Even though other technology companies were the first ones to introduce smartwatches to consumers, Apple ended up being the market leader since its first model hit retailers. Today, buyers have plenty of brands to choose from with smart wearables designed for a host of features that traditional wristwatches cannot provide. Now, data published online by analysts reveal that the Apple Watch has practically outsold the entire Swiss Watch industry in 2019.

The information comes from Strategy Analytics since the Cupertino, California-based tech outfit does not provide the sales numbers to the public According to 9to5Mac, the company shipped an estimated total of 31 million units globally last year. In contrast, the total number of mechanical timepieces sold by the Swiss watchmaking industry was only 21 million units.

The data shows that in 2018, Apple Watch sales were listed at 22.5 million units. This evidently illustrates as year-over-year growth of around 36 per cent. Meanwhile, the Swiss watch industry saw sales drop from 24.2 million units in 2018 to 21.1 million units in 2019 – a 13 per cent decline -- as pointed out by experts.

A senior analyst from Strategy Analytics, Steve Waltzer, shares some interesting observations related to the age groups that have purchased smartwatches and regular wristwatches over the past years. "Traditional Swiss watch makers, like Swatch and Tissot, are losing the smartwatch wars. Apple Watch is delivering a better product through deeper retail channels and appealing to younger consumers who increasingly want digital wristwear," he stated.

Waltzer also noted that "the window for Swiss watch brands to make an impact in smartwatches is closing. Time may be running out for Swatch, Tissot, TAG Heuer, and others." In addition to its stylish aesthetics, the wearable has been lauded for its health-oriented functionalities. In 2019 there were several reports wherein the gadget allegedly saved the lives of its users.

While the Apple Watch engineers only made minimal changes to the overall design of the unit over the years, a new patent application supplied by the company shows a radical new look might be on the way. The illustrations and descriptions show an optical sensor in place of the digital crown. Perhaps this could be for the Apple Watch Series 6 that might debut in 2020.

Apple Watch
Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Apple, speaks about the new Apple Watch Series 4 at an Apple Inc product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., September 12, 2018. Stephen Lam