Wanna' Buy a Watch?


Movado’s big day must have made Apple investors feel more comfortable about the watch business.

On Tuesday, shares for Movado Group (NYSEARCA:MOV) vaulted 11.28 percent to $28.52 after the company reported quarterly earnings of 40 cents per share on revenue of $133.9 million, compared with analysts’ estimates of 20 cents per share on revenue of $134.3 million.  The good news about the luxury watchmaker must have made Apple investors less anxious about the watch business (NASDAQ:AAPL).

In addition to operating its own retail outlets, Movado manufactures watches which are marketed under a number of “high end” trademarks, including:  Hugo Boss, Coach, Juicy Couture, Concord, Ebel, Scuderia Ferrari and Tommy Hilfiger.  Movado was known as the American Watch Corporation until 1996, when it assumed its current moniker.

Apple’s foray into the watch business has drawn quite a bit of criticism – most of it focused on the idea that nobody wears watches anymore.  With a clock on your smartphone, as well as everywhere else you might lay your eyes (unless you are in a store or restaurant, where they don’t want you to know that you need to be somewhere else) keeping such a device on one’s wrist has become unnecessary.

The iWatch is Apple’s first new product in five years.  It was the last innovative product conceived by Steve Jobs.

iWatch critics have been quick to point out that so-called “smart watches” were previously marketed by Hewlett-Packard (NYSEARCA:HPQ) and Casio.  Both were duds.

Another criticism of the iWatch focuses on Apple’s infamous “timed obsolescence”.  In other words, you can look at your iWatch to see how much time is left before it becomes obsolete.

The iWatch will hit the stores on April 24.  At that time, you will be able to buy an 18 karat gold model (with a cheap-looking strap) for $10,000.

The last word:  The 11.28 percent jump in the share price for Movado Group (NYSEARCA:MOV), which resulted from its big earnings beat, must have reassured Apple investors that there could still be a big demand for watches.