TAG Heuer is not the only watchmaker taking notice of the Apple Watch.
Cindy Livingston, CEO of Guess Watches, has written an open letter to Tim Cook about the Apple Watch. And like TAG Heuer, it appears that Livingston is more interested in the excitement and creativity that Apple brings to the watch world than scared and defensive, saying that Guess is looking forward to the “new challenge to remain relevant” that the Apple Watch presents them.
Here’s the text of the full letter:
Dear Mr. Cook:
I wanted to write to you and welcome you to the Watch Industry and also offer my personal thanks to you.
As one of the largest fashion watch brands in the world, we have been around for more than 30 years. In the early 80’s, there was really only SWATCH (the brand) and GUESS Watches. At that time, we had many critics who thought we were crazy. No one thought that anyone would want this new type of “novelty” timepiece. They believed that the only “real” alternatives were Swiss mechanicals or traditional quartz timepieces. Fortunately for us, consumers thought differently!
We are part of an old and proud industry. Every year we’ve experienced change in some way. Over these years, we have seen the introduction of quartz movements, the rise and fall of calculator watches, digitals, analogue-digitals and many many brands, both big and small. It seems that the test of time has shown that the wrist is an obvious place for both function and fashion.
Fast-forward to today and the world has changed. The proliferation of smartphones and the demand of consumers for round-the-clock connectivity have changed the way people access time. This has caused an understandable fear and challenge in our industry (even if no one likes to admit it).
We personally welcome this new challenge to remain relevant to our young, sexy and adventurous consumers who see as much importance in the device they carry and the messaging app they use, as the clothing and accessory brands they buy.
Over the past year, there has been dramatic speculation of the future of “wearables” and Apple’s entre into this segment. This week, you delivered! Just as we had in the early 80’s, there are naysayers and believers. I, for one, am a fan! Your innovation and attention to detail is spectacular.
In today’s connected world, consumers deserve the next level of combining fashion and function. We’ve always been much more than a watch. Now, we too are going to take that concept even further. As we look forward to the launch of our own connected timepiece for GUESS… “Powered by MARTIAN”, we’re happy to have another true brand innovator in our industry that confirms the wrist as the dominant place for self-expression.
One thing I’ve noticed about watch executives’ responses to the Apple Watch is that they seem upbeat and positive. Compare this to the way tech executives responded to the iPhone and iPad, which was essentially with open jeering. Either watch makers aren’t as threatened by the Apple Watch as gadget makers were by the iPhone, or they have a lot better attitude about Apple trying to eat their lunch.