but a fashion accessory.

    I have no plans to purchase an Apple Watch, but at least some people find it useful.  My phone does everything I need.  My phone will get replaced by a watch, when the watch can do everything I use my phone for. (Phone calls, texting, music, weather, navigation).  I use my iPad for everything else...
    The Apple Watch can do all that now. 

    Not really.  You still need an iPhone.

    I’d be interested in an Apple Watch (cellular) that completely replaces my need for my phone.  Until then, there’s no point in buying one.

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