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Swiss watch industry icon explains why he’s not scared of the Apple Watch one bit

Published Sep 15th, 2014 2:28PM EDT
Apple Watch Vs. Swiss Watches
Image: Apple Inc.

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We’ve heard lots of Ballmer-esque comments rolling in from Swiss watch executives in the last week since Apple finally took the wraps off its hugely anticipated Apple Watch. Forbes has now scored an interview with Jean-Claude Biver, an icon in the Swiss watch industry who has had a highly distinguished career while working at Omega, Blancpain, and Hublot, among other places. Biver provides an interesting perspective because, while he admits to being “disappointed” with the Apple Watch, he also says the device gives Apple a solid foundation for doing bigger and better things in the future.

READ A DIFFERENT TAKE: Watch connoisseur offers the smartest take on the Apple Watch yet

First, the negative part: Biver was expecting a lot more from Apple in terms of delivering a device that could seriously disrupt the industry that he’s spent decades working in.

“I was a little bit disappointed because we were awaiting and expecting a typical ‘Apple Revolution’ and what finally we saw [was] just a brave, somehow classically connected,” watch, Biver tells Forbes. “At present, the Apple Watch cannot compete at all with European watches. Let’s see what happens next, when they will have improved the following generation. For the time being, however, there is no comparison with the designs of Swiss watchmakers.”

On the positive side, Biver says that he will buy an Apple Watch as soon as it becomes decoupled from the iPhone so that he can wear it and use it without having an Apple smartphone in his pocket. That said, while he thinks the Apple Watch has the potential to be a hit consumer product, he doesn’t think it will hurt the Swiss watch industry because Swiss watchmakers are essentially offering a completely different product.

“There is no interest in the Swiss high-end and prestige-brand companies to create, produce, and sell watches whose values will decrease to close to zero, and which one day will not be repairable,” he says. “That’s contrary to the Swiss concept which is more about the creation of ‘eternity in a box.'”

The full interview is worth reading and can be found by clicking the source link below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.

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