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Swiss watch maker Swatch is not happy about Apple’s iWatch. To be more specific, the company is not happy about the fact that Apple’s wearable may be called iWatch, a name that definitely sounds a lot like iSwatch, a trademark registered by the watch maker for one of its lines of watches.

Nevermind the fact that Apple has yet to unveil the iWatch, which by the way might not even be called iWatch, Swatch is going on the offensive…

We believe there is a high risk of confusion between the two products,” said Serena Chiesura, Director of Communication for the Swatch Group.

This being said, the Swatch Group will likely seek legal action in every country where the trademark is registered in order to protect its brand.

If the situation sounds familiar, it’s because Apple faced similar complaints when it was rumored to launch a “Champagne” iPhone back in 2013. You might remember that French Champagne makers were already all up in arms about the possibility that Apple could use the trademark to describe a color. Of course, this appeared to be a lot of fluff for nothing since Apple decided to call the new color “gold” rather than “Champagne.”

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek recently talked about his doubts regarding smartwatches:

A smartwatch needs software and this software must constantly be updated. Every year, you’re forced to buy a new smartphone because the new software requires new hardware. It will be the same problem with smartwatches. Besides, consumers don’t want to charge their watches, and no charging cable will be available for a while.

Here are some words from someone who obviously has no idea what’s about to happen to his industry.

Apple has filed trademark registrations for iWatch in several countries, including Japan, Russia, Mexico, Taiwan, and Turkey.

So, iSwatch, iWatch? Are you confused? Does the Swatch group have good reasons to feel threatened? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.

[Tribune de Geneve, thanks to iDB reader Alexandre]

  • Sokrates

    Hayek sounds like Steve Ballmer in 2006, when he talked about the iPhone…

  • Framboogle

    Translation: Swatch is worried Apple is going to steal all their customers with the iWatch.

    • Rafael Castillo

      I own two Swatch watches and I love them. They work swell, look great, and Swatch’s customer service is phenomenal. However, I haven’t heard of this ‘iSwatch’. Also, mostly everyone knows that lowercase i + product = Apple product or accessory, let’s be real.

      (I do hope Apple works with these companies in the future instead of obliterating them.)

  • felixtaf

    Paranoid people around. Why worry about something that is yet to be announced and have no idea how it looks like!

  • Malay Mody

    I don’t think theres gonna be much confusion….. because no one has heard of the “iSwatch”

    • Sean Clark

      It’s pretty likely they’re just doing this for publicity. What better way to get your name out?

      • Hyr3m

        Swatch does not need to get its name out.
        Nick Hayek was interviewed at Baselworld about the iWatch so he had to give his opinion…

  • Franklin Richards

    I’m sorry? This coming from a company that makes basically the same watch over and over again but with different colours and shapes are smacking talking other companies for actually making new hardware every year for people to buy?

    • Frank

      Without the Swatch Group there would be no Rolex, or any other high-end watch in the world.

      • Franklin Richards

        Rolex was founded in the UK. Not Switzerland. It headquarters there now but it originates from the UK.
        I do get what you mean, they are the fathers of fine watchmaking. But does that really matter in this case? They’re not making anything to counter the product they’re just worried about competition and fruitlessly trying to claw back some revenue before the competition arrives.

      • Frank

        Rolex uses Swiss eta automatic movements in some of their watches. Those internal automatic movements were made by the Swatch Group.

      • Hyr3m

        “they are the fathers of fine watchmaking.” – not

      • Frank

        My bad you’re right! Rolex makes their own movements! I thought I heard somewhere they modified Swiss Eta movements, but I was wrong! I’m sorry.

      • Hyr3m

        Rolex watches are not high-end. They’re jewel-watches, that’s why they’re expensive. High-end watchmakers make their own movements with grande complications…

  • Overflow

    I wear watches for fashion so these tech watches don’t even compare.

  • SkyFall

    “This being said, the Swatch Group will likely seek legal action in every country where the trademark is registered in order to protect its brand”

    They will seek legal action for a product that is spelled and pronounced differently? Are they on drugs. They should stop pretending and admit that they are afraid of Apples smartwatch .

    • Hyr3m

      Go and make a phone called the iPhrone and see if you can get away with it…

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    He raises some valid points. If I buy an iWatch I don’t want to have to buy another one just to gain a new software feature (e.g iPhone 4S was initially the only device with Siri) a few years later nor do I want a watch to be a fully fledged computer that constantly requires charging every other day…

    • David

      Then don’t get a smart watch (:

  • guj

    No one has ever ‘forced’ me to buy a new smartphone, my iphone 4 does the job fine. plus hardware requires new software, not the other way around you tool. anyway ISwatch sounds more like Ice Watch, which is a totally different watch entirely

    • Hyr3m

      Please install iOS 7 on my 4th Generation iPod Touch 😀

  • felixtaf

    This is ISWATCH! DWL

    • Tom

      What the …. ?
      Looks like kid’s watch.

    • Jerry

      Hahahaha is that a joke?!

      • felixtaf

        Lol no… Thats the real ISWATCH from Swatch! Saw it going for 100$ in one website.

    • @dongiuj


  • Flyhigh

    “Here are some words from someone who obviously has no idea what’s about to happen to his industry.”

    Wow ! Just wow ! What a phrase coming from a blogger who has no idea of what he’s talking. Please, stay humble : it’s not because you write about Apple stuff that you have to despise everybody in this world. Apple doesn’t change everything they touch in gold…

    You obviously don’t know what this guy and his father did and brought to an entire part of Switzerland. Hayek sure knows what he is talking, so show some respect.

    I’m sorry, I like this blog but this is going too far… These words you wrote made me write my first comment on this blog. And it’s not for the best…

    • Tommy Gumbs

      I agree.

    • La Cucaracha

      I agree too!

    • Matt Taylor

      I agree it’s a harsh thing to say, but it’s a fact! When Apple get there greedy hands on a product line and the manipulation kicks in, they dominate the market! Traditional watches are about to take a serious hit and I respect the fact Sebastien had the balls to say it!

    • Rowan09

      I believe he was discribing smartwatches taking over not specially the iWatch alone.

  • Research Rants

    Pretty sure Swatch would LOVE to accidentally sell some of these things due to a “high risk of confusion.”

    • Matt Taylor

      Haha, very good point

  • Savath Bo

    So before iphone,ipod,ipad there was no i. Now every products that comes out has an i. So is iswatch trying to copy the iapple brand since everyone is seeing success in the ibrand?

    • Hyr3m

      Someone needs to create the iApple before Apple Inc. trademarks it 😀

      (I didn’t check so it very well already may be trademarked…)

  • Jeffrey

    lol, i quote: ‘Every year, you’re forced to buy a new smartphone because the new software requires new hardware. It will be the same problem with smartwatches.’. yeah right, maybe with android phones, but he has obviously never seen an iphone, which can run on 4 os updates in it’s lifetime, so you’re not ‘forced’ to buy a new smartwatch because the new os isn’t available on the old smartwatch, because it will be.

    • Hyr3m

      You’re comparing that thing you have to charge every other day and re-purchase every other year to a piece of art whose usefulness and lifetime will outlast your own.

      • Jeffrey

        he is too lol. i’m just saying that the iwatch will not be something you’ll have to replace every year, like he says. and no, you don’t have to change your iphone every year, i know people who still use the 3G… the iwatch will be even as durable as the iphone

      • Hyr3m

        I said “every other year” which means every 2 years. Also, I’d love to see the battery life of the 3G you speak of… these people you speak of must be wall-huggers… Thank you non-replaceable batteries 😀

      • Jeffrey

        ah, you can keep an iphone for 4 years if you’d like. the battery life is just fine because the 3g runs on ios 5… non-replacable batteries are just fine, i personally prefer non-replacable batteries so don’t think your cool because your battery is replacable;)

      • Hyr3m

        mala fides ftw ?

      • Jeffrey


      • Hyr3m


      • Jeffrey


      • Hyr3m

        http://bit ly/1l5ozFW

      • Jeffrey

        i googled it already but since i’m not an american nor does my country speak english, you have to understand that i don’t get the meaning of mala fides, not even when it’s explained to me on google

      • Hyr3m

        Well “mala fides” is actually latin…
        Which language(s) do you speak ?

      • Jeffrey

        not latin

        i speak Dutch, English and a bit of german and spanish

      • Hyr3m

        “Kwade trouw” ?

      • Jeffrey

        well that isn’t a clear translation, it says ‘angry loyalty’

        PS: just forget it…-_-

      • Hyr3m

        I just meant you’re not being very honest in your answer… Bad faith ftw…

      • Jeffrey

        well i was being completely honest:)

      • Hyr3m

        Keep telling yourself that ^^

      • Jeffrey

        i will

  • jack

    watches are dead

    • Frank

      95% of traditional watch purchases aren’t made to “tell time.” The decision is fashion-based. iWatch won’t affect a single traditional watch collector’s purchase.

  • Donovan

    There is only one option. Apple, buy Swatch!

    • Frank

      Swatch Group is a $1-2 billion purchase.

      • Jeffrey

        Well Apple has over 160 billion dollars in cash only, which is three times as much money as the US government has, they have over 450 billion dollars in total, if they want to buy it, they can… Easily.

      • Frank

        You’re totally right that Apple could purchase the Swatch Group. But I don’t think Apple needs their technology (Swiss made mechanical watch movements), but I could be wrong.

      • Jeffrey

        yeah ofcourse hahah i just wanted to say that they could:P

  • Donovan

    Is Swatch about to sue Ice Watch too? Is Apple even calling its device iWatch?
    Doesn’t sound “Ice Watch” more like “iSwatch” then “iWatch”?

    Find out on the next episode of Dragonball Z!

    • Rowan09

      Damn it and it’s the weekend so I have to wait until Monday.

      • Jeffrey

        Today on Dragon Ball Z!

        Goku discovers that ‘Ice Watch’ sounds more like ‘iSwatch’ than ‘iWatch’, meanwhile, Gohan finds a new iPhone in a bar in Germany!

        Will Apple get it’s prototype back or will Goku leak it on the internet? Find out next on Dragon Ball Z!

  • Batman


  • @dongiuj

    Sounds a lot like iSwatch??? Come on, that’s like saying samsung phones look a lot like iPhones.

    • felixtaf

      I see wat u did there! Lol

      • @dongiuj

        Cool, but don’t tell anyone else (^_-)

  • quitcherbichinn

    Swatch hasn’t been relevant since the late 80’s. I haven’t seen a single person wearing a Swatch watch nor have I seen one for sale in a store in more than 20 years. This is simply a way for Swatch to get some free publicity and hopefully sell a watch or two.

    • Frank

      1. Swatch isn’t simply Swatch watches, they are the majority of Swiss made high-end movements that Rolex and all watch makers need. The Swatch Group is huge and has a lot of power inside the watch industry.

      2. However, they shouldn’t be able to block the iWatch name.

      3. iWatch won’t affect the high-end watch industry so quickly. They’re two separate industries. Some people who will buy an iWatch are techies who haven’t worn a traditional watch in years. Some high-end watch collectors will find iWatch completely nerdy and unfashionable. Some people would wear a traditional watch on one wrist and an iWatch on the other if they could. iWatch would have to be available in 200 styles like Fossil before it really began a watch revolution from traditional to smart.

      So, it’s a little of both. I don’t see the two industries as dependent on eliminating the other to survive.

  • Benjamin J Schwartz

    considering that Swatch got the idea to name a watch line with as leading ‘i’ from the success of Apple’s iphone, I can’t see Apple having any trouble getting this tossed out of court.

  • Umut Bilgiç

    If Apple were to sue everyone who uses “iBrandName” naming style they would have got millions lol. Obveously Swatch did not come up with the iSwatch name

  • Yujin

    Time for a fruit company to iSquach some puny overly expensive watch maker. Lol

    • Hyr3m

      Swatch “overly expensive” ? Not sure what you’ve been smoking but I think I want some…

  • Taf Khan

    How can anyone be confused? There is nothing SMART about a swatch watch…

    • Frank

      No, nothing smart about a Swiss-made ETA hand-made automatic movement that can beat without a battery, electric or solar-power for hundreds of years within a few seconds per year. No, nothing smart there.

      • Taf Khan

        Swatch watches are at the very budget end of Swiss watches. Would I buy? I think not. But that’s me. Do you buy Swiss watches for anything much more than telling the time, granted they do this very well, but that does not mean they can do what a SMART watch is supposed to do?? You argument is lame at best, a play on words, a SWATCH is never going to fall in the category if a SMART watch, so why the confusion. Tut tut

  • Brian williams

    Swatch is still around? I thought they disappeared in the 90’s.



  • acerwax

    Apple started the “i” revolution with the iPod, how about Apple sues Swatch and 10,000 other companies for steeling there “i” branding.

  • Why is this important?

  • iThinkergoiMac

    “Every year, you’re forced to buy a new smartphone because the new software requires new hardware.”

    Says who? I don’t buy a new smartphone every year. I don’t even feel the need to. You really need to every 2 or 3 years, but not every year. Sheesh.