There’s been lots of talk about Apple targeting luxury watch buyers with its new Apple Watch — which costs anywhere between $US350 and $US17,000.
Benjamin Clymer, the founder and executive editor of luxury watch site Hodinkee, put the luxury smartwatch industry in context when writing for The Verge, saying that Apple’s watch has a chance to become the number one watch in the world by the year’s end.
Here’s what he wrote on The Verge:
Will Apple Watch be the number one watch in the world by year-end? Undoubtedly. Will it put a lot of smaller, low-end watch brands out of business? I sure hope so. (I mean that there are simply too many brands doing too little interesting work, and it’s time to trim the fat.)
Clymer thinks the Apple Watch has potential to compete with low-end watch brands. Things are a bit different when you look at high-end offerings near the top of the spectrum. Luxury smartwatches, such as those made by Swiss brands such as Hamilton or Tissot, are priced a bit differently.
With the Apple Watch, the high price tag is largely due to the materials used (i.e. gold versus stainless steel, different strap styles). Standard mechanical watches, however, are also priced based on how much work was done by hand when making the watch, according to Clymer. It sounds like Clymer is saying Apple could easily take out watchmakers that don’t offer watches that include a lot of meticulous hand-made craftsmanship.
Clymer wrote about the Apple Watch back in September when it was initially unveiled, too, saying that its design is better than that of conventional watches that sell for about the same price.