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EDITORIAL: Smart Watches vs. Analog Watches

September 13, 2013

Smartwatches work with our beloved Smartphones, they can alert you to new: emails, texts, voicemails and missed calls — without ever having to take your phone out of your pocket. In theory, they allow you to check your alerts easier, for example, while in your car, while walking, in the middle of a meeting and so on. However, realistically, do you really need to see your that you have new emails on your wrist as you walk down the street? Isn’t a vibration in your pocket, or an audible chirp from your phone enough? Moreover, can’t you just pull out your phone and read the entire email?

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The Smartwatch is a middle man between you and your phone, and considering your phone is typically already on your person, do you really need a middle man? I can think of times where I might want to check my phone without actually removing it from my pocket. But is constantly checking your watch during a meeting, for example, any less distracting or rude than doing the same with your actual phone? I think not. And, after charging all of your other devices everyday, do you really need another device that needs to constantly be charged? It is clear people will pay for convenience, but at what point is it just absurd? As the Smartwatch market heats up, I guess we will see.

Smartwatches are clearly in their early stages. And with the blazing speed at which technology advances nowadays, I am sure there will be more useful innovations that eventually come from these devices. But still, at the end of the day, regardless of how big the Smartwatch market grows, as far as we can see, the Smartphone will always be the superior device. And if the Smartphone has not made a dent in the mechanical watch market, which is booming right now by the way, how is a Smartwatch going to? If any share is taken away from the watch market, it will be at the lower end, which is dominated by battery powered quartz watches.

For the Smartwatch industry to succeed, they will first have to increase battery life and improve the aesthetics. Not surprisingly, Casio, the company that brought us the Calculator watch (pictured), seems to have a clear idea of what features consumers want. Their new wireless equipped G-Shock watch, has Bluetooth v4.0 which allows for 2-way communication between your phone and watch, and long-lasting battery life without the need for constant recharging. And best of all, it has the same aesthetic as its standard (non-wireless) G-Shock counterpart.

So-called Smartwatches might eventually impact the low-end quartz watch business. But as far as the high-end mechanical watch market, and really the mechanical watch business in general — we predict the impact to be marginal at best.

EDITORIAL, Smartwatches


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