Around 41 percent of watch executives are pessimistic about the Swiss watch industry's economic outlook, according to results released by the Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2015 on Tuesday.
While only 14 percent of the 51 executives declared themselves as optimistic amid a fledgling economic outlook hitting a four-year low, the study reported that 69 percent of the surveyed watch executives saw the strong Swiss franc as a threat to their business.
Further compounding the situation, 34 percent predicted that foreign demand, especially from the Chinese market, would decrease, with only 27 percent expecting an increase.
The study, which is based on online surveys together with discussions with executives as well as international consumer surveys, found that a quarter of watch executives saw smartwatches as competitive threats, up from 11 percent in 2014.
To confirm this concern, consumer trends indicated that 61 percent of Chinese, 48 percent of Italian and 35 percent of French consumers intended to purchase a smartwatch in the next year, compared to only 17 percent in Switzerland.
Figures showed that Swiss wristwatch exports reached record highs last year with a total of 21 billion Swiss francs (22 billion U.S. dollars) being generated by this industry, while the average export price of a Swiss wristwatch reached 730 Swiss francs in 2014 compared to 310 Swiss francs in 2000.