×

Do you have space for an Apple Watch on your wrist?

Hey you fancy people who love shiny expensive watches - listen up! There is a new player in the market that wants to find a place on your wrist.

Meet, the Apple Watch, with which Apple is making history—making its first push into the luxury market.

A shopper touches the screen of an Apple Watch in New York.
Mike Segar | Reuters
A shopper touches the screen of an Apple Watch in New York.

The wearable device starts at $349 in the U.S. or £299 ($437) in the U.K. for the entry-level Apple Watch Sport. However if you want a little more bling, you can try the gold Apple Watch Edition, which starts at $10,000.

Say what? Yes, you heard right. The Apple 18-karat gold watch costs 10 or more big ones.

This Apple's bold attempt to compete with luxury brands Rolex and Cartier. Over the past couple of years, Apple has made key recruits from the high fashion world, including former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve and ex-Burberry boss Angela Ahrendts.

Notably, Apple showcased the three collections of its wearable last week in the "Wonder Room" at the top-end Selfridges department store on Oxford Street in London, steps away from all the top luxury Swiss brands.

CNBC asks: Apple vs. Rolex?

The question is, if you had $10,000, which one would you buy? An Apple watch or a Rolex? I posed that question to customers at Selfridges on the Apple Watch opening day and most customers sided with the Rolex, although tech enthusiasts said they would give the Apple Watch a try. One gentleman even said he would wear both - "Rolex on my left, Apple watch on my right."

Keep in mind, the Swiss watch industry has had a challenging time and is said to have exported fewer watches in 2014 than in 2011.

And the future looks even more challenging, with tech innovators like Apple bringing devices to the market that offer consumers the ability to check email, make calls and view photos, in addition to the basic function of telling the time.

Read MoreThe best $10K investment: Apple Watch or Rolex?

With the constant need to stay connected to the digital world, Apple is hoping its new watch will act as a powerful tool for consumers. But don't expect the Swiss to just sit on their hands. Lots of these watch players are already starting to get more tech savvy.

Cartier has launched a tech-inspired sports watch and Montblanc has unveiled the TimeWalker Urban Speed e-Strap. And Tag Heuer partnered with Google and Intel to unveil a smartwatch at the Baselworld watch and jewellery show in March.

Analysts at Credit Suisse doesn't see the Apple watch as a threat to the luxury watch industry just yet, saying customers buy the traditional luxury names for their brand equity.

A fashion editor eyeing an Apple watch at Selfridges told CNBC, "It's the young entrepreneurs that are part of the digital revolution that will choose the Apple Watch over a Rolex."

Read MoreTag Heuer to take on Apple with luxury smartwatch

Nevertheless, many financial professionals forecast the Apple Watch will be well received, especially by those already invested in the Apple ecosystem.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray expect $4.4 billion in sales in 2015, rising to about $8 billion in 2016.

This number could dramatically increase as Apple finds ways to enhance and improve the functionality of the watch. And the key may be health care.

"Once I'm able to measure my glucose levels and keep a check on my health, that's when the Apple and other smartwatches will really take off," said a former tech executive.