Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) finally launched its highly-anticipated wearable device, the Apple Watch along with larger-screen iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on Tuesday, September 9.
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) described the Apple Watch as a “precise and customizable time piece” and a “comprehensive health and fitness device.” He added that the Apple Watch is “as much about personal technology as it is style and taste.” Some people, particularly the avid fans of the Cupertino-based giant may agree with Cook, but some were not impressed with the device.
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Jean-Claude Biver, head of watch brands (Tag Heuer, Zenith, and Hublot) at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (EPA:MC) was among those unimpressed with the design of the Apple Watch. In an interview with Die Welt, a German media, Biver said the wearable device is too feminine and suggested it will not stand the test of time.
“This watch has no sex appeal. It’s too feminine and looks too much like the smartwatches already on the market,” said Biver.
Apple made fundamental mistakes
According to him, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made “some fundamental mistakes” in designing the Apple Watch. “To be totally honest, it looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester,” according to Biver.
The Swiss watch expert emphasized, “Luxury always has something timeless— it’s rare and conveys prestige,” but according to him the Apple Watch does not fit such characteristics. He even suggested that the square face and curved edges of the smartwatch will become outdated soon.
Apple poached Tag Heuer’s sales director
There had been speculations that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) wants to associate the “Swiss Made” label to sell the Apple Watch as it tried to hire several executives from sophisticated Swiss watch manufacturers.
The Cupertino-based tech giant succeeded in poaching the sales director of Swiss luxury watch maker TAG Heuer. Biver confirmed that Tag Heuer’s sales director left to join Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in July. At the time, Biver emphasized that he didn’t feel bad about the decision of the executive because the tech giant is not a direct competitor.
Going back to the “Swiss Made” label for the Apple Watch, Mario Oretelli, a senior analyst of luxury goods at Bernstein previously stated that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) obviously demonstrated its intention to promote the product as high-quality by trying to approach Swiss watch manufacturers.
In an interview with CNBC, Ortelli commented, “For sure they are trying to approach the Swiss manufacturers, but the Swiss have got no great interest in working with Apple – if you are a luxury producer and you cooperate with Apple, you have got a dilution.”
Other reactions on Apple Watch
Nick Hayek, CEO of The Swatch Group AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:SWGAY) commented that he is “not nervous about the entry of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the watch market.
On the other hand, Dan Morgan, a senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company opined that there is some confusion whether the tech giant is following the right strategy with the Apple Watch. He said, “It looks like an add-on product, not something that has the potential to be a phenomenon.”