February 21, 2016 | Watches
Apple Watch: worldwide leader in the smartwatch division | Photo: Apple

The global sales of smart watches have outpaced Swiss watches in the fourth quarter of 2015. Are there winds of change blowing in the watch industry?

According to the market researcher Strategy Analytics, it is the first time ever that high-tech timepieces overtake the classic, "organic" watches made in Switzerland.

In the last four months of 2015, there were 8.1 million smart watch shipments (316 percent more than in Q4 2014), compared with 7.9 million Swiss wrist watch shipments (5 percent than in Q4 2014).

"Apple Watch captured an impressive 63 percent share of the global smart watch market in Q4 2015, followed by Samsung with 16 percent. Apple and Samsung together account for a commanding 8 in 10 of all smart watches shipped worldwide," notes Cliff Raskind, director at Strategy Analytics.

"The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smart watches will go away. Swiss brands, like Tag Heuer, accounted for a tiny one percent of all smart watches shipped globally during Q4 2015, and they are long way behind Apple, Samsung and other leaders," added Steven Waltzer, analyst at the research company.

Strategy Analytics believes that Apple and Samsung together account for 8 in 10 of all smart watches shipped worldwide, with the company founded by Steve Jobs taking 63 percent of the global market share, followed by the South Korean firm with 16 percent of worldwide sales.