Throughout 2016, digital competitors and a decreased emphasis on traditional precision timekeeping, exacerbated by shifts in eastern and western markets, are threatening the time-honored significance of Swiss-made timepieces. The slowdown of sales in luxury timepieces in recent years is causing leaders in the industry to reexamine their businesses, but those who are committed to playing the long game remain optimistic. Despite current market conditions and various economic circumstances, the best Swiss watch companies in the industry are preparing for a resurgence in the coming months.
While the advent of newer electronic timekeeping devices (most notably the Apple Watch) has worried some in the industry, there is still a lot of optimism among luxury timepiece providers. One of the reasons for this is the inherent timelessness of Swiss-made watches. While digital technologies in timekeeping represent a current and popular trend, many feel that timepieces made by the best Swiss watch companies are essentially built to last, and will ultimately outstrip the mere utility and popularity of alternative devices.
Many experts have pointed to the value of the Swiss watch as far more than simply a precision timekeeping mechanism. Some feel that the shift away from the watch as an essential device for telling time, for instance, a person who wants to know the exact time does not need a Swiss watch in the same way that he might once have, has led to an obvious slump in the market. However, an authentic Swiss-made watch has numerous other aspects with which the technological market simply cannot compete. One of these areas is gift-giving, and the concept of the watch as a sentimental object or status and symbol is expected to endure. As a result, several leaders in the industry agree that the current market conditions of the Swiss watchmaking industry represent an understandable hitch rather than a permanent direction of motion.
In recent times, the condition of the Swiss watch market has been likened to that of the fine art world. Overarching economic conditions, both regionally and internationally, can certainly have an impact on supply, demand, and perceived value. However, as is true of most luxury industries, the best Swiss watch companies are expected to weather these fluctuations as a result of its role in transcending a necessity-based economy. While this may not immediately spell good news for industry leaders, new innovations in watchmaking and cutting edge developments in design are giving many industry leaders hope.