Swatch Co-Inventor Predicts Apple Watch Will Bring ‘Ice Age’ To Swiss Watch Industry

It seems that these days everything Apple touches turns to gold, hence why the company was able to post an $18 billion profit for its fiscal first quarter of 2015. Be that as it may, can Apple popularize the smartwatch market as others have been unable to do so far? Not only is that the expectation, but according to Swatch watch co-inventor Elmar Mock, Apple is going to bring about an "Ice Age" to the Swiss watch market.

Elmar told Bloomberg that he expects the Apple Watch to quickly reach sales of 20 million to 30 million units per year. For the sake of comparison, Switzerland exported 28.6 million watches in 2014, none of them with smart capabilities.

Swatch Co-Inventor, Elmar Mock - Credit: Flickr/Rezonance

"Apple will succeed quickly. It will put a lot of pressure on the traditional watch industry and jobs in Switzerland...I do expect an Ice Age coming toward us," Elmar said.

Apple Watches

He doesn't seem concerned with Apple's pricing, which has raised some eyebrows in the media. The least expensive models -- Apple Watch Sport -- will start at $349. If you want a stainless steel model, you'll have to shell out at between $549 and $1,049 for the 38mm version and $599 to $1,099 for the 42mm version. And if you have money to burn, the Apple Watch Edition will set you back $10,000.

Neither are analysts for Barclays. They wrote in a note to investors that the Apple Watch launch could result in a 6 percent annual decline in Swatch Group AG's revenue.

To keep up with the times (and help fend off competition from Apple), there are at least three Swiss watch companies planning to make smartwatches, including Swatch Group, which will unveil a smart model sometime this year.