Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design Jony Ive at the Cannes Lions Festival in June 2014.

Image: Richard Bord/Getty Images
By Jason Abbruzzese2014-09-04 15:06:30 UTC

Switzerland tends to lean neutral most of the time, but it might not have a choice in this one: Apple‘s Jony Ive is ready to bring a war to the country’s doorstep.

Ive, Apple’s lead designer, reportedly boasted that the company’s rumored iWatch will be so popular that Switzerland, a country known for its high-quality watches, could be in trouble.

The sentiment, reported by The New York Times, adds to the already feverish anticipation that Apple could release the iWatch at its upcoming event on Sept. 9.

Entry into the watch market would be Apple’s first new product line since rolling out the iPad in 2010. And it appears it is taking some tips from the Swiss; Apple hired a luxury watch executive that worked on Swiss brand TAG Heuer.

Switzerland is reknowned for the manufacture and export of luxury watches that often sell for thousands of dollars. The industry employs about 56,000 people. A 2013 study from Deloitte found that growth in China had boosted the Swiss watch market, which generated about $22 billion in the first 11 months of 2013.

While the iWatch is expected to be revealed next week, it may not go on sale until 2015, so Switzerland could at least have a few more months to ponder its next move.

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