I'm sure most of you have heard the latest news and product updates from Apple, who just yesterday launched the Apple Watch. Not only is this product revolutionary, but the buzz and excitement that I've seen on the Internet has been astonishing. This is a product that people clearly want and are ready for. Unlike Google Glasses, the Apple Watch is something that people could actually see themselves wearing on a daily basis.
But, one of my first thoughts when I heard this announcement was, what about the existing watch industry? We have people stopping by our stores daily looking to buy nice timepieces. Will these customers suddenly disappear? Will smart watches become a way of the future and take over the role that Rolex and other leading watch brands once had?
All of these questions are legitimate. Any time there is new revolutionary technology, some industry will suffer and companies will go out of business. The new technology is always replacing something that already exists in an effort to make our lives easier or fix something that has been broken or outdated for awhile. So, in 10 years, will all of us own an Apple Watch and will brands like Rolex be a thing of the past? In my opinion, no.
While the Apple Watch is an exciting and revolutionary product that I think there is a need for in our lives, nothing can replace a well-made, classic Swiss watch.
Luxury watches and the Apple Watch are completely different
When you wear a beautifully crafted Swiss watch, it is more than just a valuable accessory that allows you to easily keep track of time. It's wearable, sophisticated piece of machinery, a style statement and a status statement all rolled into one. A nice handmade Swiss-made watch is timeless and will always be seen as classy. These types of watches command attention and are one of the few jewelry accessories that men most commonly choose for themselves. Plus, they don't run on batteries, so you never have to worry about running out of power!
The Apple Watch, however, is really about revolutionizing wearable computing. These watches are more about a step in a direction to make technology more advanced and accessible. It's not so much about emphasizing the Apple Watch as a watch as much as it is about having one of the world's smallest, most advanced pieces of technology available on your body. It simply does not serve the same purpose as a luxury watch does. It's not about the watch, it's about what Apple is presenting to the world that symbolizes a giant leap in technology.
An Apple Watch would be very helpful for business and would help you stay connected even when you don't have your phone. So it may be functional, but you would never match your outfit or go to a party or event with an Apple Watch looking to impress. Luxury watches are meant to be fashion accessories as much as they are a mechanism to tell time. I think there will always be a market of buyers who want a certain level of sophistication and elegance with their watches. Swiss watches are handcrafted, with old world charm, that are aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
I do fear for the brands that sell watches that are not as high quality and have a lower price point. These brands, like Michael Kors, have made a big business out of selling to the everyday consumer who wants to own a brand name watch for under $500 or $1,000. In my opinion, if anyone should be nervous with this new announcement, it's these types of brands. They sell watches at around the same price as the new Apple Watch, and consumers aren't as worried about brand name, luxury, and craftsmanship.
There is room for both
Who says that you can't own and wear a luxury watch with an Apple watch? It is possible to have and wear both at the same time. You could have a nice watch and a cutting edge computerized timepiece on both of your wrists. Or, you could reserve each for more specific occasions.
The Apple Watch is almost like having a mini computer on your wrist. It has the potential to be a huge part of your everyday life, so we anticipate that many people will buy these new watches when they are released next year. That doesn't mean you can't also own or wear a luxury watch at the same time. The Apple Watch is designed to be worn on your left wrist because of the adjuster dial located on the right side of the watch. But, this frees up your right wrist! Why not use this unused real estate on your right wrist for more of a fashion accessory. You can have function on the left and fashion on the right. It's doable, and we think it still looks classy.
There are also events in life where an Apple Watch may not be appropriate. Like I mentioned earlier, going to a nice party or event will call for a more formal outfit. The Apple Watch, while functional, isn't the most fashion forward piece that you could show off. In these cases, a beautiful, handmade Swiss timepiece is really the way you would want to go.
A need for simplicity
My last thought on this is based on the idea that sometimes we overcomplicate our lives these days with technology. Yes, the Apple Watch is beyond cool. It has gadgets and apps that'll make any tech-savvy person happy. But, what if we don't want to be connected 24/7? Have you ever gone without your phone for just a few hours and felt a strange sense of relief? Imagine never escaping technology and always being available. Yes, it's useful. But, its also a little scary.
Technology really has taken over our lives, and wearing the Apple Watch all the time will leave little room for a break from all the chaos. Having a classic watch is not only fashionable, but it's also simple. It has one purpose, to tell time, and it does it pretty darn well. No need to pull out your phone for the time when you can always look down at your wrist. I would imagine that it would be distracting to see a bunch of other notifications pop up when you are just trying to find the time.
Sometimes less is more. If you want a break from technology every once in awhile, think twice about making the Apple Watch a permanent fixture on your wrist.