• Thursday June 8, the US House of Representatives approved legislation to erase a number of core financial regulations put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, as Republicans moved a step closer to delivering on their promises to eliminate rules that they claim have strangled small businesses and stagnated the economy, writes the New York Times.

  • At the end of March, Apple released its third Conflict Minerals Report. Often these reports get praised when companies describe themselves as having achieved a “conflict free” status. Apple’s report, however, chooses not to use this description, and we think that’s a good thing. This term ... can be misleading. The reality is that supply chains, particularly in conflict-affected and fragile states, are fluid and ever-changing.

  • Bloomberg Business reports that Swiss watch exports posted their first annual drop in six years, hurt by slumping demand for less expensive timepieces that are competing for buyers with Apple Inc. and other smartwatch makers. December exports declined 3.8%, pushing shipments down 3.3% on the year to 21.5 billion Swiss francs ($21.2 billion), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Tuesday. That compares with a 1.9% rise the previous year.

  • Gaetano Cavalieri, president of The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), reflects on whether the jewelry industry could learn a few lessons from Apple's marketing campaigns to capture the interest of the Millennials - something Apple has turned into an art form.

  • Apple has applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for an Apple Ring device, for which an official name has not yet been assigned. Free Press noted that many of Apple’s patents don’t go on to become retail products, so it is possible that the smart ring won't ever actually be produced. It added that what Apple seems to be describing in its patent application is something far closer to an Apple Watch in terms of its potential functionality.

  • Tiffany & Co. CEO Frédéric Cumenal said during a discussion of smartwatches at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference that the jeweler held discussions with top Apple executives several months ago, without providing details on the contents of the issues. JCK points out that in August, New York’s London Jewelers became the only U.S. jeweler selling the highest model of the Apple Watch, the 18K gold Edition.
    Cumenal added that the Apple Watch may boost the overall watch category as it reintroduces young people, a critical market, to timepieces.

  • JCK reports that Apple has announced a new partnership with French luxury brand Hermès to produce a co-branded version of its Apple Watch. The stainless steel Apple Watch Hermès boasts Hermès-designed leather straps and virtual versions of its signature watch faces. Price points range from $1,000 to $1,500. JCK writes that, "The new joint venture is a sign that the tech giant isn’t letting go of its quest to produce a high-tech timepiece that appeals to luxury and fashion shoppers."

  • Watch sales registered their biggest drop since 2008 - decreasing 11% by value and 14 percent by units - though, contrary to headlines, the Apple Watch was just one factor, says Fred Levin of market research firm NPD Group. Levin believes a variety of factors played a role, including decreased demand from Asian tourists on the high end. The biggest fall was at the low end, with sales of watches in the $100– $149 range plunging 24%. Levin points to three causes: a shift in retailer promotional calendars, a decline in sales of licensed fashion brands, and the Apple Watch.

  • After a huge burst of initial sales, purchases of the Apple Watch may have fallen as much as 90 percent, according to reported data from research firm Slice Intelligence. While the company may have sold as many as 1.5 million timepieces, or about 200,000 a day, at its launch, today the company is selling far less—about 20,000 a day, Slice estimated in data shared with Marketwatch. Slice believes that two-thirds of the sales have been in the lowest-end Sport model, which retails for $349. It’s sold fewer than 2,000 of the 18k gold high-end Edition model in the United States, it claims.

  • Although the sleek and simple lines of the Apple Watch may look and feel more masculine than feminine, a new study finds that women like it more than men.