Apple Watch Series 3 begins upsetting Swatch, Rolex

Swatch loses US$1bn in value on the same day Apple announced its Watch Series 3.

apple watch series 3 tim cook
Jeff Williams, Apple COO, talks about the Apple Watch Series 3 (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

With the advent of smartwatches at the start of the new millennium, tech analysts predicted that traditional wristwatch will start to fade out down the road. Fast-forward to 2017, industry leaders like Apple and Fitbit have made it hard for classic watch manufacturers to keep up with the rapid progress of time technologies.

Swiss watchmaker Swatch is the latest victim of the smartwatches. Business Insider last week reported that the digital watch manufacturer's shares were down by 4.5 per cent on the same day Apple officially announced the promising Watch Series 3.

Also read: BlackBerry-Timex watch could be the next big thing

Apple recently has overtaken another Swiss watchmaker Rolex for having the bestselling watch worldwide, catapulting the iPhone maker on top of its league.

Swatch lost US$1bn from its value during the Apple Watch Series 3 launch earlier last week. The company was valued at US$21bn before the fall.

An analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux says smartwatches are bound to change the watch game and shove traditional wristwatch on the side.

"The fact the new watch is untethered from the phone has the potential to be a game-changer," says Jon Cox in an interview with Bloomberg. "It is a fight for wrist real-estate and superb functionality versus a simple quartz watch. In many cases, the quartz watch is going to lose."

Also read: Google establishes army of new Android Watch smartwatches

In 2015, a number of Swiss watchmakers downplayed the arrival of the first Apple Watch, suggesting that it was just a craze that would come to pass. Judging by the current competition, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas underscores smartwatches will live on.

"Far from being a flash in the pan, smartwatches are bound to stay and continue to upgrade their functionality—the recently announced new Apple Watch is a case in point," Luca Solca tells Bloomberg.

This article was first published on September 20, 2017