Smartwatches outsell Swiss-made watches by more than three to one

Jeff Williams, chief operating officer of Apple, introduces the fourth generation of its Watch (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Smartwatches are now outselling Swiss-made watches by more than three to one in terms of units, according to analysis by investment bank Morgan Stanley.

In 2019, the firm’s research shows sales of 67.3 million smartwatches in 2019, compared to 20.6 million Swiss watches.


Apple, alone, sold more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry, with 26.3 million units in 2019, up from 23.4 million in the previous year.

The first Apple Watch was sold in 2015 while Switzerland started making its first portable timekeepers in the 16th century.

Apple first sold more units than the whole Swiss watch industry back in the fourth quarter of 2017, but Morgan Stanley says that 2019 was the first time it achieved this performance for a whole year.

Apple is also leading when it comes to turnover. In 2019, Apple Watch generated $11.7 billion in revenue for Apple, while Rolex, the second largest watchmaker by sales, generated $5.2 billion.

Garmin, which specialises in smartwatches for sport and leisure, is also bigger than most Swiss watchmakers, with smartwatch sales totaling $2 billion last year.

This figure is beaten by only Rolex, Omega and Cartier, and beats Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet.

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  1. while this trend of smartwatch sales isn’t necessarily harmful to the Swiss watch market as they are different customers, hopefully the EU will manage to introduce the Circular Economy Action Plan, which will see sales on smartwatches begin to decline as they are made repairable or at least software update-able instead of propelling throw away culture. If this is introduced, it should mean tech giants like Apple have a social and economic responsibility to make products reusable rather then disposable, which should stop the need for consumption of the newest models and redistribute sales back into the traditional watch market.


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