It seems that the Apple Watch has impacted more than just the lives of those who have thus far chosen to integrate the watch into their everyday lives. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, or the FSWI if that’s too much of a mouthful, has today reported that exports of Swiss made timepieces has fallen for the first time in six years. Strangely enough, the significant reduction in exports, for the first time since 2009, coincides perfectly with the release of the Cupertino company’s watchOS powered timepiece.
According to the number crunchers at the FSWI, exports of Swiss made wristwatches fell by 8.9 percent between April and May of this year. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that the significant decline in exports that sees an end to almost six years of strong trading lines immediately after Tim Cook and his team introduced and subsequently launched the powerful Apple Watch to the world. Of course, it would be unfair to attribute the entire downfall to the launch of the Apple watch as the rise and subsequent fall of various currency markets has also played its part in the decline.
Industry and financial analyst Patrik Schwendimann of Zuercher Kantonalbank had this to say to Bloomberg:
Watch exports to the U.S. in the lower price segments could also have had some negative impact from the launch of the Apple Watch. The U.S. market might only grow by a low single-digit percentage this year, slowing down from 6 percent growth in 2014.
The United States is undoubtedly an extremely important market for Swiss manufacturers but there’s also concerning news further afield. The report into the declining shipments also highlights a decline of exports to Hong Kong with the number estimated at as high as 34 percent. This is usually an extremely busy and lucrative market thanks to the Chinese taking advantage of lower tax laws to purchase expensive, quality timepieces. According to Bloomberg, the figures are also skewed by the fact that May had a few less working days than the same period in 2014.
Regardless of the intricate finer points of why exports to various parts of the world have dropped for the first time in nearly six years, Apple will undoubtedly take some positive bits from the news. The launch of the Apple Watch has been met with rapturous delight from those who have purchased it and in some part it definitely seems to have impacted the largest quality watch market in the world.