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Swiss Watch Makers Aren't Worried About The Apple Watch

Wayne Duggan

A new report by Credit Suisse provided some good news for watch makers. According to a recent channel check of 20 global watch makers, order volume is picking up and fears that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will single-handedly decimate the luxury watch space are overblown.

The Results

According to the report, global watch makers are now expecting a mid-single digit year-over-year (Y/Y) increase in planned orders, the strongest growth since 2012. In addition, the most recent survey results indicate improving stock levels and global sell-out trends for watch retailers.

Related Link: Apple Watch: 50 Shades Of 'Meh'

Apple Watch Disruption

Credit Suisse’s survey took place during the first two weeks of May and, therefore, includes retailers’ first impressions of the impact of the Apple Watch.

According to the survey results, only 25 percent of respondents anticipate that smartwatches will have a “meaningful impact” on low-to mid-price Swiss-made watches.

In addition, not a single retailer indicated that they see the new smartwatch category as a threat to the high-end Swiss-made segment.

Outlook Unclear

Apple’s past products, such as the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad, have had a significant impact on competitors. It remains to be seen exactly how much of an impact the Apple Watch will have on traditional fashion watches and whether consumers will view the smartwatch as a fashionable replacement for traditional watches or as a supplement.

Last month, analysts at KeyBanc said they believe the Apple Watch will be “highly disruptive” to traditional watch makers such as Fossil Group Inc (NASDAQ: FOSL) and Movado Group Inc (NYSE: MOV).

Image credit: Apple

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