At this year’s Baselworld watch fair in Switzerland, smartwatches were in abundance fusing the traditional with the modern. But are traditional luxury brands running scared of the impending Apple Watch, or just being coy and know that those of us that like our watches will never succumb to the mundane?
In a market where Swiss watches make up just under 3% of the market but over 50% of its value, the fight is on and something tells me it’s going to be good.
We had announcements from established watch houses such as Frederique Constant with its Android & iOS enabled, and keen priced, Horological Smartwatch. Tag Heuer in partnership with Google and Intel also announced something exciting that will be Android based, and likely an excellent product.
Will.I.Am and Gucci announced a smart band that will work independently to your phone thanks to 3G, and Brietling with its B55 referencing its heritage, pilots, who legally need to record all their flying times. My personal favourite is the Mondaine Helvetica 1 creating a minimalist smartwatch that looks quite simply classic and beautiful in every way.
All these brands have one thing in common: they are coveted by collectors and true followers of fashion alike who appreciate the intricacies of a Swiss timepiece and don’t want to lose that appeal for the sake of technology.
A luxury time piece is not only an item of personal joy to the wearer but also an expression of your style and taste. The odds of bumping into someone else on any given day, wearing your IWC Portofino, TAG Monza, Rolex Airking etc. are long.
With analysts forecasting Apple Watch units totalling 14 million in FY15, the likelihood is that before long that Apple Watch you so coveted is the antithesis of cool and no longer unique as millions of others share the same wrist jewellery, and your odds of being cool are now very short.