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Apple Watch Threatens Lower-Priced Swiss Timepiece Brands

Swatch Group AG’s Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar watch has a compass, tells the altitude and runs on solar power. It costs $1,250 -- more than three times the smartwatch Apple Inc. unveiled Sept. 9, putting it squarely in the crosshairs of the tech giant’s latest gizmo.

While the Apple timepiece, which can do everything from opening your hotel room door to paying for a Big Mac, might eventually impact the whole $60 billion Swiss watch industry in the fight for customers, analysts say it’s the lower-end of the market that will feel the pressure first. The threat is biggest for small, independent watch makers and Swatch, which gets about a fifth of all sales from namesake plastic watches and the Tissot brand, they say.