Swiss watches and the Apple Watch
It's not about time
Traditional watchmakers are confident they can see off Apple's new bauble
WHEN cheap, accurate quartz watches started pouring out ofAsiain the 1970s, many Swiss watchmakers went bust. But the survivors recovered their sangfroid and went on to prosper as crafters of stylish timepieces that proclaim the wearer's taste and status better than any electronic gizmo could.
Do Apple's new smartwatch and devices like it portend another quartz catastrophe? Some think they might. Wrists are “prime real estate”, points out Richard Seymour, a design consultant. Many people park expensive watches there—especially men, since that is the main sort of jewellery that convention allows them. So if smartwatches catch on, they could evict the Swiss baubles.
That seems to be Apple's ambition. It has been poaching talent from fashion houses. Its new watches aim to be more than gadgets: some have 18-carat gold cases. Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple's design chief, has reportedly boasted to colleagues that the Swiss are in trouble.
They are not trembling yet. Smartwatches are a mere “information tool” that say “nothing special” about the wearer, says Jean-Claude Biver, chairman of Hublot, a Swiss brand owned by LVMH, a big luxury group. They become obsolete as soon as the technology advances. Swiss watchmakers, on the other hand, are selling “eternity in a box.”
Cheaper and less eternal Swiss-watch brands, from low-end ones like Swatch to mid-market ones like Tissot and Hamilton, seem most at risk. Swatch has already tried to get into smartwatches, in an ill-fated venture with Microsoft a decade ago, and plans to try again. However, Jon Cox of Kepler Cheuvreux, a stockbroker, points out that watches costing $500 or less provide just 6% of the industry's revenues, so it could survive their loss. Since Swatch also owns several upmarket brands and makes parts for many others, just 5% of its profits are at risk from Apple's watch, Mr Cox reckons.
较为便宜以及不太保值的瑞士手表品牌，从低端品牌如Swatch到中端品牌如Tissot和Hamilton，似乎风险最大。十年前Swatch已携手微软试图进入智能手表领域，但这场冒险因时运不佳以失败告终，其计划再试一次。然而，Kepler Cheuvreux的一个股票经纪人Jon Cox指出，价格在500美元或500美元以下的手表，仅提供该产业的总收入的6%，因此Swatch能承受它们的损失。Cox先生认为，由于Swatch还拥有几个高端品牌，且其为其他品牌手表制造零部件，其利润中仅5%会因苹果手表的发布而存在风险。
Mr Biver thinks it may even boost Swiss watchmakers by getting youngsters used to wearing something pricey on their wrists. Existing customers may wear Apples for everyday use, but slip into something more enviable for social occasions. Mr Seymour is not so sure: he thinks Apple will do its utmost to make people wear its watch all the time.
1.point out 指出，指明
Can you point out the hotel on this map?
I want to point out one area that I grade the students on, something that many of them dislike.
2.seem to 似乎，好象；看起来
Some people seem to be always lucky.
I seem to see someone going into my house.
3.try to 试着；设法
Try to mend this hole in my shirt.
Mary is very quiet,try to fetch out at the party.