Swiss watchmakers are ‘f**ked,’ says Apple’s Jony Ive

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“Switzerland is in trouble”

In his latest column for The New York Times, Nick Bilton drops an interesting tidbit about Jony Ive and the iWatch.

The mythical wearable, which is expected to finally see the light of day at next week’s Apple event, is something Ive has been bragging about around Apple HQ. He thinks it will be so good that even Swiss watchmakers won’t know what hit them.

According to a designer who works at Apple, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, in bragging about how cool he thought the iWatch was shaping up to be, gleefully said Switzerland is in trouble — though he chose a much bolder term for “trouble” to express how he thought the watchmaking nation might be in a tough predicament when Apple’s watch comes out.

Bilton was one of the first reporters to mention any details about the iWatch. Back in 2011, he said that a small team at Apple was “conceptualizing and even prototyping some wearable devices.” And in 2013 he reported that Apple was “experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass.”

The rest of the tech industry has been madly scrambling to announce their wearables before Apple sucks the air out of the market next week. Samsung showed off its sixth wearable of the year today, and it doesn’t have a price point or shipping date yet.

If Ive thinks the iWatch will look good enough to compete with even the high-end timepieces the Swiss are known for, Apple probably has a slam dunk up its sleeve. Senior executive Eddy Cue recently said that this fall’s product pipeline is the best he’s seen in his 25 years at Apple.

A Swiss watch industry executive was poached by Apple earlier this summer. The company has brought on other top-level executives from the fashion industry, including Angela Ahrendts of Burberry and Paul Deneve from Yves Saint Laurent.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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