The Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019, and not by just a bit, but by a wide margin.
Strategy Analytics says Apple shipped an estimated 30.7 million units worldwide in 2019, up 36% from the estimated 22.5 million units shipped in 2018. In comparison, the Swiss watch industry is estimated to have shipped a total of 21.1 million units worldwide in 2019, dropping 13% from the 24.2 million watches shipped in 2018.
Strategy Analytics says the Apple Watch is “wildly popular” in North America, Western Europe, and Asia. The reasons behind the popularity include its user-friendly tech, sticky apps, and attractive design. Analog watches like those offered by the Swiss watch industry remain popular with older users, while young users prefer smartwatches and other computerized wristwear.
Steven Waltzer, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Traditional Swiss watchmakers, like Swatch and Tissot, are losing the smartwatch wars. Apple Watch is delivering a better product through deeper retail channels and appealing to younger consumers who increasingly want digital wristwear. The window for Swiss watch brands to make an impact in smartwatches is closing. Time may be running out for Swatch, Tissot, TAG Heuer, and others.”
While Apple had previously beaten out Swiss watchmaker shipments in individual quarters, 2019 marks the first year Apple has shipped a larger number of Apple Watches.