Swiss replica watches, an industry under threat

Apple-Watch-Hermes

The Swiss watchmaker industry is facing an existential crisis from the advent of smartwatches according to a new report from RE Analytics.

The industry enjoyed an air of exclusivity in absence of substantial competition, gaining a position of monopoly until the 1970s. The late 1960s mark the beginning of a change. This is when Japanese watchmaker Seiko introduced new technology in the market with its Seiko Quartz-Astron 35Q, the world’s first wristwatch based on a quartz crystal oscillator.

The Astron was unveiled in Tokyo on December 25, 1969, after ten years of research and development. Within one week 100 gold watches had been sold, at a retail price of $1,250 each.

This ushered in an era of cheaper, more accurate alternatives to Swiss replica watches. At the time, the industry nearly collapsed under siege from new upstarts. The number of Swiss watchmakers feel from 1,500 in 1970s, to 600 at the height of the “crisis” in 1983. Ultimately Swiss watch companies managed to ride out the storm, and found their niche in the luxury high end of the market.

Hermes-watch

The industry is now facing another crisis. Technology is once again drawing a battlefield for Swiss watchmakers. The RE Analytics report, Rolex: An industry under threat, goes in detail in analyzing the Rolex business model, and how it is being affected by the challenging market conditions.

The report identifies two main business segments for Rolex: the entry-level luxury replica watches and the high-end luxury watch. Together these two clusters represent more than 80% of the business at Rolex.

According to the report, Rolex’s entry-level luxury replica watches are seeing a threat from high-end wearables. For example, with a price tag ranging from $1,150 to $1,500 (depending on model), the Apple Watch Hermés is at the door of the entry-level luxury watch segment. Apple’s device was announced in late 2015, some six months after the original collections first shipped. Now in its second iteration, the watch brought together Apple’s tech smarts with Hermès’ classic leatherwork.

Some traditional watchmakers are making tentative steps in the fast-growing wearables market via technology partnerships and investments. TAG Heuer has, for example, recently partnered with Google and Intel for its TAG Heuer Connected watch. And Frederique Constant, a manufacture of luxury wrist watches, is working on nine new designs of its Horological Smartwatch.

Squatrito adds that Swiss watchmakers may also be forced to look for other opportunities. They could, for example, follow fashion companies and expand into non-core products.

The industry’s unique positioning in the luxury segment, the strong brand image, the appeal of the Swiss Made label, and new markets could all offer opportunities to Swiss replica watch makers. If it is to survive, the industry cannot afford to ignore the potential opportunities and threats posed by this new market segment.

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A million Swiss replica watches seized

Plusieurs milliers de contrefacon de montres suisses ont ete detruites ce mardi 1 juillet 2008, a l'entreprise MHT Recycling SA de Cressier, FR. Sous l'egide de la federation Horlogere, de l'Association Suisse pour la lutte contre le piratage et de Stop Piracy, et pour symboliser l'entree en vigeur des nouvelles dispositions legales suisses, de lutte contre la contrefacon et le piratage, des miliers de fausses montres et de DVD's ont ete broyes, devant les medias. (KEYSTONE/Sandro Campardo) A pile of thousands of faked watches is seen at the MHT Recycling SA company in Cressier, Switzerland, Tuesday, July 1, 2008. More than 28 000 faked watches and counterfeit 4 000 DVDs confiscated by the Swiss customs authority have been destroyed by shredding under the aegis of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH). From July 1, the private import of brand and design counterfeits to Switzerland is interdicted.
Since July 2008, Swiss customs has the right to seize counterfeit goods found on travellers entering the country.

Approximately, one million counterfeit Swiss watches were seized in 2016, and the same number of internet advertisements for them removed.

The majority of replica watches were confiscated in China, Jean-Daniel Pasche, president of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry told the Swiss News Agency on Tuesday. However, that does not mean other counterfeiting hubs do not exist. For example, 130,000 fakes were seized in Turkey, 70,000 in Dubai and 9,000 in Russia.

The trend for replica watches appears to correspond to that of other fake goods like bags, jewellery and shoes. In 2015, Hong Kong and China accounted for 80% of all intercepted replica goods shipments to Switzerland by post. Turkey was the leading destination from where travellers brought fake goods into Switzerland, accounting for around 40% of all traffic.

The FH has also stepped up its monitoring of the internet and social media networks for dubious advertisements for fakes. According to Pasche, over a million such ads were removed. It has also trained authorities in vulnerable spots like Dubai, London’s Heathrow airport, San Francisco, Nice, Lisbon, Brussels, Prague, and Athens to spot fakes.

Members of the public can also report cases of replica watch sales on the Getnicewatches website.

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The Ultimate Status Rolex Day-Date 40 Watch

rolex-watches
The new generation of Rolex Day-Date or Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 is now available in platinum, 18ct yellow, white or Everose gold versions.

Serious watch aficionados understand that when it comes to timepieces, a Rolex on the wrist represents a certain status.

Enter the Rolex Day-Date 40. The ultimate status symbol, it’s dubbed the presidents’ watch because it has been worn by more presidents, leaders, and visionaries than any other.

The new generation of Day Date 40 was introduced on Wednesday through a special exhibition in Caronel Rolex Boutique at Tumon Sands Plaza featuring the evolution of the prestigious watch since its introduction in 1956.

Yves Meylan, area sales manager for Rolex replica, presented several of the new Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 models and explained that the latest Day-Date, Caliber 3255, is a 40mm 18K gold or platinum timepiece driven by a mechanical movement with bidirectional, self-winding rotor movement with a Paramagnetic blue Parachrom oscillator.

rolex-manager
Yves Meylan, area sales manager for Rolex, discusses the watch’s bidirectional, self-winding rotor movement.

“This symbol of excellence and prestige in the industry of replica watches making was the first waterproof and self-winding chronometer wristwatch that provides a modern calendar with an instantaneous display, spelt out in full in a window on the dial in addition to the date,” Meylan said.

The new generation of replica Rolex Day-Date or Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 is now available in platinum, 18ct yellow, white or Everose gold versions with prices starting at $210 and runing upward of $650 depending on the base metal, dial and whether it boasts diamonds and other precious gems.

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Day-Date timepiece, Rolex created a new, Green Roman dial, available in 18K white gold and in 18K pink gold indices. The popular Chocolate Roman and Chocolate 10 Baguette-cut diamonds dial is also available on an 18K pink gold case, along with the new Chocolate diagonal dial. For platinum lovers, some new and popular dials include Ice Blue diagonal, Ice Blue Quadrant Roman, and Ice Blue 10 baguette-cut diamonds.

And if the features, caliber, and functional aesthetic of this watch is not convincing enough, think about being in the fashionable company of global leaders. U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, and Lyndon Johnson, Vice President Dick Cheney, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesse Jackson, and the Dali Lama of Tibet have all owned a version of this watch.

Here’s a juicy piece of trivia: Marilyn Monroe gifted President John F. Kennedy a Day-Date watch on his birthday in 1962.

This holiday season, Guam’s discerning men can now buy themselves their Christmas gift. Or better still, lovers can be like Marilyn and make this holiday season a memorable one.

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