Smartwatches outsell Swiss watches for the first time says research

It's no surprise to hear Apple has something to do with it…
Smartwatches outsell Swiss made watches

It's happening Switzerland. Smartwatches outsold Swiss made watches in 2015, overtaking luxury timepieces for the first time ever.

That's according to numbers crunched by market research company Strategy Analytics. It revealed that global shipments of smartwatches passed Swiss watches in the fourth quarter of 2015 with 8.1 million shipments compared to 7.9 million Swiss watches.

Swiss sales dropped 5% when compared with the same quarter in 2014 (8.3 million shipments). In contrast, smartwatch sales went up by a massive 316% during the same period.

Essential reading: The best smartwatches in the world

The arrival of the Apple Watch had a pretty major part to play in the emergence of the smartwatch. We reported earlier this month that Apple Watch sales hit an estimated 12 million in 2015.

So why are the traditional luxury watches experiencing a bit of a slump? Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics had a clear view on why this is happening. "The Swiss watch industry has been very slow to react to the development of smartwatches," said Mawston. "The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away."

Now, we're not ones to hang our hats on just one piece of research about smartwatch sales, however this isn't the first time we've heard about the emergence of the watch that does more than tell you when it's lunchtime.

A Gartner report recently revealed that smartwatch sales would dominate a soaring wearable market, while sales of wearables in the UK reportedly doubled in 2015.

While some Swiss companies have appeared reluctant to let go of their traditional ways, there have been a handful that have now decided it's time to embrace tech. Tag Heuer launched its first Connected smartwatch in late 2015.

According to Strategy Analytics, it only accounted for 1% of smartwatch sales in the last quarter of 2015. Tag's CEO Jean-Claude Biver revealed that it had to ramp up production to meet demand and is already planning to release new Connected models.

We wouldn't be surprised if a few more follow in Tag's footsteps before the end of the year and smarten up their approach to making watches.

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