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Swizerland in deep doodoo as Sir Jony polishes his designer iWatch

Posted on by Mike Evans

Apple design supremo, Jony Ive, is reported to have suggested that Switzerland and its watch industry could be in deep mire when his company finally announces the iWatch (or whatever it is to be called). Hyperbole? Probably. But even if he was jesting there's a grain of truth in the statement. I am a typical Swiss watches customer: I love the mechanical perfection and the hewn-from-solid appearance of my IWC Fliegerchronograph. I would be reluctant to swap it for a jony-come-lately from Cupertino. But....

That space on my left wrist is valuable real estate. Can Apple's iWatch supplant the Swiss-made IWC Pilot's Chronograph in my affections?

That space on my left wrist is valuable real estate. Can Apple's iWatch supplant the Swiss-made IWC Pilot's Chronograph in my affections?

The space on my left wrist is a valuable bit of real estate. I am used to wearing a my 160g one-trick pony and I love it to death. But it is very short of tricks. It tells the time. It also counts elapsed time, although in common with most wearers of chronographs, I seldom use this added function. No, the IWC tells the time and does it beautifully.

Yet if Apple can wow us with a new device that does so many other things such as message checking, reminders, monitoring blood pressure, pulse, glucose levels and mood, even I could be persuaded. I am confident that when the iWatch does arrive, probably next year, it will be a stunning and desirable bit of wrist wear. For a generation now weaned on iPhones, Macs and iPods it is a natural progression and I will be hard pressed to resist.

If this new device looks as good as a Swiss watch and does all these tricks, what will there be not to like? Judging by Apple's hoovering up of experts from Switzerland and luxury good manufacturers around the world, we can be sure that something very compelling is going to take us by storm.

Next Tuesday, in Cupertino, Apple will launch the iPhone 6 as well as iOS 8 and, probably, OS X Yosemite. We can hope that there will be a hint about the iWatch. After all, there have been so many rumours that it is hardly such a big secret any more. 

If any tech company can claim that valuable spot on your wrist, it is Apple that can do it. Perhaps Jony Ive is right. Maybe we will be hearing the sounds of anguished yodelling from the Swiss valleys before another year is out.

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