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Apple sold almost 10 million more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry

Swiss watchmakers need to hold their watches to a mirror. It’s time for reflection.

Apple watch
Image: Unsplash

If you were to buy a watch these days, would you go the analog route or just pony up for a smartwatch? Well, the general consensus seems to be people prefer smartwatches over traditional watches.  This was recently confirmed in a report by UK consulting firm Strategy Analytics.

According to the report, Apple shipped 30.7 million watches in 2019, vs. the 21.1 million sold by the Swiss watch industry. That’s roughly 10 million more watches than brands like Tag Heuer, Swatch and Tissot.

So why are people picking the Apple Watch over traditional watches?

Steven Waltzer, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: “A blend of attractive design, user-friendly tech, and sticky apps makes the Apple Watch wildly popular in North America, Western Europe, and Asia.”

Piggybacking off of Waltzer’s comment, Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics’ executive director, added: “Analog wristwatches remain popular among older consumers, but younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches and computerized wristwear.”

I mean, this is painfully obvious. If you were to ask any 20-year-old on the street if they preferred a smartwatch over a traditional timepiece, nine times out of ten, they’re going to pick the smartwatch. I mean, it’s pretty evident. And the same thing can be said for folks climbing the age ladder. We need devices that can do more than just telling the time.

The numbers speak for themselves. We knew Apple was going to sell a bunch of Apple Watches, but not to the extent of it outpacing Swiss watchmakers. This is a pretty big deal. Don’t be surprised to see some of these bigger watch names make the jump to smartwatches.

Have any thoughts on this? What’s your preference – a smartwatch or a traditional timepiece? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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