Guess Watches CEO welcomes Apple to watch world

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The US-based head of Guess Watches has extended a warm welcome to the watch industry to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.

The day after the unveiling of Apple Watch, Cindy Livingston, president and CEO of Guess Watches, wrote an open letter to her counterpart in which she embraced the challenge of smart watches. “We personally welcome this new challenge to remain relevant to our young, sexy and adventurous consumers who see as much importance in the device they carry and the messaging app they use and the clothing and accessory brands they buy,” Livingston said.

The letter describes the history of the watch industry, particularly at the fashion end of the market, in which Guess and Apple will compete. “Over the years, we have seen the introduction of quartz movements, the rise and fall of calculator watches, digitals, analogue-digitals and many many brands, both big and small. It seems that the test of time has show that the wrist is an obvious place for both function and fashion,” Livingston describes.

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Guess was a pioneer of the fashion watch business in the 1980s; a period that followed the market disruption of quartz and digital watches, and the fight back by the Swiss traditionalists. “At that time, we had many critics who thought we were crazy. They believed that the only real alternatives were Swiss mechanicals or traditional quartz timepieces. Fortunately for us, consumers thought differently,” the letter continues.

Livingston likens Apple’s entry to those early days of fashion watches, and celebrates the innovation. “Just as we had in the early 80s, there are naysayers and believes. I, for one, am a fan! Your innovation and attention to detail is spectacular,” she says.

Guess Watches’ welcome is not without caveats. The company intends to fight for every wrist with its line up of fashion watches, and its own collection of smart watches, developed in conjunction with Martian, that will be released soon. “As we look forward to the launch of our own connected timepiece for Guess, ‘Powered by Martian’, we’re happy to have another true brand innovator in our industry that confirms the wrist is the dominant place for self-expression,” Livingston’s letter concludes.

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