The Apple Watch won't supplant venerable luxury timepiece makers, but everyday fashion watch makers are in trouble, two former retail executives said Monday.
"The fine, luxury watches, they're being hurt right because of the euro," not because of the Apple Watch, former Saks Chairman and CEO Steve Sadove told CNBC's "Squawk Box" in an interview. "Fashion watches are taking a hit right now. That's sort of a trend we're seeing."
"That watch business, which was great for the last six years, was slowing down before the [Apple Watch]," retail consultant and ex-department store executive Jan Kniffen said. "This is the nail in the coffin, the new Apple Watch. I don't think it's taking over the world. But it's a negative to those sellers."
"The real market is the $300 to $600 watch. That's what they're [Apple] really trying to win," continued the J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide Enterprises CEO. The Apple sport device starts at $349, while the mid-tier watch starts at $549.
While Apple's bread-and-butter may be in the mass appeal, more affordable smartwatches, the tech giant is trying to get a foothold in luxury.
The Apple Watch was available to buy in select high-end boutiques before the device was available to buy directly in Apple stores.
"Angela Ahrendts, the ex-Burberry head who's at Apple, has done a great job of treating [the Apple Watch] as luxury launch as opposed to a mass launch," Sadove said.
Ahrendts leads Apple's retail operations, including online.
"They're trying to fight that battle," agreed Kniffen, pointing out that Apple for the first time got devices into the hands of celebrities who Tweeted about their experiences.
Kniffen and Sadove both feel it's icing on the cake, but the main market for the Apple smartwatches won't be wealthy at $10,000-plus a pop for the gold Watch Edition models.