Smartwatches – more than a buzz?

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Smartwatches – more than a buzz?

Deloitte releases its third Swiss Watch Industry Study

More than 50 watch executives participated in the third Deloitte watch industry study, discussing its key challenges, the outlook, new product trends and opportunities for the future.

Growth has been one of the defining features of the watch industry. The industry has reached a new export record: Swiss wristwatches reached an export-value of 20.6 billion Swiss Francs (+2.0%) in 2013, despite a further decline in volumes of 3.6% due to a decrease in number of quartz watches sold1.

1Source: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH

The overall outlook remains bright

While many watch executives remain optimistic for growth over the next 12 months, weakening foreign demand is perceived as a significant risk. Optimism for the outlook of the Swiss watch industry is also below previous years, but with 42% of watch executives having a positive outlook and only 19% a negative one, the overall picture remains relatively bright.

As Karine Szegedi, Deloitte Consumer Business Partner in Geneva, explains: “China, the former top export market for Swiss watches, is still viewed optimistically but less so than last year, which was also down on 2012. The only export market experiencing substantial improvements in sentiment is Europe; the US market still showing as being the market with the strongest growth expectations.”

Smartwatches – the next “big thing”!

96% of watch executives see introducing new products as an important business strategy over the next 12 months. Although 69% of survey respondents reported that their perception of smartwatches has not changed, 44% consider this category as the next big thing. It comes before the latest releases of Samsung, LG, Sony and ASUS and before the presentation of the highly anticipated Apple Watch.

Howard da Silva, Industry Leader Consumer Business at Deloitte in Switzerland says: “Latest developments in smartwatches see more evolved, high-end products coming to the market, and 2015 could potentially be a pivotal year for this new breed of watches.

Bloggers gain importance in marketing

Watch companies use both traditional print and digital media in their marketing campaigns. As for marketing channels, they increasingly place focus on social media, closely followed by print media and internet blogs. Bloggers have been gaining in importance over the past five years and now form an integral part of the communication environment of watch brands.

About the Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study

The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2014 is the third study of its kind and based on personal interviews with executives and an online survey. The 2014 online survey was conducted in June and July 2014. A total of 52 watch executives participated this year, almost evenly split between brands and component manufacturers.

To download a copy of the 2014 Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study, please click here.

About Deloitte in Switzerland

Deloitte is a leading accounting and consulting company in Switzerland and provides industry-specific services in the areas of audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance. With approximately 1,300 employees at six locations in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich (headquarters), Deloitte serves companies and institutions of all legal forms and sizes in all industry sectors. Deloitte AG is a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL member firms comprise of approximately 200,000 employees in more than 150 countries around the world.

Zurich, 18th of September 2014 

Note to editors

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte AG, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, which is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries are leading business advisers, providing audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance services through more than 14 000 exceptional people across the UK and Switzerland. Known as an employer of choice for innovative human resources programmes, it is dedicated to helping its clients and people excel.

Deloitte AG is an auditor firm recognised and supervised by the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA) and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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