We’ve been monitoring the speedy development in the smartwatch market for months now. It’s intriguing to us because we haven’t seen the world this abuzz about watches in a long while, yet it is disappointing to us because these are not quality timepieces, but simply another gadget in disguise. In August, we labeled smartwatches a piece of “communications technology”, but now that we’ve seen them in action, we see that they are merely a smartphone’s assistant rather than a standalone tech piece.
From a marketing standpoint, Samsung is doing it right. They’ve successfully painted a picture of both nostalgia and wonder about the smartwatch that actually makes the gadget seem appealing, even marvelous. Check out the commercial they released over the weekend:
But we’re still not sold. For most of us watch aficionados –who wear a watch for the fine artisanship, the jewels and metals, and to have a status symbol on our wrist– the smartwatch is simply not our bag. We’re better off with the TAG Heuer Smartphone or some other luxury gadgetry. For us, quality and exclusivity are what make fine timepieces worth the hunt. We’re not interested in a watch that can be purchased at Walmart (along with most other Samsung products).
However, we can see how the smartwatch might actually aid the luxury watch industry’s growth.
We’ve heard time and time again that no one is wearing a watch anymore. Thanks to our computers, the digital clocks all around us, and of course our smartphones, we’ve lost the need to wear a timepiece on our wrist. And the younger generation is less likely to wear a watch, but there is hope. In a small survey, 71% of young people said they own a watch, and all who wore one regularly considered it more of a fashion accessory than a tool. And this makes sense. You can purchase a watch directly from Cartier, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and others, or you can find all of your favorites for a discount at places like Gray & Sons Jewelers, but you can’t purchase one at Home Depot. Watches have transcended both fashion and function and are squarely a symbol of personal taste.
The silver lining for our patience with the whole smartwatch experiment is this: the youngsters who fall for the smartwatch will become used to wearing a wristwatch for the first time. And after seeing this piece on their wrist, they will soon notice how much it says about them as a person; and eventually they will want to upgrade their style. They’ll realize they don’t need yet another notification terminal, and will learn to seek valuable materials and innovative design. It will become a part of their supply of items that tell the world who they are. And they’ll most certainly not want to be a tech industry lab-rat making use of inferior technology to feed the digital industry’s ego.
After all, a fine timepiece should satisfy your ego and quality and exclusivity make them worth the hunt.