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How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch?

How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch? Featured Articles

During the launch of the Apple Watch, myself and thousands of other bloggers tried to take in the information, while at the same time covering the news, given our own perspectives on the watch or technology industry. Apple even asked a lot of fashion bloggers to attend the Apple Watch launch, which was a curious thing, until you realized that there were about 34 different versions of the Apple Watch, to begin with, that will be available when the smartwatches begin shipping sometime in early 2015. Most notably, a range of versions in full 18k gold or rose gold cases.

While Apple has not released a lot of the technical specifications about the Apple Watch, there is enough information available for myself and many other people to have a good idea of what the Apple Watch will do, how it might fit into people’s lives, and how it fits next to the competition. The question today is whether or not that competition is limited to other wearables and smartwatches, or to other more traditional watches from the low- to high-end.

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Apple mentioned that the Apple Watch price will start at $349 – but that is only the floor. This $350 price sounds extremely reasonable when looking at all the potential applications of what will be the world’s most sophisticated smartwatch for at least some time after its release. While Google impressed everyone with Android Wear (debuted in the Moto 360), which actually just started shipping, no one is nearly as impressed with the hardware offerings in comparison to what is theoretically possible with the software. I have not been able to compare Android Wear to the version of iOS 8 and WatchKit on the Apple Watch yet, but I suspect the differences will be akin to those between iPhone and Android devices. That means they will both work well, but many will prefer the “premium” experience that Apple offers in its closed and more compatible ecosystem of products.

What Apple has yet to announce is the full spectrum of Apple Watch pricing, as well as little (but important) things like battery size and life, as well as the hardware specs. At the end of the day people simply want their electronics to work, and don’t want to have to charge them more than once a day or so. We can only hope that by announcing the Apple Watch now, Apple is confident that it will be ready for mainstream consumption by the time it is released for sale next year.

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As much as possible, I want to stay on point in this article to discuss the implications of the Apple Watch on the larger watch industry rather than excitedly discuss its functionality or analyze potential uses for the watch that we haven’t anticipated yet. Let’s just say that the device will likely offer a lot of extra functionality over merely having a smartphone in your pocket, even though it will serve as a “second screen.” Apple has designed the Apple Watch to be both a notification product, a fitness aid, and mobile payment platform. The idea is that they did a pretty good job in making sure that while you will be able to get incoming call and message notifications on the Apple Watch, it will be able to do so much more. Further, a take a slightly different approach to discussing how the luxury industry will react and whether they are ready for Apple Watch competition here on Forbes.

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I have a good feeling that the mainstream consumer wants a product like this and is going to adopt it relatively quickly. Not only are there many, many people with empty wrists who love new tech, but there are people with basic timepieces who would be happy to replace them with an Apple Watch. As for the discussion of whether or not Apple and the smartwatch industry is delivering value and utility, I would say that the answer to that is increasingly “yes.” I suspect that, even though people who are skeptical of how a smartwatch can benefit their lives, they will quickly see how their peers enjoy the technology and will get one for themselves.

How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch? Featured Articles

Having said that, Apple has limited the market of Apple Watch owners to those people who already own an iPhone. The devices are meant to go together, and without the iPhone it doesn’t seem that that Apple Watch does much. Thus, for the people out there that own Android or other devices, and who will continue to do so, other smartwatch products will have to fill the gap, and ideally better watches will come out soon that contain Android Wear.

I mention all of this to gently build a case that the existing market for smartwatches is huge and will only grow larger. That is something for the traditional watch industry to consider very seriously. Apple design chief Jony Ive was noted for apparently recently commenting that, the “Swiss watch industry is fucked,” in light of the upcoming Apple Watch. My friend and HourTime Show podcast co-host John Biggs mused on the statement the other day on TechCrunch, suggesting that high-end watches aren’t going to be affected much, but low-end timepieces would be. I wonder if the fact that Apple will be releasing 18k gold versions of the Apple Watch would have altered his opinion. So, is the watch industry fucked? Or is the Apple Watch a blessing in disguise?

How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch? Featured Articles

Let’s be clear that the Apple Watch has its critics and will not do everything that people want it to do from the start. Apple will go through a few generations of Apple Watches over the next few years, and it will be pretty great to see how fast the technology develops. Some people dislike the design of the Apple Watch, and others feels that Apple is over-promising in regard to functionality. I happen to like the design, but that is because I am not comparing it to the beauty of a high-end Swiss watch. Having said that, the Apple Watch is the most amazing melding of traditional watches and electronics that I’ve ever seen.

One of the biggest things the smartwatch industry has been criticized for is more or less ignoring the watch industry’s lessons about materials and design. Compared to a handsome steel Rolex sports watch, a plastic square-screened smartwatch looks like a cheap toy. And in a sense it is. All of a sudden, Apple totally upped the ante with smartwatches produced from steel, aluminum, and gold. The cases have ceramic casebacks, premium material straps and bracelets, and even sapphire crystals on most models such as the “Apple Watch” and “Apple Watch Edition.” The “Apple Watch Sport” models will have lighter aluminum cases and Ion-X Glass crystals (which are presumably cheaper and more shatter resistant given that they are for more active purposes).

How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch? Featured Articles

Even the case designs and information on the cases are reminiscent of traditional watches. I know for a fact that Apple engineers and mostly designers have been very carefully investigating the traditional watch industry to learn about timepieces. In a sense, the most secret fan of watches over the last few years has probably been Apple. The result is amazingly clear when looking at the finer details of the Apple Watch. Even the rear section with its sensors array is meant to look like a transparent caseback from a mechanical watch. These odes to the traditional way of making watches aren’t just smart when trying to appeal to a more demanding consumer, but show that Apple designed the Apple Watch to actually be a watch, and not just some wearable piece of electronics. That is a big deal, and something that people really need to consider when contemplating how the Apple Watch will compete with more traditional products.

Apple recently announced its working relationship with Marc Newson, but wasn’t clear about what they were doing with Marc. He and Jony Ive worked together in the past, and a few days ago, I suspected that Marc Newson (given his history designing Ikepod watches) would be a major part of the iWatch (now Apple Watch) design. Apple did not mention Marc Newson’s name at the Apple Watch launch event, but looking at the design of the device, along with some of the details, makes its pretty clear to me that Marc Newson was an integral part of the design process. Not only does the overall rounded case shape look a lot like Newson’s previous watch work (the Apple Watch looks like a combination between the Ikepod Hemipode and the Solaris), but the “fluoroelastomer” strap on the Apple Watch Sport is so clearly adapted from the straps that Marc Newson designed for most Ikepod timepieces.

How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch? Featured Articles

Many suspected that even if Apple was going to release a smartwatch it would simply compete with digital sport watches and fitness tracker devices. That is of course true when it comes to the Apple Watch Sport, but the story is very different with the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition. While I suspect the Apple Watch Sport is the $349 entry-level model, you can forget about that price for the steel and gold models. I suspect the Apple Watch to be closer to $500 and up, while the 18k yellow and rose gold Apple Watch Edition watches will be much higher. The good news is that Apple is not likely to want the same margin for gold as luxury watch brands, but I can’t see the gold Apple Watch being less than $5,000 – $10,000. You have to ask yourself where they are going to sell those; in addition to high-end department stores will jewelry stores suddenly start to sell Apple Watches?

How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch? Featured Articles

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  • kapurkk

    My only issue is I don’t like 42 mm,  and  i hope I won’t be the only guy wearing  a 38mm !
    Is the extra screen space really material ? I mean  the same way as picking a Submariner over a Deep Sea Diver !
    The straps – leather and metal are key to my purchase decision. It makes this watch desirable….

  • bdekok

    Zzyzx I agree with you that prices for mechanical watches have become a little crazy lately.  I find it silly that many manufacturers can all use something like the 7750 movement in prices ranging from $2000 to $10000.  Sometimes there’s a good reason for charging a bit more, but not 5 times more.  So if the ?Watch can arrest some of these hikes, it will be welcome.

    I’ll probably end up buying one of these as I’m a gadget tragic, but I still love the mechanical watch.  I’m not sure that all under $1000 will suffer, as I’m quite keen on some of the micro brands such as the Melbourne Watch Company that produces watches in the $400 to $600 range.  I’ve bought one and I’ve ordered another.  If I’m ever wealthy enough, I still lust after a A.Lange & Söhne or Patek Phillipe.  My point is, that mechanical watches will always sell, even the cheaper ones as they have a nostalgic pull that electric watches never will.

    But, yeah, I think the low end fashion and quartz watches will feel the bite a bit.

  • bdekok Zzyzx I don’t think the Apple Watch will have any effect on the pricing of mechanical watches (meaning no downward price pressure). I hope I’m wrong of course.

  • bdekok

    MarkCarson bdekok Zzyzx It’s just a dream, but I like to dream.

  • “Swiss watch industry is fucked” – right.
    I don’t think Swatch (the watches not the group) will much effected as they mostly operate at a lower price point. And otherwise most profit they Swiss make is from mechanical, not quartz, watches. Sure the Swiss make multi-function quartz watches (Tissot T-Touch comes to mind), but again, not where the real money is for the Swiss watch industry. So I doubt they Hayeks are shitting the pants just yet. If Jony Ive is so sure, then he should short Swatch stock.
    Will the Apple Watch have some effects? Sure, but the Swiss are far from “fucked”. What hubris.
    I have another thought on the future of the phone and watch relationship. As electronics only become more miniaturized, perhaps the slab of phone in our pockets will be the product that dies out. Using voice tech to both consume content and to command the device and create limited content (via speech to text) plus other devices like Google Glass competing for similar functionality, today’s phone may be eliminated. Dick Tracy may have had it right after all. Or the phone may just be the infrastructure (plumbing) device that routes communication from our wrist to other networks. Think of an access point or network router. How often do you need to interact with them? OK, I’m a software engineer, so I plead being an exception to my example, ha ha.

  • One more random thought. It would be cool if winding the crown on the Apple Watch would recharge its battery. Another lost opportunity to be creative.

  • MikeinFrankfurt

    Yesterday’s announcement was an interesting one for sure.  Lots of things running through my head:

    – Does it answer a question (or need) that no one has asked or is it something everyone wants (or they’re telling us why we need it)? I’m not so sure because, as you mention, so many people have already abandoned watches for their phones.
    – Regarding the Swiss watch industry being “f*cked”, I will say that when folks like Swatch, etc come out with their own versions, it will be interesting to see how well they integrate with something like an iPhone or if that is even necessary.  Clearly, Apple has thrown down the gauntlet by creating a barrier to entry by making the 2 devices correspondent.
    – The style is cool and looks to be of quality, but one major concern I have is that, despite the ability to modify endlessly, it’s not a “do everything” watch.  It frustrates me that Apple’s phones are beautiful, but that beauty is masked right away by the need to cover them with silly protectors…is this the same?  I saw nothing regarding water resistance, but I doubt it’s good for swimming laps and I question if it’s ok for mountain biking, etc.  I know most people don’t do all of these things with their Rolexes, but the point is that you can.
    – Battery life will be crucial.  It’s ironic that this is the most “high-tech” watch but it likely has a power reserve well less than a manual wind piece from the 50’s.  Retro, eh? I think about flights I take that last 17 hours or more…I wonder what the real life battery capability will be.  Oh and, does it further chew on the battery life of my iPhone?

    Personally, I like my mechanical watches (they make me “me”) and can’t see a real “need” for this because my phone is so capable. 

    I look forward to seeing the next generations of these…it will get more and more interesting.

  • MikeinFrankfurt You need it because Apple tells you so. Got it? Now sit down, pay your money and be quite. And be sure to book a first class seat on that 17 hour flight so you will get an AC power outlet so you can charge your watch. (how silly is that). Cheers.

  • fsc hk

    Thank you Ariel for this post. This has got to be one of the most well-rounded and cogent pieces I’ve read on ABTW.

    Patek has the legacy value; I think they are pretty safe, not just because of the price point they orbit around but because they are Patek, and they have the “Grandpa’s heirloom” segment locked in. (But then again, what percent of Patek revenues come from quartz ladies watches- probably not an insignificant share). Vintage watches, especially Rolex are going to be fine- they are scarce enough and differentiated enough.

    Seems that people are focusing on the $70 quartz swatch and saying that segment is in deep trouble- i.e. the fashion watches. But I think Jony Ive is right in the sense that the threat to Switzerland is much more comprehensive than initially thought.

    I really hate to say it but for all the innovations in the Ressence Type 1, the Apple Watch makes the Ressence price point look flamboyantly absurd (though I love that watch). Then again, a base IWC Aquatimer for seven or eight grand, with a stock movement, no transparent case back to show off the decoration, really calls into question the value proposition for the $6-8K bracket. After all, smartwatches can do 10X more stuff via sensors, via apps, via firmware updates and so forth, and once the developers get busy with iOS and the watchkit, it will be 100X-1000X more functionality than telling time, and/or a GMT function, or a tachymeter, etc. 

    The battery life is the biggest stickler and could be the determinant of whether smartwatches truly become mainstream.

    Nonetheless, I think it is hugely presumptuous to think guys will wear two wristwatches- one smart, and another mechanical. 

    Is the Apple Watch gonna replace an ALS Datograph? Probably not. But a run of the mill Sub or Aqua Terra or Bremont? Well, that is the question. I think the threat is much bigger and Switzerland is slowly starting to appreciate that.

    capricornmonkey dot com

  • nice article and a different take than most other blogs – a more comprehensive overview of the effects. cheers Ariel.

    (according to http://www.apple.com/watch/design/ the 38mm and 42mm are the lug-to-lug (height) of the watches, not the width)

  • MarkCarson totally agree – i was hoping that was what it would do when i first saw the pics.  could a rotor potentially charge a battery?

  • stephenk Sure, Seiko Kinetic (they used a battery at first then switched to a capacitor). Plus the University of Bern has shown a heart pacemaker prototype (in a pig) which is powered using a watch rotor to charge a battery which runs the pacemaker’s electronics.

  • that would make the widths 33mm and 35mm by a quick measurement of the watch width/height ratio.
    is that right?

  • MarkCarson But I don’t want a pig’s heart in my watch! 😉
    Does a pacemaker require the same power level as a smartwatch? Could be they only need to deliver a small charge to keep the heart timing correct.
    I’d definitely go with a rotor rather than charging every day.

  • kapurkk You may be in lucky.  I think the sizes given are lug-to-lug, which would make the widths about 33mm and 35mm

  • Go look up the watch company Ventura. They made it work, but by basically having 2 watches one one strap: one to house the function, and the other to house the rotor and power generation.

  • I’ll reserve my final judgement until I can get a real look at the true functionality, but for now this was release almost as I thought it would, especially in the form factor category.
    No idea who will want to spend $5k+ on a smart watch, even if it is in the budget, so that will be something to keep an eye on.
    And while I certainly don’t disagree that the entry level fashion watch category could be the headrest hit by this, I also this that in order to be a player in the fashion watch market, you should be, you know, fashionable? In terms of base looks, what really sets these apart from any other smart watch before it? Get past all the massive and shiny renders, and imagine seeing it in passing on a strangers wrist. Is there enough here to to turn heads? Doesn’t seem like it. Personally, when I see someone wearing a smart watch, I just assume that they don’t particularly care about watches. Not that this is a bad this, to each his own, but I think that if you like watches, you would go out and get a watch.
    Anyway, I’m sure we’ll be hearing about this now ad nauseum into eternity. Yay.

  • Ulysses31

    MarkCarson Like a Seiko Kinetic Direct Drive?  It’s a good idea.  You could also have used a wrist-facing thermocouple (Seiko Thermic) or transparent solar cell over the screen, but good ideas are not what apple does.  They have random ideas, assume they are good, and then polish and market them to absurdity, then watch the cash roll in.

  • DG Cayse

    Good write Mr. Adams. You call it “ambition”…I would call it “smart marketing.”
    Apple knows it stuff on the marketing end. And they already have a very large built-in market for sales.

    Will this have much of an effect on the “traditional” watch market?
    Optimist that I am, I think it will be beneficial. Why? I think it will stimulate an increase in interest in traditional watches…a “roots” thing that hipsters, and face it – this is hipster crack – wind up going for. (Think PBR)

    So, on that level, one of several which will appear, I think this will have a beneficial effect on traditional watches.

    I also think this is nothing more than a new ‘sub-set’ of the watch world; think tourbillions, chronographs, quartz/digital, different materials, different dial/bezel types…just a new sub-set which will have its devotees and its haters.

    Who will win?…We all will.

    $0.02.

  • DG Cayse

    Zzyzx All good points – well said!

  • JRGougeon

    I won’t be interested in a smartwatch until I can leave my phone at home and have the same functionality. When that day comes I imagine I will do a ‘Nicolas Hayek’ and wear a couple watches at once; a mechanical on one wrist and smartwatch on the other.

  • Ulysses31

    The watch industry is not at any major risk.  No smart watch is directly comparable in form or function to a standard quartz watch of a few hundred dollars.  Someone looking for a high-quality Citizen or Seiko quartz will not consider one of these as an alternative.  From an aesthetic perspective they are not remotely alike.  It is like believing that a kilt is a viable alternative to trousers.  They’re so different, you’d never even consider the other as an option.  It will create NEW customers, not replace the watch of an existing customer – the people who don’t already own one.  The styling is too “feminine” and jewellery-like to appeal to a lot of men (of course many would disagree, I accept that).  The iWatch is a beautiful smooth pebble of a thing that makes no consideration in its design for actual ergonomics or practicality.  It is a piece of sculpture that wants desperately to be beautiful so badly that it neglects what it is supposed to be used for.  This is the Apple design philosophy – form dominates function, always.  I can appreciate the looks but it is still an unimaginative square fat little box with a computer inside, wrapped in a “premium” case.  Did you notice the great excitement when several manufacturers adopted the round form-factor?  People want a watch that LOOKS like a watch.  The iWatch cannot escape what it is, and never will.  A circuit board, some cheap resin, and a tiny battery, all put together by some anonymous Chinese OEM by the hundreds of thousands, built to a budget with a generous profit margin slapped on top. 

    Beautiful?  I think it’s attractive enough.  Useful?  Probably.  A must-have?  Certainly not.  Will it change everything… again?  Doubtful.  Some of the less intelligent manufacturers will see the affect of the Apple brand sell quite a number of these things, some will scramble to produce new designs (despite having already made watches with almost identical functionality and looks) and then realise that it is their brand and not their product that holds them back.  Same old story really.

  • X2Eliah

    Ummmm.

    Pegging the 18K gold Apple Watch at $5000-$10000 mark seems like you’re still thinking in terms of luxury watch prices; the tech industry will kick up a right storm if the golden AppleWatch actually costs that much. I strongly doubt Apple is trending towards that kind of price on any of these editions (iced-out third party cases nonwithstanding, ofc). Above a thousand? Sure, might happen. Above 5, nearing 10k? No way.

  • Barfett

    I have a Hamilton pocket watch from 1909. It is absolutely beautiful and runs as strong as the day it was made. I’d love to be able to see an Apple Watch in 105 years. The case will still be fine but the internals will be burnt out and corroded. A quality Swiss or German watch is a lifetime companion. Apple Watches are disposable. Also, it would be funny to see one with a sapphire case back. They wouldn’t do that though because then everyone would see just how soulless they really are.

  • ScubaPro

    What I find so amazing about this conversation is that as soon at the public at large realizes that a) you have to have your phone with you to access most of the functions, and most can be done far easier on the phone anyway b) you have to charge it probably daily, and c) it’s comparatively fragile compared with most watches, I don’t think they’ll buy one, There’s really no reason for it. It’s the first time Apple has come out with something all-new that really doesn’t have any new functionality. Did you see during the demo what a pain it was for him to use the touch screen on this comparatively tiny device? He didn’t even use it on his wrist-he was holding it like it was a wee iPad. It was really obvious this is a square peg-round hole situation. Even the “sports” function has to have the phone along, and I for one don’t take my iPhone with me when I’m running (the iPod Nano? Yes, and it measures time and distance on its own). 

    The Apple watch is hard an shoulders more interesting than any other smart watch, executed with typical Apple attention to detail. But the fundamental device itself is more toy than anything else. Maybe it’s just me. I’m just not important enough to get notifications on a watch instead of the phone, so I’m constantly interrupted with texts from the Joint Chiefs, etc. I think the fundamental idea behind it is flawed, and a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s like so much of the new technology in cars which I review for a living. It’s just there because it can be marketed to people, not because it really makes life any easier.

  • andrepere33

    This is not a watch in my opinion, this is an extension of the iPhone, I have my iPhone, why would I need something on my wrist that I already have on my phone, the materials are nice, the design are well done but… For me a watch is something much more personal than a mass production (everyone has) product.For another point of view, like a fitness sport watch would be a nice (expensive) option.

  • form4me

    I love the technology Apple is offering but hate that it means my wrist will be occupied by a design without character. Apple says it is the most personal device they’ve ever created. I see it as the exact opposite: a very impersonal tool. What would I find really interesting? Many premium watch manufacturers buy movements from others and create unique cases to house them, offering the public styles that appeal to the individual. Show me a Rolex crafted Apple Submariner and I’d be all over it.

  • henryus

    Too early to tell. But I can see the appeal. List of todo’s for Apple:

    1. Water resistence, 200m please.
    2. Standard strap lugs (none of this proprietary Apple accessory gimmick, please)
    3. Chronograph button layout, just do it.
    4. Watch face and function SDK; this could be interesting.

    Basically, adapt all the tried and true functions of a traditional watch. Add digital functions on top of that. Everything is there. It just won’t be as special looking as this thing, but it’ll certainly be more practical.

  • Phil2k

    Barfett Could not agree more.

  • johnro6659

    Anyone who loves a real watch will pass on this monstrosity. It reminds you of those crappy 70s digital watches. Right now there are several smartwatches already on the market and I have only seen one on someone and I see 100s of people a day that go thru my restaurant. A friend pof mine got the Sony about a year ago and wanted to sell it weeks after he got it so I actually got to use the Sony and IMO it’s useless item. They are too small to be really useful. I never could seem to use the screen because my fingers are too big. I could barley see the icons with out reading glasses. Recently I saw the Samsung at Sprint and tried that out still too small to be really useful. I think if you really think you want one of these wait a few months I will bet there will be 1000s of them on Ebay cheap when people realize it’s just some novelty items that is pretty much useless.

  • SantiagoT

    fsc hk More than Ressence Type 1 I’d say Slyde will feel the impact the most. Not that they will be missed or anything.

  • SantiagoT

    MarkCarson Biver, with his elegant style, would add that lil electrical thing they give with the MP-05 La Ferrari to wind it.

  • martinbblank

    The Swiss watch industry appears to not have learned from the lessons it should have learned in the 1970’s when quartz watches were successful. No watch maker has accounted for the fact that a growing number of people every year forgo a wristwatch for the time on their cell phone. The time on your cell phone is always correct no matter which time zone you are traveling, yet no watch maker has really caught on to this. Yes, Casio, Citizen and Seiko have offerings at $500 a throw and their nice, but what about a lower cost alternative that is a beautiful design and still lets you change the watch face? No one is offering a simple well designed time piece that does that  – hello Swatch, you listening? Swatch and other low cost style makers should be scrambling to provide this simple, and much needed niche. If they haven’t started by now, then Jony Ive may indeed be right.

  • henryus

    henryus Forget all that.

    Build a digital movement module.  And make it compatible with existing architecture. Have it fit into various existing cases.  Have real watch makers build cases. There area plenty of existing accessories in the watch world.

  • jkim010100

    johnro6659 Swiss said that about Japanese Quartz, American Auto said that about Asian cars, US Manufacturing said the same things about made in China. Any and all industries that don’t pay attention to the future are doomed. Does not mean they cant adapt but it means they need to do something. 
    Watch costs have gone up faster than inflation or materials costs can justify. Its Supply and demand. But if a new supply of watches enter the market without the stigma of being a Cheap Quartz or Fashion watch and creates a new category that people buy instead of a nice luxury watch, then that’s the next generation of buyers that aren’t buying Rolex, Tag, Patek. Selling to collectors and old school buyers only works for so long.

  • ccurryf3

    The Swiss industry has nothing to worry about IMO. To me there is nothing about this watch that would put me in a spot where i was metaphorically standing in the mall or on the street looking back and forth between a watch boutique and an apple store trying to decide. I’m willing to bet the majority of the community buying a +$2000 watch feels the same way. 

    I think yes it may detract from new buyers in the swiss industry for a time but if you look at the watch face options offered here its not a big leap to imagine the swiss industry spending their marketing dollars on getting their signature faces added into the mix. This brings more customers who love the dial language and want to step up to the real thing.

    The 18k Gold option will under perform. I don’t see many current apple customers paying the up charge. I would understand a few people from the watch world maybe picking it up but I don’t think the average customer who may be purchasing their first watch is going to understand. I think this goes along with a few of the other design nods that Ive chose to make to the watch industry; they may just be a bit too inside for anyone but watch people. 

    Its going to cause a stir just because of the blind loyalty and brand experience that comes with apple products, but I don’t think ABTW will have to shut down, I don’t think the forums that have “What are you wearing today” posts will lack variety because everyone is posting only Apple Watch photos. The watch guys will stay watch guys and maybe pick up an Apple Watch; the tech guys will stay tech guys and maybe pick up a high end watch some day thanks to having an apple watch, and the people split will probably go apple first and then switch back when it’s not a trend. I think if it was apple releasing a “Glass” type product we’d be having the same conversation about what will become of the italian sunglasses industry.

  • jkim010100

    andrepere33 Detached from the iphone, it does all the functions a Normal watch does. Keep time, chronograph, Time Zones plus many others. Its is a watch. Its not a mechanical watch but it is a watch. that’s like saying quarts or digital watches aren’t watches.

  • jkim010100

    ScubaPro I think your comments shows the limited idea people have about smart watches. Today, at the infancy of the smart watch, it does as much function as any watch $5K or above. In fact they do more than all mechanical watches. Most people would call High End Watches rich men toys. 25K patek? Any MB&F. All toys for grown men. 
    And it does this for $200-$500 with the ability to add functions (apps). More tool than toy. 

    I agree that they don’t look as nice or have the gravitas of an Rolex or Eta movement (snarky comments) but given a decade to evolve they can become hotter than anything. The revolution of wearables is here but its just the beginning. 
    And i don’t think this means the end of Mechanical watches. But i do think it means the industry is in for lean times and more consolidation. More Japanese movements, More German Movements and cheaper Swiss movements. Swatch Group will have to rethink their idea not to sell ETA to 3rd parties. 
    $500 Super Watch vs $5K Tag, Buy it at Best Buy or Fine Jeweler, public will vote with its money..

  • WiZARD7

    jkim010100 johnro6659 the quartz era was a whole different thing.

    The smartwatch is a competition for the 50-300$ quartz/fashion watches, not for the mechanical, luxury watches.

  • BIGCHRONO

    Like every retail item, you take or leave it. It will have a niche, or cult status, & will be outright rejected by many others. The idea that technology encroaches on everything is positive & negative. “Teching” up gear does not guarantee success, nor the concept if they build it, people will buy it. If so, there would there be demands for Apple iproducts like Penis Rings, Nose Rings, Navel Rings, Earrings, etc. I would prefer the encoded mini chip I can manually install/remove from my ear to handle all these functions & more. That may be delusional especially from prohibitive costs, but advancing to hopefully help ourselves is rational, logical, competitive & of course greedy, pushing us into creating new & needed(?) products,

  • X2Eliah It is honestly hard to say what the price will be. I’ve also heard that perhaps the gold versions are not solid gold, but perhaps just gold-plated. Apple has combined some watch industry terminology with their own lingo so it is difficult to get a fully grasp of what they intend to do with the pricing and what the materials will actually be.

  • stephenk So weird that Apple would all of a sudden decide to use what most people assume is a width measurement and choose to use it for the case height. So yes, we don’t quite know the width yet.

  • jkim010100

    Ariel please watch this emerging class of wearables closely for the next decade. Its not a fad but rather a start. Early version will become version 2, then 3 then 4. As tech becomes better, as batteries become better, as wireless charging becomes better, as reserve time goes into weeks and not days or hours, Smart watches will make more sense than mechanical for Day to Day use. Design will get better, Imac Gen one in purple, anybody remember those?

    As fashion brands that have great retail presence get into the Smart watch business it will be easy and cheap to get into smart watches. The market will be mainstream so quick that the smart phone boom will look slow. For the cost of one Tag you could buy 5-10 good smart watches. No Mechanical can compete on function.

    I love mechanical and will continue to buy them but don’t be fooled that they cant be replacement in the mainstream with Smart Watches.

  • jkim010100 I am on it with a keen eye! We will certainly keep watching the smartwatch segment closely.

  • beckmn1

    I don’t think the luxury watch market will be affected much at all. What will this watch be worth in say … five years? If it’s anything like phone technology. Looking at what happens in the computer and cellphone market … the hardware and software will be outdated, technical support and software updates will have ceased. The watch will be just another obsolete piece of technology that gets relegated to the drawer where you keep your old flip-phones, iPhones 1,2, &3. etc., etc., etc. 

    Like Ariel pointed out, I think the watch market mostly affected are the low to mid-range quartz watches. I wish it would have some affect on the luxury watch pricing models.. But people who buy luxury mechanical watches usually have a number of reasons to appreciate the their watches … the craftsmanship, the beauty of the movement, the status, the history of the watch and movement, etc. I just don’t see that a small smart-watch affecting that.

  • bichondaddy

    Well….I reluctantly carry a cell phone…mainly because I am home bound and have a lot of medical problems…plus…my wife insists!  I don’t want or need a smart phone….and I certainly don’t want an iWatch!  Even my technology obsessed brother and nephews…who both are IT managers at large companies….do not want a smart watch!  They love their smart phones and are always upgrading to the latest models….heck…my brother has even sent me his older smart phones…they go in a drawer or I sell them on ebay.  I’m not interested….and most of my friends who are watch collectors are not interested in them either.

  • thornwood36

    meh………

  • jkim010100

    WiZARD7 jkim010100 johnro6659 I don’t even think the Smart watch is competition for Luxury watches. I think Smart watches create a new category of watch buyers. Buyers who will not become Luxury Watch buyers. Any industry that does not add new markets or buyers die. The secondary market for watches if huge today. So manufacturers are not seeing this revenue. Watches last longer so maintenance is longer between services. So where are new buys for Retail watches going to come from. How many $2K+ watches can you own?
    There will be some trickle down from smart watch owners that get into Luxury but the era of status changed. I have all, nice mechanical, quartz, digital and Smart. I like them all. But most people will but one they can get easily for the least/reasonable costs.
    Look at all the consolidation happening today and look at what happened to the swiss watch industry during the Quarts era. Look at French wine when they ignore the California wine industry rise.
    Paradigm shift. Happens all the time.

  • Phil2k

    I’d like to add to the sea of disdain below for this monstrous carbuncle by saying that this watch will be rendered virtually useless to residents of the global village like myself. You’ll start experiencing problems the minute you board the aircraft as the inevitable “Please switch off all electronic devices… that includes iWatches” rings out on the in flight messaging service. I give it less than a month before we get the first person removed from a flight for refusing to turn off their iWatch.. Then you step off the plane in Hong Kong, or London, switch on your iWatch and iPhone and then realise you’re get buggered senseless by your network provider for international data roaming fees. Back to the airplane mode for your spanking new iWatch. Quick! Must find a free WiFi hotspot!

    This will have huge novelty value and I expect sales to be very strong for the first few years before they suddenly become out of fashion. I will stick with my Omega Speedmaster ’57 thanks.

  • jkim010100

    bichondaddy You know, if you have a smart watch that connected to the wifi or cell network, you could walk around with that on your wrist. Have it monitor you vitals and send alerts. Have a panic button on the face. and if you fell down could call out on it. Plus track your location in and out the house. All this on your wrist and not in your pocket.

  • bichondaddy

    aBlogtoWatch  stephenk To make the iWatch usable…I think they would need to call on Invicta to make them a 50 mm plus case!  A 33 mm – 35 mm case would be so small as to be almost useless….especially if you have large hands!!  Heck….even when I was a teenager playing baseball the other boys on my team would tell me that my hands were so large I didn’t even need a glove!!  LOL

  • Richskarma

    Yes, both a quality mechanical watch and a smart watch can be strapped to your wrist and tell time.  Still, they seem to be very different animals.  In a years time when smart watch version 2 comes out with enhanced battery life, a screen with greater definition and faster response time, will you drop version 1 and go for it?  Currently, we all consider this when new smart phones are released. 
    In 5 years, when you look at your 10 year old TAG Aquaracer, Rolex GMT or Seiko Orange Sumo will it still bring a smile to your face?   
    Conversely, in 5 years when you are searching through your junk drawer for your first smart watch, will you even be able to find it?  HINT – It will be in the box in the garage next to your old 8 track player.

    My Point 
    If you appreciate a quality mechanical
    watch you won’t replace yours with a smart watch, even if you own a
    smart watch.  They will co-exist.

  • BIGCHRONO

    bichondaddy 
    Your brother & nephew would do well to furnish you with a defibrillator. That is a super gift that could keep on giving if you (hopefully NOT) ever need it.

  • jkim010100

    bichondaddy aBlogtoWatch  stephenk dont forget that smart watches are just that, smart. verbal commands, motion, gesture, buttons on the side, batch commands, sending command from a phone, scheduled actions, etc etc,. The point of a smart watch is for it to learn and evolve over time. New version every year? Yes. Better every year? Yes. under $500, yes. then you will reach a point where it become good to use and everyone gets one.

  • Phil2k

    jkim010100 These watches will be targeted at the lowest common denominator. Casio, Seiko, Timex, Citizen should all be very concerned.

    People who take timepieces more seriously will have absolutely no interest in this watch beyond passing vague amusement. Patek, Omega, IWC, Brietling, Cartier et al aren’t going to lose any sleep whatsoever.

  • jkim010100

    Phil2k jkim010100 You’re looking at today’s market. 2014 you are right. 2015 you are right. But 2016, 17, 18, 19? Name me the biggest change in the mechanical world on the last decade. Other than consolidation and improvements in manufacturing and distribution. A decade in tech is a century in mechanical industry. 
    Here is an example, transparent LCD screen on top of a Mechanical watch face. Screen is off, you see the watch face. Screen goes on, you see the smart watch. the screen already exists. 
    Here is where your comment about “low end” brands misses the point. 
    Casio, Seiko, Timex, Citizen will the ones making these. Better version of these for $500-1000. They will be the luxury Smart Watch makers. Some will fail but others wont. 
    Patek, Omega, IWC etc wont.

  • bichondaddy

    BIGCHRONO  Naw…no defibrillator needed here…my 2 MI’s were caused by blood clots…as I have a very rare genetic disease that disposes me to having DVT’s and other clots for no reason.  A lifetime supply of Lovenox would be appreciated though!  ( No need to look the medication up…it is a inject-able medication that dissolves blood clots! I keep a supply of it in my fridge at all times! )

  • DangerussArt

    Cribbed from web comments I have enjoyed:

    Meh: You need to have a phone running the same operating system nearby in order for them to work so you have to carry two devices. Then you have to remember to charge two devices both of which I am sure won’t last 48 hours with a decent amount of use. The functionality and interface is limited on the watch but then… you could just take your phone out of your pocket to get the missing functionality.

    If they are anything like other Apple products you won’t be able to change the battery. Longevity? OMG, have you seen the charger?!

    You can supposedly pay for your groceries with your watch rather than your credit card ( if you don’t feel like paying with the phone a foot or two away in your pocket). The desire to pay for things with my watch occurs about as frequently as my desire to change my hotel booking using my shoes.
    I’m likely 100% wrong. I am thinking intellectually and rationally. I don’t see the Apple Watch as what it is–I see it as a tool. But it’s not a tool. It’s a fashion accessory and a toy. There’s nothing wrong with fashion accessories and toys being hopelessly impractical. And because it will not be evaluated on the merits of what it can do, but rather on what it is, different standards apply.

  • Phil2k

    jkim010100 Phil2k The point you seem to be missing Jkim is that there is a
    chasm of monolithic proportions between an iWatch and a Speedmaster in terms of
    prestige, history, engineering, artistry and craft. These types of timepieces
    transcend any gimmick (app) that Apple could possibly throw at them. Suggesting
    that venerable Swiss watch makers like Patek or Omega will suffer as a result
    of Apple’s entry into the space is folly. Did the Sinclair C5 or more recently
    the Tesla stop people from driving Bentleys and Hummers?

  • BIGCHRONO

    bichondaddy BIGCHRONO 
    My sincere regrets concerning your genetic “curse”. Try Patient Assistant Programs in obtaining Lovenox. You may be able to get it FREE, or @ the lowest possible price depending on your financial situation. I hope the injections are like EpiPens, or subcutaneous, so you needn’t go through agony to get the serum delivered. And, I hope side effects are none, or minimal. See if this Apple iWatch can get Lovenox for you!

  • avensvvvvv

    The $200 to $500 or less watch market, the cheap Swiss, will be hurt by “Smart Watches”, for sure. The rest will not, by that much.

  • charles wurant

    DangerussArt The battery life was a major concern of mine too.  However, because of the watch needs to be close to an iPhone means that a lot of the activities will still happen on the phone and not the watch, thus prolong the battery life to a acceptable degree.  traditional watches need winding too.  If all you need is two hours on your nightstand charging the watch once every two nights, battery life won’t be a deal breaker no more.  Think about iPhone for a second.  Samsung actually had to make a commercial to point out iphone users are like wall-huggers. which Seems like a weakness that many can live with.

    The beauty of it all is that while you may never use your shoes to change your hotel booking, you probably use check or credit card to make large purchases.  Once upon the time, people had to carry cash for business transections; disc jockeys had to take a truck load full albums to an event.  It’s not that apple is the only company that starts revolution; but their vertical integration system sure make them better candidate to succeed.

  • Richskarma

    jkim010100 WiZARD7 johnro6659 
    http://www.livefyre.com/profile/40983878/,
    I think you nailed it.
    Smart watches aren’t mechanical watch replacements, though there is some cross over.  It is a new species to be appreciated for what it is.  Why is is it more of a “smart watch” than a “smart phone”?  Because it can sit on your wrist?  Both tell time, take pictures, run apps and son on?
    Is it really even a watch?

  • mgennone

    Apple watches will hurt…but not sure how much. People do not want to see the same thing on everyone’s wrists! A watch is a lot of things to different people. Status symbol, appreciation of craftsmanship, style, expression of self, tool. A lot of those are emotional needs that are not met by a smartwatch. Even on the low end…those watches $1,000 and below there is a huge following of brands and people collect. Obviously a smart watch does not fulfill that need. So even the Helios, Stowa, Luminox etc will not be hurt much in my opinion. Apple is great at marketing, which is what sells watches, so they will get share but also create a new market.

  • bichondaddy

    BIGCHRONO   No problem….mine is a very rare condition….heck…some of my doctors have never had patient who they have had to treat who has it.   I am lucky to have a wife who is an executive in the oil industry, and we have excellent health care through her employer.   And yes…Lovenox is delivered via an Epipen…and is available in generic form…so I can purchase a months worth of Epipens for a $5 bill.

  • charles wurant

    This is a great article.

    Wis appreciate the effort that goes into a well made mechanical piece; so are the car enthusiasts.  The key is that apple always take pride in what they do.  Many people despise them because of their arrogance and they only serve a niche.  That’s  what luxury industry is, no?  Quartz attached the traditional watch industry, first because of technology, then cost.  Mechanical watches then came back with emphasis on just the opposite and to an extreme.  It seems like apple is going to do just that, plus they are going to load the darn thing with features that people care.  Looking at the manufacturing process, from material to “movement”.  They seem to take “in-house” just as serous as the other manufacture.
    Apple watch is not coming out to replace the rolex on the wrists.  It’s coming to make you forget and push it into oblivion by slowly takes the wrist time and eventually knock everything else out of rotation.  I don’t mean that it has to be an apple watch that’s responsible for the change, but they are bringing probably the entire tech industry with them.
    This indeed could be another quartz crisis.  The digital wallet aspect of things is HUGE.  Maybe it’s not felt instantly but it’s imminent.  Do we remember a time we don’t have internet, cellphone, credit card? Actually I do, but I’m not sure if I really want to go back to that.

  • BIGCHRONO

    bichondaddy BIGCHRONO 
    Thank you for responding again, & letting me know you have a solid support system, & that Lovenox works as directed, with no ill effects in your case. Even the price is palatable, a blessing to offset life’s inconsistencies & unjustified elements. PAX!

  • lidrummer

    @DangerussArt David Pogue reported today that the watch is reversible to accomodate lefties.

  • jkim010100

    Phil2k jkim010100 Cars not quite the same. Car companies iterate very quickly and add new tech on a regular basis. A hummer, BMW, Mercedes today is not the same as decade ago. Watch makers cant say the same. 
    Yes the chasm is huge between Smart watch and Luxury watches. But the market is limited. 1st world problem. Which also explain the explosion of the secondary market. 2012 watch from Omega is as good as 2014 watch from omega. So omega sells fewer watches. Unless they buy back all unsold stock, this will be an ongoing issue. 
    The appeal of heritage, history, engineering, artistry and craft fades as the connected areas of interest fade. Aviators, Divers, Military, Trains, etc etc.
    What smart watches are are not a gimmick. What you can program them to do can be gimmicks. 
    And in the Luxury space. Tourbillon? Ceramic? Gold? Gimmicks?
    The point i am trying to get across is that smart watches will take away sales from mid level brands and drive the industry into more consolidation, which is already happening. This will also allow newer younger brands to pop up and at a lower cost. This may drive higher end brands even higher as a side effect. But all the reasons for why they cost so much as well as the prestige that goes along with the brand is more smoke and mirrors.
    Sorry rambled on a bit.
    People who by Bentleys will still buy Bentleys. But there are fewer of them. Also Hummer sales dropped so badly that GM tried to sell the brand to a Chinese company in 1999. That failed and Hummer was shut down. Helps my point ore than yours.

  • jkim010100

    Richskarma jkim010100 WiZARD7 johnro6659 Depends on definition. Watch: a device on the wrist that tells time. Yes. Costs $5000 and made of Gold? No.
    Its a watch to start with. But it can be and will more so much more. Some stupid? Yes. Like the smiley face icon apple showed (Face Palm, shake head). 
    Its an extension of what we do. Another form factor. Does not replacement the other tech you have just extends your abilities. Desktop(Big/Dual Screens) to Laptop to Tablets to smartphones to smart watch/google glass. What could you give up from this list? I need all of them for different times of my day. Gives me options.

  • Shawnnny

    Only time will tell how the Apple Watch will effect the watch industry. It will interesting to see what happens.
    I have a good idea, how it will effect me. I think I’ll wait for the second generation Apple Watch. I wear my traditional watch on my right wrist, I have always done that. When I buy an Apple watch, I plan to wear it on my left wrist, you really have to unless they come out with a lefty version. I plan to keep wearing my traditional watches on my right wrist, at the same time I’m wearing my Apple Watch. I envision myself no longer buying new traditional watches. And, I may even stop wearing traditional watches if I feel that wearing both becomes to cumbersome or geeky. Ironically, I won’t wear an Apple Watch for my sports activities. I ride mountain bikes and train horses. I’ve already damaged cheap watches doing those things. So, there’s no way I’m going to wear a $500 watch that can be smashed in a fall. I’ll only wear very cheap digital watches for those activities.
    Obviously, traditional watches aren’t going to go away. But companies are going to have to adjust. Same goes for Apple Pay. It’s not going to put PayPal out of business, but it’s going to make a dent.

  • MarkNatm

    No thanks. I don’t need something else to charge all the time, upgrade software for, and then throw it away because Smart watch 2.x won’t work on the original watch they sold me.
    I’ll keep my trusty mechanicals adorning my wrist because sometimes a watch is….well, just supposed to be a watch!
    Will it have impacts? Yes, I’m sure the Swatch group low end sales are going to suffer. I’m sure Apple stock will go up as the “coolness” factor attracts people to wear one because the herd has jumped onto the fad.
    However, If I was a talented hacker I would be licking my chops at all the new rubes I’m going to be able to steal credit and personal information from!
    Not for me..no thank you. But I might get some AAPL stock. YMMV

  • Phil2k

    jkim010100 Phil2k Honestly, semantics aside you’re welcome to choose the car, Rolls Royce, Ferrari or Bugattii, it makes no difference as the point still holds, . All of them are examples of wildly impractical luxury car brands that continue to thrive in almost all market conditions despite the plethora of infinitely more functional and practical alternatives. The key difference is the X-Factor that simply cannot be quantified.

    Your comments regarding an alleged lack of technological
    advances made in the mechanical watch industry only serve to demonstrate a lack of horological knowledge. Leaps and bounds have been made in recent years
    in terms of both the innovative use of new materials in mechanical timepieces
    and the movements themselves.
    I ask you this… Would my life be served any better by having
    a diluted version of the cellphone in my pocket additionally wrapped around my
    wrist?

  • Shawnnny If a NFC solution in the Apple Watch will let you wave at point of sale devices, it will save you having to remove your real wallet from your pocket. So that may be a useful feature in smart watches (loading your credit card data into the watch). But this just makes wrist hacking a huge danger. Then there will be another aftermarket product – aluminum foil over straps to protect your smart watch from being read by passerby thieves.

  • charles wurant I understand your points and only offer that as luxury products, functionality alone does not determine desirability. If it did, then multi-function quartz watches would have already wiped Patek Phillipe off the map. There are watches segments that will be endangered by smart watches, but the over $1K USD market is not the same as the $300 – 500 multi-function quartz watch market. Cheers.

  • ziokendo

    aBlogtoWatch X2Eliah Who would buy a 5,000$ smartwatch that needs to be replaced every 1-2 years ? I am pretty sure it will be just plated.

    Yes there is a market for solid gold smartphones in that price range, for oligarchs and the like, but I don’t think apple is aiming at that market and those small volumes, they are rather aiming at the fashion conscious women with the gold watch.

    See pictures of the gold 38mm one with leather strap, i can see it replacing a Cartier very easily on a woman wrist, what do you think ?

  • Richskarma No no no. I plan to give my future grandson the Patek Phillipe watch I don’t yet own and my by then 30 year old Apple Watch (along with that 8 track player). Ha ha ha.
    You are spot on – fleeting tech toys really don’t become family heirlooms.

  • John HI

    I think the swiss watch industry WILL suffer mightily. At first it will be the gateway fashion watches, sure, Nixon, Fossil, Michael Kors, maybe Tag Heuer will take the initial hit. The real issue is the eventual customer base erosion for the mechanical watch, When as a young person you shop for your “first watch”, usually you are value shopping for “the best you can afford” under, say $1K. What are you going to choose? An Apple Watch of course. It has high function, high fashion, and name cachet, while being easy to buy and service. And if have learned from the smartphone business, that person will continue to buy and update that watch as necessary, probably NEVER buying a traditional wristwatch. Think of the rest of the global market where incomes are smaller and value is held at an even higher premium. 

    The swiss watch industry was already failing to connect with young people. In my graphic design office of 6, one doesn’t wear a watch, two wear Pebbles, and the other wear an old TAG quartz. A wristwatch has become a small niche product, and now I believe Apple is going to make the market that much smaller and tougher. It may take decades, but I think this is the start of the second “quartz crisis”. Something will definitely have to change, and I hope the swiss watch industry is swift and innovative enough to adapt this time.

  • therealcbone

    Not even a little screwed. Apple is missing the mark here. I was hoping they would go for a better watch, not a more crap wrist phone. A proper watch should not have it’s maker’s penchant for ruthlessly planned obsolescence as a concern. Will this watch with it’s “finely crafted materials” even work in 5 years? The cheapest calculator watch from the 80’s is a better watch today. This is just a niche toy.

  • ziokendo

    fsc hk A Patek pocket watch still carries a legacy value as well, it is still a fantastic piece of engineering after 100 years, but very few people would actually walk around with it: they are in a drawer.

    I honestly believe that the industry should be scared at any level, not of this specific apple watch, obviously just a first iteration, but of the phenomenon as a whole, because it will compete for wrist space, we will see the effects in 5 years MAXIMUM.

    The resulting industry wasteland will rise again as a phoenix when something better and cooler in 20-30 years time in wearable technologies (implants?) will make the wrist space available again for fashion objects like an assembly of little gears cased in gold worth 20,000$ is.

  • jkim010100 Put the “smarts” in a strap what will attach to a mechanical watch. DOn’t worry about the lack of a screen, you will voice command everything and listen to it. Small screens are for kids with sharp eyes.

  • John HI

    MarkCarson Shawnnny

    If I understand the explanation TIm Cook gave of the NFC Apple Pay solution, it is much more secure than that. The credit card information is never passed through the watch, to the merchant, to Apple, etc…the device creates an encypted token that Visa/MC/AMEX interpret as a payment. This somehow keeps the data “secure”…but then again…don’t store nekkid photos on your Apple Watch!

  • aleximd2000

    not interested
    ugly and you have to remove it after 6 months

  • Evitzee

    Those of us old enough to be in the watch world in the late 70’s-early 80’s heard the same story…..the Japanese were absolutely going to kill the Swiss watch industry because they were too staid and wedded to (eek) mechanical watches.  Yet the Swiss industry is alive and well, quartz and mechanical watches exist side by side.  Same here.  I do think quartz fashion watches in the sub-$500 category are pretty well screwed, but the likes of Patek Philippe and Rolex are in no danger.  The target audience is completely different and will remain so..

    It is very tricky to have wearable technology that people want on a permanent basis…..if any one can do it Apple will but lets see how it all works out.  No matter how techy you make it a wearable watch like this screams DORK and DWEEB, people are ok with a smartphone in their pocket, not sure of a device on the wrist.  People like their fashion which we all don’t wear uniforms like you see in sci fi movies.

  • hautejalapeno

    My thoughts:

    1. No doubt this is a good effort and will be successful

    2. Mechanical watch lovers are more interested in the age honoured traditions of watchmaking rather than the latest tech. The mid to high end of the watch industry should fear not.

    3. Regular charging should not be an issue, it’s much the same as regular winding. 

    4. Who in their right mind will fork out for a gold watch which will be obsolete in 5 years? A gold mechanical will always win here.

  • stephenk The R&D prototype they made uses the rotor from an automatic watch movement to charge a (small I’m assuming) battery that powers the electronics of the pacemaker. I think it would be cool to use a full on watch movement to provide the timing for the electrical pulse, but maybe that would not allow for dynamic tuning of the heart rate. I’m not really up on pacemaker issues.
    The advantage of the rotor based system is longevity. While some patients may see up to 20 years in a single battery, other patients need a new battery after only 2 years. And endless surgeries on young patients (who will need multiple batteries even in a best case scenario) would be eliminated with this rotor based system. But for now only pigs with bad hearts will benefit, ha ha.

  • Ulysses31 Yep, once an innovation from someone else shows promise, Apple will co-opt it and let the world think it was their idea. Most people think the Mac was the first computer with a GUI. Guess they never heard of Lisa (also an Apple product) or that the UI tech came from Xerox’s PARC.

  • SantiagoT

    Tell you what, I totally see the iWatch gold versions being extremely successful: Apple has always aimed at the high margin segment of the market, and as of late their ties with the fashion market are obvious. So: how long will we have to wait until we see Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and other personalities of paramount importance in our modern world showing up at a cultural event of their liking wearing, say, the  limited edition Louis Vuitton pink gold, 25 diamonds with baguette cut bezel iWatch? 0. seconds. And from then onto magazines and blogs, and from there to infinity and beyond. 

    I think that’s the plan: you get celebs to promote for free and the rest imitate. Nothing to do with watchmaking, but extremely successful.

  • ziokendo By your argument, multi-function G-Shocks and Tissot T-Touch watches (to name only a couple of contenders) would have wiped mechanical watches off the map of the earth (and our wrists). But they did not then and smart watches (and this may be the first widely success one, but it won’t be the last) won’t kill mechanical watches which are luxury items with different aspects of appeal.
    And you are right that future tech (like implants) may obviate the need for a smart watch. In which case, our wrists are again “available” for watches which are a reflection of our individual sense of style and taste. The problem with any overly successful product that you wear is the “uniform” effect that others have noted. Only in futuristic movies does everyone one wear the same clothes. Even in the military you are allowed to wear whatever watch you like.  But smart watches with communications capabilities may be banned in secure spaces the same way that cell phones currently are.

  • Shawnnny

    If you understand how the system works, you’ll find that’s not true. When Apple does something, they do it right.

  • Evitzee Exactly.

  • SantiagoT

    One last thing: if you want to see a hands-on video of the iWatch you can find it here: http://tecnologia.elpais.com/tecnologia/2014/09/10/actualidad/1410363069_760588.html

    It’s a Spanish newspaper, but the guy explaining it is American. Pretty complete video actually. (the crown… I don’t know, it needs getting used to it I think).

  • martinbblank What the Swiss (outside of the plastic Swatch itself) learned from the quartz crisis was they they needed to move up into the luxury segment where the quartz watch largely does not have market penetration. The plastic Swatch that provided the revenue to keep the Swiss watch industry alive was as a “if you can beat ’em, join ’em” approach. Highly automated production of quartz watches and lots of marketing. While Swatch brand watches have good unit volumes, the Swatch group makes a lot of money with higher end mechanical watches.
    Should Swatch brand watches offer smart watches in the future? Perhaps yes as the are in that vunerable price segment. The Hayeks currently say “no” to smart watches, but we will see how that plays out for Swatch watches in the years to come.
    I agree that even low end quartz watches should be able to pull time information from phone networks and set themselves. Even if that requires a real phone as a gateway it still would be handy and would avoid going “full smart watch” so that existing quartz watch designs can endure, but just get a bit smarter. If they once time sync once a day (or manually on demand), the extra battery drain would be minimal. So I think “smarter” watches will come even if some of them are not fully functional computers strapped to your wrist.

  • jkim010100 WiZARD7 johnro6659 I agree that smart watches are a new market segment. They will erode existing markets to a degree, but will largely help find new  watch buyers so it’s good overall.
    I disagree with your wine analogy as these are competing products, not functionally different ones that create new markets.

  • henryus But then you won’t be required to buy a new watch strap from a “genius”, ha ha ha.
    Apple will no doubt have a separate profit center for Apple Watch straps. And a cash cow it will be.

  • Spaceguitar

    Let’s compare to the music industry and formats over time. Music was first purchased in large quantity on LP. A relatively clever yet crude device which degrades the media itself with each use. They were the standard, and what everyone had. 8-tracks didn’t last long, but were analog. Cassettes fared better but we maybe got a strong decade out of them. Then the music industry hit its quartz crisis. CDs were born and offered much clearer sound, but people who listen to lots of music critically agree that the elusive “analog warmth” left the building and it became a more sterile listening environment. But you gained function. Stuff like random play and much longer life of the media itself (CDs do degrade over time too, fwiw). Then along came pure digital. And coincidentally, the iPod is from the same culprit of who is making this new techy watch. Digital in general is convenient due to sheer size and functionality, even over CD. But “soul” was further reduced., Throw cloud hosting in there…convenience? Insane. Soul? None. It’s gone.

  • jkim010100 I think his main point was the “personal” aspect and that you are not wearing something that everyone else has on your wrist. Which I concur with. We chose our watches largely based on more than simple functionality. Otherwise we would all be wearing G-Shocks.

  • Spaceguitar

    (continuing)
    Back to music. LPs are in the midst of a small, but notiecable and continual resurgence. Much like mechanical watches, tech gains are incremental in turntables, and for the most part the wax is still the wax. But an audiophile turntable is likely to be bought by the same guy who buys a Rolex, Clerc or Patek. People who want the full musical listening experience are turning back to a very old, trusted, comfortable, “warm” technology.
    So maybe this will bode well for the watch industry in a few years when your smartphone paired item is obsolete in three years, if not replaced every year with your phone upgrade. . And who knows, that may lure some people back from their wrist device. They might very well want that “time telling” experience back and turn to an old, trusted, comfortable and “warm” technology. An analog watch.

  • charles wurant

    MarkCarson Quartz crisis almost wiped out the old industry.  If it weren’t for the genius of turning watch into a luxury item, they would be wiped out.
    The difference between the multifunction quartz and the new generation smart watch (many people are contemplating whether if we should call it a watch any more) is that it’s not just going to share the wrist time with watches but fight for it.  The only thing that’s stopping the apple watch to be on the wrist 24/7 is the water resistance part.  Once they find a way to deal with that, I doubt that there’s a way to go back..  Each of us got two wrists and that’s it.  before apple launch the watch, i really didn’t imaging it take shape as a watch. Maybe it’s because of my lack of imagination; I simply did not vision a tech company like apple go full out on develop a “watch.” If it was to take shape as a wrist band or, like you said a ring, it could co-exist with watches.  The case here is that they are coming after all watch makers.  is the PP, VC or AP going to vanish? is the over 1k mechanical watch segment going to be gone tomorrow? of course not.  But they better find a way to co-exist with this new trend of wearables, because their market share will shrink. Market shrinkage kills self-perpetual business operation, because growth will be limited.  When sells dwindle, investors will cease funding. Numbers of companies will drop.  The entire industry will suffer, then who knows how far it can go. What people tend to forget is that nothing stands still.  It’s not just apple watch that’s going to come after the old watch industry.  Apple opened a door, a pandora’s box if you will.

  • jkim010100 And for 40 years of faithful service to our company, we are pleased to give you this gold Apple Watch. 
    You don’t go to Best Buy for luxury items. Simple as that. Different products, markets and pricing. All have their place and none of them will completely destroy the other.
    I wish you were right about cheaper Swiss movements and Swatch again making ETA movement widely available to  3rd parties, but you are wrong on all counts. None of this will be effected by smart watches.

  • MarkNatm

    I can see this happening.

  • Ulysses31 Fully agree with you on each point.

  • jkim010100 I agree that with progress everyone will have at least one of them. But that does not mean that a lot of us won’t also have traditional watches nor does it mean that the smart watch will be the watch of choice in all situations.

  • ShaneGriffin1

    MarkCarson jkim010100 Screens are getting thinner and more flexible as well. That’s only going to improve.

  • charles wurant I agree with many of your points, but I reach a different conclusion. Because we are free to take one watch off and strap on another, smart watches will no more kill mechanical watches any more than running shoes have killed dress shoes. I know we tend to be watch geeks here, but lots of “normal” people own more than one watch too. So I see this as expanding the market as a new category of watch rather than being the death knell for watches in what are clearly other segments. Cheers.

  • Shawnnny Like the Newton? or the Lisa? No one seems to remember the ‘misses’ that Apple has made. Don’t get me wrong, they are very detail oriented, but no one bats 1000 all of the time.
    General statement here: computing devices are easy to secure. Until they connect to other computing devices that is.

  • hautejalapeno Agree except for point 3: I don’t haveto plug my fingers into a wall outlet in order to wind my watches. Cheers.

  • hautejalapeno

    Fair point Mark. Fact is that you pick up any mechanical watch and it’s ready to go in a matter of seconds. Nonetheless both devices have a finite power reserve and therefore need some action to maintain regular function. I would have been 10 times more excited if apple could have incorporated a selfwinding rotor to help maintain charge, now that would have been taking inspiration from watchmaking.

  • jkim010100

    Phil2k jkim010100 Then please educate me on the advances in watch tech over the past ten years. Yes i do lack the exact science of what watched have inside the. Other than seeing the mechanism being taken apart and put back together, i dont understand all the changes. Considering that ETA 7750 has been around for decades and still in use. And other core calibres see little change except for modifications. I look at the core tech more than the related materials and add-ons as examples of evolution in the tech of a given product.
    The X-Factor you speak of is also a nebulous science. A style, an impression. But one that’s not internal but external. One that invokes more of what others think of your watch than you think of your watch. Hublot, IWF, Bell and Ross, MB&F, Any Skeleton watch, anything encrusted in diamonds etc. It shows you know the Brand as High end but not why you like them.
    I think smaller lesser known watch brands get the shaft for not being as well known but offer as good a watch. Ball, Xetum, Tudor, Nomos, Tissot.
    Its not an either or question. Its a value and appreciation one. is what you are buying worth the money? Is it functional and attractive to you? Does it present the image you want to others? Can you afford to own it (Not price, cost of ownership)?
    And to circle back around, give me a list of changes in the past ten years that significantly upgraded watch tech. I can give you a dozen that has done this in portable tech.

  • Fraser Petrick

    In the late 19th century someone suggested Patent Offices could be closed because there was nothing left to be invented. 2014 and maybe Patent Offices should be closed so that nothing more can be invented. Luddites Unite!

  • charles wurant

    MarkCarson I don’t disagree with your conclusion after all.  Maybe not death but there’s definitely going to be some changes.  The final outcome may be a hybrid of both.  only time will tell.

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 WiZARD7 johnro6659 Wine analogy was just a not too good example. Just a warning not to under estimate a new player in any market driven system. Free market where the best wins. Not sitting on past glories but using them to create reputation and create new glories. 
    The other issue is not erosion of the current market. But preventing the current market from growing. You will have the same buyers and collectors but few new ones. Look at the comic book industry. Paper comics had been on the decline for decades. Due to increased prices with no increase in value.
    I rather see more Good Mechanical watches with great design sold at a much lower price from Good/Great brands.

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 Then explain Rolex. every serious watch owner has one. Also why own more than 3 watches? Office, Formal, Sport.
    I agree it is personal. So thats why not just the Apple watch, but Moto, LG, samsung all make one. Also you can change the watch face and movement it replicates. Imagine a Steel round 42mm Smartwatch. Than can have the face of a Tag, Rolex, Patek, Zenith at a swipe of the screen. And replicate the movement of the dials.
    I think the smartwatch opens up even more the idea of personal. But make its more accessible.

  • andrepere33

    MarkCarson jkim010100 I love G-Shocks, by the way I’m in Japan I had the first model that my father gave me, unfortunately I did not keep up today, but I have a variation of this model which in my opinion is one of the prettiest!

  • jkim010100

    Phil2k GPS can be free. Airplane mode for non data other than gps. See casio and citizen as examples. We are asked to go off line for tablets and phones now. Plus in the air, no cell signal. Hop off the plane in HK and gps updates time and DATE. No roaming, ok then no tell OS not to roam. Default on most modern phones so extends to smart watch. If you have data, time, temp, weather, missed calls, txts, alerts, anything you want it to do.

    You talk of all the problems but i see a lot of function that is automatic and easy to use.

  • jkim010100

    andrepere33 MarkCarson jkim010100 I like some of the higher end Gshocks as well. MR-G. (Drool)

  • jkim010100

    charles wurant MarkCarson Yes a hybrid or an extension of tech into mechanical or mechanical into tech. I mentioned somewhere else on this post about a transparent screen over a mechanical watch face. Or someone else mentioned smartwatch tech in the strap. Mechanical watches with chips that relay movement data and auto corrects? Anyway just random ideas.

  • jkim010100

    mgennone “People do not want to see the same thing on everyone’s wrists!” How many Iphones do you see around you? Yankees, Giants, Boston Caps? Callaway Big Bertha? BMW? 
    People copy style. You see something on someone else you and want it on you. Why else advertise with celebrities? The smaller ones will hurt the most initially but they may also benefit by getting into the game sooner than the Rolex and Patek’s of the world. It will also establish their brand in a new market that is just starting. Where was Samsung 10 years ago? They weren’t a household name. Out come android….Galaxy everywhere. Where are the big boys? Motorola, Blackberry, Nokia, Ericson?
    Just sayin.

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson martinbblank They do pull time. Citizen GPS watches. The Japanese watch makers may jump on this quicker than the Swiss and even the Germans. Low end quartzs will die or merge more closely to Smart watches.
    For lower end look for the lesser known brands that have less cache today but good DNA. I like Tudor and Ball right now. Maybe they both will take off over time. All it takes is some advertising in the right places to make them an IN brand.

  • Lenakad

    henryus

    Love number 4, I would finally be able to afford a Tourbillion on my wrist 🙂

    I would also add, to water resistance, make it useable without iphone, because the phone is not going scuba diving…yet!

  • spiceballs

    DangerussArt  and this is why I believe these to be nothing more than a short-term toys – lack of battery life.  I am all for electronic watches+ but how many have ditched quartz watches with a 2-year battery life?  OK this will have infinitely more functions but having to recharge every 24 to 48 hours?  Sorry can’t see it.  In my opinion unless and until they can sort better battery life (as Citizen, Seiko & Casio have done with their “solar” watches) these are doomed to be quickly discarded toys.

  • spiceballs

    As I said in reply to DangerussArt below/above(?) if they can’t get power into these things by remote or built-in means so that one doesn’t have to connect to a charger every day, week, month or even year (?) these are nothing more than (admittedly smart) toys and you might just as well stick with your “smart” phone.

  • bdekok

    MarkCarson Shawnnny Actually, there was nothing wrong with the Lisa.  It was an outstanding machine and much superior to the IBM PC/AT at the time. The same price as the IBM and included screen and all Office software, whereas the PC/AT was a box an keyboard only, with no software nor screen, … those were extras.  The market trusted IBM and bought them, but they didn’t know a lot about the new boy, Apple.

    Oh yes, and unlike the later Macintosh or PC-DOS, it provided multitasking.  It failed because it was too new (unknown) and too fancy (was the first mainstream PC with a GUI).  Apple learned from that and dumbed down the Macintosh.

  • bdekok

    jkim010100 Phil2k I disagree with your assessment of Nomos.  While they are lower priced and great value, they’re punching way above their weight and could easily move into top end.  Unlike most middle tier brands, they make their own movements, and that speaks to the collector in me.

    I plan on purchasing an ?Watch, but I also plan on purchasing a couple of Nomos watches as well.  They are really cool.

  • bdekok

    jkim010100 WiZARD7 johnro6659 Everybody ignores the Californian wine industry, not just the french.  I guess those of you in the U.S. think its great, but me … meh.  I went all through the Napa and Alexandar valleys, and couldn’t find a red I’d rave about.  A lot of the whites were quite nice though … I’d buy them, but not the reds.  Everywhere I went, the staff would say, “Oh, you’re Australian, you won’t like what we have”.  They were right unfortunately.    Hang on, I did like some of the stuff from Simi.  But overall, the Californian Wine industry doesn’t have much strength outside of the U.S.  It’s major threat to the French was to sales of French wines within the U.S.  Not anywhere else.

    I guess I’ll get flamed for this.  Sorry … it’s just my opinion, and I’m sure people with different tastes, prefer Californian.

    Oh, a caveat, there are some fantastic reds in California, but they are ridiculously expensive, whereas, here in Australia, I can purchase great reads for around $20, rather than over $200 as in the states.

  • bdekok

    henryus Regarding number 4.  Apple have released the WatchKit API

  • bdekok

    MarkCarson MikeinFrankfurt I think just a USB port would do.  Not an AC Power outlet.  But your point is more than valid.

  • bdekok

    MarkCarson  stephenk In Switzerland, they’ve recently sewn a modified automatic movement directly onto the heart.  The watch movement provides a perfectly timed pulse and the rotor is spun all the time by the beating of the heart.  They expect a 30 life from the device.  It’s quite interesting.

  • martinbblank

    MarkCarson I agree with you. However the lesson I refer to is only by the skin of their teeth did they turn it around. Had Swatch not caught on with the general public, it would have been the end for more than half the Swiss watch industry If your notion is that they answered the consumer trend of quartz watches with a decisive plan, then I disagree. They got lucky with manufacturing, marketing and consumer demand all lined up in a big way.. The lesson they should have learned was keep an eye on consumer trends enough to not end up in this position again Their average watch is $150. Who wouldn’t kick in another $100 for the Apple watch functions (different watch faces, watch band innovations, sapphire cases – time is always correct no matter what time zone you cross)? Perhaps even if you don’t want to pair it with an iPhone.. Maybe they have a plan. I hope so and I hope that plan includes the thing we both agree they need and we (and other consumers) want.

  • hautejalapeno Agree – any passive recharging tech (solar, motion, etc.) would have been the leap forward that would have separated Apple from the rest of the current smart watches.  But as it is, this is just an evolutionary, not revolutionary, product. And one that is tied to iPhones.

  • martinbblank

    jkim010100  I think the point Mark and I was trying to make is that the other, “low end’ brands like Citizen, Seiko and Casio are making atomic watches that are correct no matter what time zone you end up in, they are doing it at twice the price of the Apple Watch.

    I don’t see much of an issue with the luxury brands. People who love horology and love those brands and traditions, will always love them as long as those brands keep upholding their traditions and brands.

  • jkim010100 How about using NFC to sync a watch with a phone (which already has the correct time via the phone network). Just bring the 2 devices together to get an on demand time sync. Low power, not a continuous battery drain and no network handshake (pin) set-up required.

  • matrotter

    This might be a dumb question… but do you think prices for mechanical watches, from 1000+, will decrease significantly due to the iWatch? That almost seems like a good thing for us consumers in a way??

  • jkim010100 I agree that Apple will be successful with their watch. The only distinction I will draw is that once you put something on you that it has jewelry or fashion implications, then it becomes another animal from a phone in your pocket or a car you drive.
    Samsung was around 10 years ago, but known for making other things. They did jump onto Android at the right time. And you are very right that some established players missed the boat and held onto old phone operating systems for too long.

  • jkim010100 I hear ya. But a picture (even an animated one) of a high-end mechanical watch on a small computer screen is not the same thing as the real thing. That implies that Internet porn is as good as real sex with another person.
    I see where you are going with personalized faces/screens. But that is sort of like saying my laptop is personalized and different from your’s (assuming we had the same model) because I have different background wallpaper. Different but not in the essential way that watch geeks would appreciate. Cheers.

  • bdekok Give me a $20 USD bottle of Aussie 90/92 point Shiraz any day.

  • bdekok

    MarkCarson bdekok I guess I should also ‘fess up that I own a winery.  And yes, we do Shiraz.

  • jkim010100 GPS is great if you are not indoors, have a clear view of the sky, have enough room in your watch case for the antenna and are willing to wait for satellite acquisition. The its great. Just a power draining and time consuming exercise compared to what you could get by getting the time from your phone. I do love GPS and want it to get better, but it has a ways to go for watches (sadly for now).

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 I felt the same way. Then people started using Iphone as status symbols. Like carrying around a Starbucks cup vs a generic I got it at Costco Coffee cup. A Patek on your wrist is a fashion/status symbol. I dont hate it. I just call it what it is. 
    I rather get the Moto360 with the Metal Round body. I think the Apple watch looks cartooney like a Ipod Nano with a strap on it. But my tastes does equal fashionable.

  • martinbblank Actually, atomic watches don’ work (sync) in my time zone at all. They are only good where you have reception which is really limited from a global perspective. 
    Cheers.

  • martinbblank Well if the Apple Watch was $250 (your figure) not $350 and up and did provide compelling features without paring to an iPhone, I would be more interested. And I agree that the winners in the smart watch arena will be the makers that listen to consumers.

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 And it will. Thats the point of new tech. All New tech gets better. Its the same argument i hear from any entrenched entity that their tech is better than the new tech. Of course it is. But as new tech get better the old stuff looks older. The choice that classic companies have is to evolve and changed to fit the new market. Keep you DNA intact just create new and better. 
    Oh and the GPS example was more about when you get off a plane 1000 miles from where you started. Not in a mall. just wanted to cleared on that.

  • jkim010100 In theory GPS is the killer time sync method. But I always watched how long it took Ariel to get the Seiko Astron he was wearing to sync when he got off the plane in Hawaii last December. We are talking minutes when he finally got outside and zero until then (nothing while indoors). In contrast his phone had Hawaii time on it when the plane was taxing to the gate a half hour earlier. Just saying…

  • Fraser Petrick Good to hear from you Fraser. Nice to have another perspective! Maybe you are waiting for the Amish Watch.

  • jkim010100

    Battery Life. 
    One of the biggest complaints people are making about the smart watch is battery life. Let me try to clarify this a bit.
    Today you can expect 1 day/24 hours from the current crop of smart watches. + or -.
    There is already new Lithium battery tech that promised to triple that. There are wireless charging solutions that just require you place you watch on a plate/sheet to charge it. And there are quick charge tech that can get you 80% battery life in 20 mins. New chips and screen are still improving power usage. And it will only get better. The entire mobile tech industry is focused on battery life.
    So Assume in 10 year or less, 72-144 hours of battery life. Quick charge in 20 mins. and Low power modes that take the screen to dial only mode that gets you 2 weeks. Will that end the battery debate?

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 Thats a fair point. I bought a  citizen eco drive 200 solar. Took it out the box, hit sunlight and watched the dials spin to correct time.
    Your mileage will vary of course. No different than waiting to get a cell signal on sprint in the downtown SF on 3G.

  • bdekok I read that story too. Unfortunately they are not using a watch movement for timing. Only a rotor from an automatic watch to charge a battery. I wish they had “gone whole hog” (pun intended) and use an escape based timer to trigger the pacemaker pulses. Maybe someday.

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 Thats more for bluetooth tech. NFC is mostly used for close almost touching readings. But yes thats what the Phone/watch tandem is supposed to do. You can also turn off wifi on the watch and pair it only to Bluetooth low power mode. The the watch will only trickle power.
    Non of this is perfect yet. Work in progress but you have the right idea.

  • bdekok The Lisa was great tech for its day but way, way too expensive.  $8K USD was I recall when a honking AT would be $2K. Dumbing down the Lisa to become the Mac was accompanied by a more palatable price. Boy you must be as old and I am to remember that stuff!!!

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson hautejalapeno my 2 cents. Wireless charging, quick charging, better battery tech, lower power use by newer chips and screens. In time will increase battery life significantly.

  • matrotter Has Kia forced Rolls Royce cars to be less expensive? There is your answer. Unrelated as they are not equivalent products in very different price segments. But we all wish…

  • mla

    I was hoping to see a really compelling reason to need a smartwatch. I was hoping that vast R&D spending was going to result in some type of new sensors that would justify physical contact (such as measuring blood glucose <http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/september/measuring-glucose-without-needle-pricks.html&gt;, predicting arrhythmias, etc.) and have the potential to significantly enhance medical care.

    But I didn’t see anything radically new where. Build quality looks nice and it might be interesting, but I’m not yearning for it yet.

  • jkim010100 Yes and it can’t happen soon enough for me. Charge your cell phone once a week instead of daily.

  • bdekok

    MarkCarson bdekok Yes, unfortunately, I’m getting old.  I finished my electrical apprenticeship when the first PC’s came out (Apple 1, Exidy Sorcerer, etc…).  Almost made my own version of the Altos 8000.   So maybe my age is dulling my memory, but here in Aus, I recall the prices where around $10,000 for each of them at the time.  My own personal PC clone with 384k of RAM (and NO hard disk) cost $4000, and I couldn’t afford an IBM.  We were being royally scalped by some prices here.   I didn’t know the PC/AT was that much cheaper in the states.

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 trust me. We are all waiting.

  • jkim010100 Actually the 1000 mile case is where it takes longer as the ‘birds’ you have been tracking are not where the device expects them to be. So it takes longer to acquire when you are of reception for a while and them move a great distance. Slow moving, like in a car cross country, would not doubt do better. Ever notice how long it takes a new GPS device to get its location, but once found has little trouble getting a location assuming you have moved very far from the last power down.

  • Lode_Runner

    Evitzee

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 like any tech it will get better. Also the new methods use triangulation of cell, wifi and satellite data. Give them a chance to prove it. I will buy a smart watch, fly to Hawaii and see what happens. Will report back.

  • jkim010100 The Apple Watch will be “cool” until every worker at McDonalds is wearing on. Remember when the Motorola Startac flip phone was new (and $1500) and only the “successful” business people could afford them? Now Motorola can’t give away flip phones. Times change and fashion with it. But a 20 (or 100) year old Patek will still be cool to use watch geeks. And old phone, not so much. Tech just dates itself too quickly to have lasting value.
    I’d rather have a Moto 360 than an Apple Watch. But then I won’t use an iPhone either. Apple has always bothered me as a company in their attitude  towards their customers (whom they hold in low regard on many fronts – don’t get me started).

  • jkim010100 Let me know when and I will buy you a beer.

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 One correction. Wont be McDonald employees. They will be Baristas. and I will have my Rolex and Omega plus my Moto360 or LG and the next gen smart watch after them.
    And i agree about apple. I think they are lost without Jobs. I think they are not the innovators they were. but I think their watch will do well. I will get one cause i need to for work but i will wear my mechanicals and Moto360. I prefer an open platform that google and to a lesser extent MS offer. We will see.

  • jkim010100

    MarkCarson jkim010100 Deal.

  • bdekok You are probably right. An IBM AT was about $3500 but you could build a clone for $2K. I used to have a computer science instructor in college who said that the PC you want always costs $2K. But as time goes on the means the you get more for your depreciated dollar. When the IBM PC came out in 1981, I was in college and using Z80 based CPM machine. Nothing good about the “good old days” where computing is concerned.

  • Lode_Runner

    Evitzee There is a big problem with trying to compare Apple Watch to the “quartz” watch revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.  Quartz watches basically did the same thing that mechanical watches did — they told the time, but did so more accurately and cheaper.  They didn’t kill mechanical watches because mechanical watches still had a mystique and appeal that transcended the technical advantages of quartz timepieces.  

    But the Apple Watch is not comparable to a quartz watch because it does not just tell time.  It does a number of other things that no mechanical watch (or even quartz watch) can do.  It has the potential to fundamentally redefine how people view watches, and what consumers expect of them.  I love mechanical watches and own several, including Rolex, Omega and IWC models.  But if the features of smart watches become essential to me, I’ll probably end up having to leave my favorite IWC at home.

    Ariel Adams is right — Swiss watch companies have a lot to fear here assuming, of course, that Apple executes on the Apple Watch and makes it a compelling product.  But I think it’s pretty lame for Ariel to even suggest that people will wear “both’ devices.  I know you have to cater to your audience, Ariel, but come on.  People who wear watches on both wrists are tools.  Sorry, no way of getting around it, there will be wrist competition and customers will have to choose.

    The quartz analogies have to go, they’re inapposite.  A much better comparison is photography using film vs digital cameras.  In the beginning of digital cameras, people said the same stuff they’re saying now about the Apple Watch — “it will replace the low end of the market,” etc., but “won’t touch the upper end.”  That thinking didn’t work out so well for Kodak, obviously, and won’t work out well for the Swiss companies either if they ignore a fundamental transformation of the watch from timepiece to multifunction device.

  • jkim010100 MarkCarson I’m with you on all points (except that I won’t be getting an Apple Watch – no iPhone for me). Sorry I did not think of the Starbucks kids. A better example for sure.

  • ShaneGriffin1 But not larger (by much). Old eyes need big things to look at. Where are those reading glasses?

  • Lode_Runner I don’t think Ariel was suggesting that everyone double wrist it. Only that as a watch reviewer, he will do so in the near future to keep his pulse on both the old and the new tech.
    Perhaps a blended analogy (which only serves to confuse the issue) it that today’s phone are better than cheap film cameras of yesterday. But while the SLR has become the DSLR, phone cameras have not displaced (D)SLR camera even when the number of mega pixels are the same.So high end end photography still lives as a separate product. But phones have killed the low end/cheap camera market for sure.So will smart watches kill low end quartz watches? Perhaps. But the high end will live on. With and without some application of high tech. But the appeal of a nice mechanical watch will as a luxury, not utility, item will not change.

  • 3p0ch

    Pairis Lohan? Lensey Hilton?
    Is it 2007 again? I hear Apple might be coming out with an iPod phone!

  • Greebo

    Ulysses31 Form dominates function at Apple? Nonsense. I’m typing this on a 27″ iMac which is both gorgeous to look at and fabulous to use. There are two other Mac’s in my household. One is 15 years old and still works fine, albeit slowly by todays standards.
    My last watch was a Tudor Oyster Submariner, which I got for my 21st birthday. I wore it for 25 years until I lost it when the band broke. There is no way I can justify the expense of replacing it, so for 15 years I’ve done without a watch. Apple have changed that. I will buy one ( provided it looks ok in the metal ). Maybe I’ll be able to replicate the face of the Tudor.

  • bdekok

    jkim010100 MarkCarson I’ve been viewing the PC scene since the beginning, and I never saw Jobs as an innovator.  He was a very astute businessman and opportunist, but not an innovator.  He didn’t invent the Apple 1, he was there when Woz built it and took advantage.  He didn’t invent the Mac, he took the ideas from the Lisa and simplified it and made it a better business proposition.  Jobs was big on control and simplification, but not innovation.  He was good at surrounding himself with good staff and had others do the innovation for him and then he put his style stamp on it.  Jobs loved style, had a huge ego and loved to be in control and admired, but he didn’t innovate.  He just took advantage.

    The innovators are still there, but perhaps (maybe) the fine control or sensibilities aren’t, I don’t know.  I think Cook has more than enough business smarts to cater to Jobs loss.  And not everything that Jobs did was gold; he crippled many things with their products to help ensure product growth and future profitability with steady improvements and iterations with every release.  I don’t call that innovation.  Just good business sense.  And I think that business sense is still well and truly alive at Apple.

    And also, the main design guru that penned everything since Jobs return in the late 90’s is still there in Jony Ive.

    By the way, I’m not knocking Steve Jobs.  I’d be very happy if I had those business skills and ability to take advantage of situations as he did.  I respect him greatly.  But I don’t find him loveable, nor do I worship those innovation skills many people incorrectly attribute to him.

  • jkim010100

    bdekok jkim010100 MarkCarson On Jobs, I have to disagree. He was not an engineer or designer. He stole as much as he could to make Apple into what it became. But he was the vision and driving force. He went through many engineers, designers, COOs, CFOs, CTOs and Board members. Through it all it was Jobs that pushed apple. You can have a Team of the best UI, Hardware, Software, Marketers, Operations people and Fail miserably. Too Many Cooks (no pun intended) in the kitchen and you make a mess of the meal.
    In recent years there has been a lot of attrition at Apple. No Jobs, no desire to stay.
    I think Cooke is a good CFO and Finance and production guy. I think he is too good at his job and Not good at being CEO. He made apple money and got production and maintained quality and distribution. But he has no vision. Neither does Ives.
    As a business Apple will do fine. Like every other Tech company. But as a leader or creator of the future, i think its dead. Their acquisition of Beats smells of desperation. Their release cycle is slipping and their end product to market are lacking.
    Here are some the failure in recent years.
    1. Apple TV
    2. Itunes Streaming music
    3. Apple Monitor Sales
    4. Apple in Enterprise
    5. Icloud
    6. Apple Server
    7. Lightning (Like Firewire)

    And thats just the past couple of years.
    Growth areas? None. 
    Maintain market share in Iphone and Ipad markets but thats getting eaten away by android.
    Amazon is eating away at their online sales of Music, Movies and ebooks/audiobooks.
    And future is streaming, not buying music.
    MS is still dominating enterprise and email.
    Entry cost into 3rd world markets is prohibitive. Apple would have to cut margins to 5-10%. which they cant.

    This was their chance to restart the Cooke era. And it failed. Watch wont be ready till next year and they announced it now? Is that a Jobs move? Fail.
    Already the impression are coming in luke warm to ice cold for the Iphone 6. No huge fanfair. Stock is up, lets see how that looks this Xmas season when Moto, LG and Samsung are selling Smart watches in best buy.
    Sorry i dont see it.

  • bdekok

    jkim010100 bdekok MarkCarson I hear you, but I think we’re talking across purposes.  I agree with your assessment that he was a visionary.  Of that, there is no doubt; he saw opportunities where others did not.  I’m probably being pedantic in that I reacted to your word of innovation.  He didn’t innovate, he had others to do that for him.  Engineers and Inventors rarely produce items with the intrinsic quality that Apple did, it takes someone to guide and steer and focus; that’s what Jobs provided.

    I don’t believe the Apple TV was a failure.  It could never be big and even Jobs said so himself.  It wasn’t a recorder nor was it a provider, it was just a conduit between iTunes and your TV.  I don’t know what the recent figures are, but in 2013 it accounted for over $1B in revenue.  That’s not a failure in anybodies books.

    Let’s have a look at some of those other failures:

    Streaming Music – Interesting topic and probably the main reason for the Beats acquisition.  I think its a business they had to go in, but I’m not sure it makes that much money in any case, for anybody.  And I agree that the Beats acquisition doesn’t make good business sense (on face value).

    Monitor Sales – Yikes what monitor sales?  They only make one.  Bad business area.  It doesn’t make sense for Apple to even be in this area as there isn’t much money in it.  If you buy a mac mini, your not going to splurge on a $1000 monitor.  Mainly applicable to the Mac Pro crowd and nowadays, that crowd may want something better that provides 4k.  Everything else that Apple makes includes a monitor.  I don’t consider this a failure on Apples part, I think of it as being more of a service they provide.

    Enterprise – This was never their target and Jobs actively avoided it.  However it is growing.  Not a massive success nor a failure.

    iCloud – Still work in progress, I agree.  There’s a good reason they wanted to buy Dropbox, they just don’t have the skills in this area.

    Apple Server – Failure?  Strange this one.  I don’t know why they ever created it for sale as they were traditionally against enterprise.   Probably created for their own use and decided to sell it.  It’s actually quite good, thought the MS IT dominated industry is very against it.  It’s too easy to use and could put a lot of them out of work.

    Lightning.  It hasn’t really taken off yet to be called a failure.  But I suppose that in itself is a failure.  Great product, but the royalties are too high and the licensing is probably restrictive and keeping it from growing.

    Growth Areas – Well I disagree.  The biggest thing that came out of the Tuesday event, was not the watch nor the iPhone 6.  It was Apple Pay.  It has the ability to hurt Paypal big time and has huge money making potential.  It is easily the biggest growth area any company could go into.  Don’t waste time channelling music or movies or some trivial iGadget.  Channel the money the whole world is spending instead.  Just a cent here another there.  Huge.  And with so many people in the world using an iPhone and next with an NFC equipped Apple Watch, they are boosting its changes to succeed no end.  The concept started forming a couple of years ago when they introduced the Passbook and strengthened it with the TouchID, Now they’ve finally put the final piece in with tokenised NFC.  It’s a lovely business play they’re doing here and many commentators haven’t really sat up and noticed.  Apple Pay will do online payments easier than Paypal and it will channel all wallet/card usage.

    Sorry you don’t see it.

  • mla

    bdekok jkim010100 MarkCarson

    Just butting in here but, whether you want to call him an innovator or not, presiding over the development of the Mac, ipod, ipad, iphone, and pixar, is just staggering. But yes, of course, he didn’t actually do the actual engineering. 

    In terms of their recent “failures,” yeah, I don’t really see that many. Lightning connector is owned by Intel, I believe. It was co-developed by Intel & Apple, but nothing is stopping adoption outside Apple AFAIK.

    Not being a fanboy, but seems premature to call a lot of those projects failures.I’m not very excited about the Apple Watch, but then I thought the ipad looked stupid when it was introduced too 🙂

  • mla I have no problem with calling Jobs a visionary. Just not an engineer (which no one here is doing) or an innovator. He was very product, style and user interaction driven. I certainly don’t like many of his decisions or products, but there is no denying his success and influence. I think the only point we all seem to making here is that while Apple may be suffering without him, he did not hit the bulls eye every time. Just often enough to be very successful overall. What the future holds for Apple remains to be seen.

  • andrea70

    I’m a vintage addicted guy.

    I drive every day my 1968 Porsche 911
    i wear every day my 1969 6263 Rolex Daytona
    my Porsche Literature collection and my Vintage Rolex watches collection is huge… it’s all my life…

    I drive an old Porsche because new cars do same things without feeling, without passion. They are refrigerators…

    BUT

    I understand that apple watch will monitor my health, and could prevent an infarct 
    i understand that apple watch will make my leather credit card holder obsolete
    i understand that apple watch will help me to find the correct way walking around a new city
    i understand that apple watch will allow me to stop taking my Iphone from my pants pocket every 10 minutes

    Dear Friends

    The problem is that apple watch it’s NOT a Watch. it’s a NEW way to do lots of things

    And i’m very sorry for my Rolex watches… i will keep 1 or 2 for memories and Super Special Occasions…. 

    But that mechanical and digital classic market is gone. 10 years. perhaps less….

    you now it. you don’t want do admit it, but you know it.

    And i’m VERY sorry.

    Best
    Andrea70
    Monza 
    Italy

  • spiceballs

    MarkCarson mla  so maybe Jobs was not that different to Lee Iacocca (of Chrysler fame) who wrote that he reckoned he made one correct decision in three  – – ?

  • spiceballs From what I heard, Jobs would not admit to making wrong decisions and would that famous “reality distortion field” to convince that the bad decisions were good ones. Lee Iacocca seemed to be a much more likeable human being.

  • Hacker4748

    I find ABlogToWatch an excellent source of information about news in the watch industry, never had the feeling of the writers being inclined to prefer one watch type or system or company thus I was really taken aback by what I perceive as a strong bias in this article.

     “This $350 price sounds extremely reasonable […] the world’s most sophisticated smartwatch”
    Where does this come from? The Apple Watch might be the most sophisticated smartwatch ever made by Apple but I really wonder what is the reasoning behind this statement when you compare the Apple Watch to the offerings of the competition – especially Motorola, LG and Samsung. If we want to dive really in, we could also consider the completely different Pebble, the upcoming little-known-about HP watch or say the promise of the Kairos.

    “the “premium” experience that Apple offers”
    To each his own, but if something ever sounded fanboyish, this is it.

  • You should pay your people more 😉

  • bdekok

    LOL. I think he did once. He hired John Sculley to be CEO of Apple in 1983, who then fired Jobs. I believe Jobs stated it was the biggest mistake of his life.

  • bdekok

    Hmm, I think this sounds like a bitter response by a fan of an alternative system. I don’t think Ariel needs to qualify this as there are already many reviews in the industry that discuss the merits of each device released or announced so far. So far the consensus by industry pundits are quite positive, more so than for the devices you ascribe to.
    But I guess well never know for sure until it is released to the public. However, there is a good review over on Hodinkee, who had hands on access to the Apple watch, and is a great review from a watch collectors perspective.

  • bdekok You ar right. And he recruited the Pepsi man by saying “do you want to sugar water or change the world?” – great line.
    To be fair, the Apple board was behind Scully in firing loose cannon Jobs. Who went off and made “Lisa 2” (aka NEXT). When he came back it was far from a sure thing that it would work out. Plus the Microsoft millions helped keep Apple from going under. I’ll bet many people forgot or never knew that story. But we date ourselves, ha ha. Cheers.

  • gadgety

    182 comments and counting. What’s the highest frequency count on ABlogToWatch for a news item? I’m late to the party. This says something about Apple’s pulling power. Apple’s watch. Is there a haunting shadow over it since it’s not called the iWatch?
    I’m not particularly impressed by the design, although the materials and execution look nice, as in well made, well put together. The quick disconnect wrist band is a nice touch. That said, these watches are consumables. Back in 2009-2011 I used an anadigi MBW-150, receiving caller ID, mail headings, vibration alerts, weather. Apps added stopwatch, a countdown timer, weather, for 40 functions in all. It also had hardware buttons for music control, play, stop, ff, rw, and an app added volume control. Usage was addictive. That’s likely to happen with these smartwatches, too. My other watches were not used day-to-day or on any business trip. In addition, the MBW-150 had a stealthy quality about it since it looked
    like a regular watch. I checked messages in meetings, and few, if
    anyone, knew this was taking place. These watches are digital, screen based. Everyone will know they carry messages, so the stealth factor is gone. 
    With the MBW-150, about two years after manufacture the OLED screen died. It absorbed humidity from air. Appalling quality. It did highlight that these devices are consumables. OS:s will change both on the watch and on the phone. Batteries will fail eventually, and are not changeable. Even if Apple’s product exudes quality materials, it’s still a consumable. 
    In this smartwatch product segment in the making, I find the Moto360 very intriguing design wise, far more so than the Apple watch. Just that circular screen that lights up and that thin, thin bezel is enough. I find it is a stunning take on the classical watch shape in an entirely new interpretation. Apple tried to emulate watch hardware looks, too, with the crown serving a different purpose than winding, or setting the watch, but far less effectively than Motorola. 
    Even so, the Moto360 despite being a first and even though it’s making an interesting design statement and providing both classic and new looks, will never, ever be a classic. Because it is too ephemeral. Perhaps the Moto360 line could aspire to become a classic line of circular big screen smartwatches. But it’s not an Apple product. Just for comparison the Moto360 post here on ABTW received 20 comments. The Apple watch, design wise, unless made by Apple, would fade into oblivion tomorrow.

  • gadgety I feel so guilty – I’ve made way too many comments here. (goes off to bed quietly)

  • gadgety

    MarkCarson LOL. I might as well add another.

  • Ulysses31

    Greebo Ulysses31 It’s not nonsense at all.  I often marvel at the lack of basic analytical faculties of Apple consumers.  Your computer is beautiful to look at, functional, and… pointlessly thin.  It’s essentially a tablet on a stand.  Apple was the company that started to make a big deal out of the “thinner is better” fad at the cost of battery life for phones, so now it applies to desktop-based computers and everything else too – space which would have allowed for better processors and more memory and storage, or anything else you might find useful to have on a desktop – gone – but hey, it’s thinner!  Unless you’re planning to wall-mount it (a very unlikely use case) I don’t see the point.  Same thing with high-resolution displays in small devices to the point of absurdity, another fad that Apple started as a pointless specs war, another war they have long since lost.  More pixels means a bigger drain on battery life without adopting newer display technologies, means more GPU processing power is needed to drive the display at a usable frame-rate, means more power consumption.  Again, this is one of those specifications Apple tried to compete on purely for the bragging rights without any major benefit to the consumer.  This is what they do – they choose something as a hook then over-engineer and market the hell out of it to convince people like you that it is something you can’t live without.  The Apple G4 Cube computer that overheated and cracked, the Apple puck mouse… tell me these were good designs and I would have to laugh.  Interesting forms, functionally crippled. Even the modern Magic mouse is hard to hold due to its thin design and clogging ball.  My iPad that crashes whenever it feels like due to a lack of RAM… there are so many examples of poor hardware and software design choices you could fill a book with it.

    Apple is a very successful company because they have the knack of selling products that do not offer any immediate extra value, but which make you think they do.  Their advancements are mostly due to the expected progression of manufacturing and computer technologies we see from the likes of Intel and other engineering firms.  Their processors designs are the only thing that I can respect, because they are actually very good.

  • Hacker4748 That is funny you mention that because people know me personally know that I am anything but an Apple fanboy. I am however deeply excited by the promise of good smartwatches and Apple has pretty much beat everyone else that has thrown their hat in the ring so far. 

    I am so laser-focused on the case materials, sensors, and functionality that I almost don’t even think about the design. It is as sexy or characterful as many Swiss watches I experience? Not at all. The Apple Watch at the end of the day is a gadget that will be replaced by the Apple Watch 2, Apple Watch 3, etc… What interests me is that if Apple did get it right then a whole new world of functionality is open to us. 

    Given the $200 – $300 price of most other smartwatches, the extra features and construction of even the aluminum Apple Watch does sound reasonable. Also, think of what you get in a Swiss watch for $350? That is the “retail” price of most of the fashion watches you see in department stores. So compared to those, I believe that this is a good value all things considered. 

    In regard to the competition, well they are mostly lackluster in execution. The Moto 360 probably looks the best, but it isn’t getting amazing reviews. Samsung and Sony are struggling to even feel relevant given people’s feedback.

    This isn’t the best Apple Watch that will exist and it won’t be the best smartwatch ever made. But as of today is it an amazing item and I am trying to give credit where credit it due. I have both an iPhone and an Android-based phone that I carry with me at all times. I like things about them both. I don’t use any other Apple operating systems, I don’t even have Quicktime installed on my PC computer. I am more a tinkerer and prefer computers and devices that I can upgrade and inspect myself. Apple items are high-end computing appliances, and that works for a lot of people, but not everyone. With the Apple Watch they just sort of entered a new business, and I think it is fascinating as well as important in regard to how it will effect both the tech and watch industry together.

  • Hacker4748

    bdekok Thanks for weighing in. Which systems I use is not quite relevant to my comment, for all you know I might be running BlueStacks on Windows 95 emulated under Ubuntu running on an HTC HD2 but I’d suggest we remain on topic. From what I’ve read the reactions are actually quite the opposite of what you write, I’ve read mostly disappointed opinions. My questions still stand.

  • gadgety

    bdekok “So far the consensus by industry pundits” 
    Which industry are you talking about? Which pundits? Which consensus? 
    Fortunately, there is a market out there and the consumer will have their say, too. In addition, I can assure you the market will be segmented. Segmentation occurs precisely because there is no consensus.

  • Hacker4748

    aBlogtoWatch Hello Ariel, thank you for your reply.
    “Apple has pretty much beat everyone else that has thrown their hat in the ring so far”
    I still wonder how you come to this conclusion. What does the Apple Watch have that other watches have not had for the past year or two? Perhaps you mean more watch related stuff like gold versions and replacable straps while I rather focus on functionality related stuff like sensors and apps?

    “if Apple did get it right then a whole new world of functionality is open to us”
    Again, please, what did Apple get right that has not been on the market for some time now? What is the new world of functionality?

    “The Moto 360 probably looks the best, but it isn’t getting amazing reviews. Samsung and Sony are struggling to even feel relevant given people’s feedback.”
    I have to agree here that the sales are not fantastic for the competition. It might take Apple to define a smartwatch as something worth buying. Does not mean the offerings of the competitions are worse, though. It’s rather that Apple’s image and marketing are what makes people buy stuff. And we still have to see how the Apple Watch behaves in real life usage.

    “I am trying to give credit where credit it due.”
    That’s exactly what I am trying to do. It seems we have completely different takes on the size and relevance of Apple Watch’s achievement. To me Apple presented a device that’s one or two years behind the competition and tries to make up for it with either silly stuff (heartbeats? doodles? really?) or fashion / style stuff (gold version, interchangable straps) and I am really disappointed. It is usually Apple that defines a market segment or at least has an idea where to go when the competition does not. Now it seems they have presented a “me, too” device which will still sell though, thanks to Apple’s image and marketing. Which will still be good for the whole industry, I have just expected more from Apple.

  • Hacker4748 aBlogtoWatch When we wrote about the Samsung Gear S with its curved screen, 3G, WiFi, and long list of features I was like “sounds great but can it deliver?” Samsung has no qualms about releasing products that look great on paper but simply don’t work very well – which is a shame because some of the other products they release work well. I haven’t had a hands on with the Gear S, but it is an educated guess based on their other Gear smartwatches. 

    Apple has less of a track record of releasing products that won’t work well. Going by experience I am guessing that the Apple Watch’s promised features will pretty well, as Apple isn’t know for totally not being able to deliver functionality.

    What I hope Apple did (and some of their functions even go to this) is produce a smartwatch simple and interesting enough for the mainstream consumer. Some of the features are gimmicky, but they are at least interesting to see how they will play out in people’s lives. Apple still needs to convince people why they need to buy a notification device for an extra $500 or more that has a necessary relationship with an even more expensive phone. It can’t do that with mere notifications. In the end the Apple Watch will be mostly a fitness and notification device making it easier to see incoming calls and messages and deal with some of them quickly. The mapping system looks interesting, and I think they really offered a lot in terms of the little details. This is their first such device and it could have gone A LOT worse. If you want better then give it a year – because we know there will be a follow up soon enough. 

    What the Apple watch has is being among the new crop of devices that doesn’t feel like a toy, it has an interesting input scheme, it has the promise to be more than just a notification device, and it has a certain presumed reliability behind it because it should work pretty well within Apple’s closed ecosystem that they control. I’m really just saying that it has the potential to be the first smartwatch that people look at and say “ok, this smartwatch thing isn’t just some fad that bored tech sites and VCs made up to be the next big thing given that PC, phone, and tablets sales are dropping or not exciting.”

  • Hacker4748

    aBlogtoWatch Fair enough, thank you.

  • gadgety

    I never answered the question: How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch? 
    Not screwed, but wound up.

  • htklun

    I believe the scope of Ariel’s question, and many of the comments in response, failed to address the core problem for the Swiss watch industry in the face of Apple’s smart watch announcement. The Swiss will, without a doubt, feel an impact from yesterday’s announcement. The real question is, what is the degree of impact, and how long it’s going to take before we (as casual observers of this industry) will feel it?
    For the past hundred years or so, the Swiss horological industry had seen exactly ONE disruptive technology called quartz movements, and it nearly killed them. That The Swiss were able to turn things around and differentiate their haute hourlogerie from cheap quartz is both a matter of technological focus (mechanical movements are made with more precision, accuracy, and with much fancier material thanks to the wide adoption of CNC precision machining and material science), and good timing (an explosive appetite for luxury goods around the world). But even so let’s take stock of how things progressed since the 70’s: massive amount of industry consolidation, market fragmentation, and slowing growth rate in key developing markets. Now you have Apple and Google, two of the biggest companies in the world, getting into a pissing contest on “who will win the real estate battle on your wrist”, do you seriously expect everyone in the traditional watch industry to come out unscathed?
    Arguing whether the smart watch is or isn’t a REAL watch is completely besides the point. I agree with almost everyone who find the Apple Watch design uninspiring in the context of haute horlogerie. It’s a Mk I product that hasn’t even been officially launched yet, I really don’t think anyone at The Swatch Group are any more nervous about their 2015 sales forecast than they already feel. But the product development cycle for smart watches (as it has been for smart phone) is incredibly fast. Someone somewhere has a 3-4 year product pipeline for smart watches, with anticipated improvements in battery capacity, semiconductor efficiency and speed improvements, and new communication protocols that we haven’t got acronyms for them yet. What does the haute horlogerie have to offer in 5 years time? More tourbillion complications? Watch case made with kryptonite? They can out-design, out-luxury, and out-cool the smart watch, but that will only drive the differentiation only in one price direction, and that’s not going to help them increase sales. What that will do, however, is expose the $1000-5000 watch segment for what they are: over priced time pieces with an expensive brand slapped onto the dial. That’s the fat market segment The Swiss have so diligently built up and milked every dollars worth of margin. The Apple Watch, by itself, won’t put much of a dent in this market, not immediately anyway. But what it will do is open the category up for Google, Samsung, LG, Pebble, Foxconn, and other companies who have never even made a single part for a mechanical watch, becoming very active players at every price point of the smart watch industry, from the $100 e-ink display Pebble to the alleged solid 18k gold Apple Watch.
    There is another dimension to the smart watch that can be very disruptive. Apple doesn’t even try to claim it has all the answers for the smart watch. Instead it came with WatchKit, an app platform that allows developers to find their own killer app and make the watch “smarter”. You could argue that the watch isn’t doing anything a smart phone can’t do, so it’s redundant, and for now you may be right. But the same argument has been made against the iPad (Steve Jobs allegedly said the iPad prototype isn’t doing anything more than the iPhone besides allowing you to surf the web while sitting on the toilet) which goes to show even the Zen master can get it wrong. And I wouldn’t bet against thousands of smart Silicon Valley entrepreneurs hacking away at this problem.
    The luxury watch as we know it will still exist – people will always buy expensive mechanical watches for special events and occassion, whether it’s graduation from collage, getting promoted to a new job, or celebrate a winning in some way shape or form. But I suspect that once people get used to the functionality of a smart watch – it may take 1 year, it may take 10, but sure as heck it will happen – they will wear their mechanical watch about as often as I write with my collection of fountain pen – only on special occassions. And that, from a business perspective, is a pretty gloomy outlook for the watch as we know it.

  • Phil2k

    jkim010100 Phil2k I have already highlighted the technological advances made by horologists in recent years, you’re just refusing to acknowledge them.

    At the end of the day, I don’t believe this forum is for you. People who frequent this blog are intensely passionate about the fine art of horology. These people will rarely have any interest in an iWatch, something most of us consider to be a garish, soulless, superfluous, disposable, faddish gimmick.

    As for the X-Factor that the electronic wiring and silicon circuitry in your head has difficulty computing, let me try one more time… When Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in his X-1, on his wrist was a Rolex. When Ayrton Senna won his 3rd Formula 1 World Championship, on his wrist was a Tag Heuer. When Felix Baumgartner jumped from his capsule in the outer stratosphere and hurtled at over Mach 1 back down towards earth, on his wrist was a Zenith. When Ben Saunders led the first first successful return expedition to the South Pole following Shackleton and Scott’s route, on his wrist was a Bremont. When Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times aboard the Aurora 7 capsule, on his wrist was a Breitling. When Buzz Aldrin descended the Apollo 11 lunar module and set foot on the surface of the Moon he was wearing an Omega. Mark my words, when the first human beings set foot on Mars, they won’t have an iWatch strapped around their wrists.

    Are you getting the X-Factor yet?

  • therealcbone

    andrea70 I would replace “understand” with “hope”. It remains to be seen how the Apple watch will perform in the wild. Siri looked great at the unveiling in a controlled environment, but even now, it still has trouble working as well as in the commercials. Apple Maps looked great in the presentation and was garbage in the wild. Apple presented their watch in the best possible light. They didn’t mention the battery life for daily use or the battery life before replacement or the possibility of replacement. The watch is very dependent on the current iPhone. Are you ready to get a new Apple Watch every 2 years as older phones fall off the compatibility list?

  • therealcbone

    hautejalapeno If Apple addresses the battery concerns by saying they have used 10-15 year battery technology that’s serviceable, they might have something. This thing is supposed to be charging every single day. It could be that the battery won’t last longer than a phone before the battery suffers and requires replacement. If it’s not serviceable, that’s a deal-breaker.
    If they plan on releasing a new Apple Watch every year alongside the new iPhone and dropping each other from compatibility lists, that will kill this market (for them) in the womb, as they will be definitively relegating it to the realm of overpriced fad accessory. It already suffers in my eyes from too much dependence on a phone for functionality, like every other mainstream smartwatch.

  • fer557

    Hacker4748 Different sizes and interchangeable straps alone make it a better watch than the other smart watches out there right now.

  • fer557

    I don’t think the gold version will be that expensive especially because Apple has buying power. Really well written article and I agree this will have an impact especially with younger buyers. I am so curious to see what premium the dlc coated ones are to compare with casio’s premium on dlc coated models.

    The other thing is an electronic watch can improve sooo much faster with each generation while traditional watches move a glacier like speeds.

  • hautejalapeno

    htklun I don’t think the outlook is that glum. Have laptops become extinct because of tablets? Not at all, in fact tablet sales are plateauing. The smart watch will hurt the fashion watch market, but i think the majority of the mechanical watch industry will survive. Much in the same why we have different pairs of footwear, we will have different watches.

  • Phil2k About half of the people you mention were PAID to wear the watches in question. The other half are valid. What a person wears  to Mars may be determined by what company strikes a deal with Elon Musk. For the right amount of “ambassador money” a Swatch or an Apple  Watch could make the journey. Sad really that we live in a time where promotion takes precedence over funcationality.
    Maybe jkim1010 can decide for himself if this is the forum for him. Differing points of view is what makes the comments here interesting (to me anyway). Cheers.

  • bdekok

    Ok, I agree I made a fluffy response. I’m not great at being diplomatic. I meant journalists who have handled the items aren’t super keen on the currently released smart watches. There are a lot of negative comments in all forums, but I discount those as being various types of fans who have a tendency to promote their own brand loyalty. I think we should all wait until we see the sales as that is the best measure of opinion. I mostly replied because I don’t like trolls or fans who complain about the bias of the op. After all, we come here specifically to read his opinions, not to accuse him of favouritism.

  • bdekok

    Sorry hacker, it was a poor attempt at being vaguely diplomatic. I don’t care, nor asked what systems you used, but it tells me a bit about you. I’ll make it simple. You’re a fanboy, probably Android, and a troll. There is no call to question the op. Keep that type of behaviour in the IT forums where all the other kids hang out.

  • Hacker4748

    bdekok Oh well, I tried. Thanks anyways.

  • Hacker4748

    fer557 Don’t forget the gold version.

  • bdekok

    Oh bugger, now that you’ve replied like that, I feel bad. Thanks for the conversation.

  • DangerussArt

    As it happens, the Apple Watch has already been flagged by the British Department for Transport as being illegal to use when you find yourself behind the wheel. The DfT informs that wearing the thing when you’re driving is just as wrong as texting or talking on your mobile phone. But wait, one’s just a watch while the other is a mobile phone, so why all the fuss? Well, the Apple Watch lets users do stuff like checking texts, make calls and even go on the world wide web to watch cat videos on YouTube, so it’s virtually a miniature smarthpone, or so says the United Kingdom’s Department for Transport.

  • htklun I think I actually brought up that issue a bit more here: 
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/arieladams/2014/09/10/is-the-luxury-watch-industry-ready-for-the-apple-watch/
    Let’s face it, there are a ton of implications from the release whether or not people personally like the looks of the Apple Watch or feel that its functionality will benefit their lives. I also think that we are seeing a lot of textbook defensiveness when a new products comes out and people don’t really have experience of how it will impact their lives. Also, we are still so new in the world of smartwatches, and while people are right to be picky and critical, I think it is important to judge the Apple Watch for what it is and what it will become, rather than what it is in an absolute sense right now – before it is even released. 

    Thanks for the great comments.

  • htklun

    Thanks Ariel for the link to your Forbes article. To be fair I don’t think anyone can say for certain how all this will turn out in the 10-15 year time frame. In terms of disruptive technology, 10 years is a looooong time and a lot can happen. It is entirely possible that the smart watch category fizzle out and no one buys into the concept. It is also possible the market for $1000+ to shrink so much that half the brands we see today no longer exists. I have no idea how this is going to play out. As a fan of both traditional and smart watches (and a business minded one) it will be fascinating to see.
    Thanks also for stoking the fire for this great discussion!

  • mywatch

    You Mr. Adams wrote:
    “for the Most part, are no longer Necessary, so the desire for them is more about emotional satisfaction versus Necessary utility.” 
    I  think that concept will not change a lot, especially in people who have always appreciated the mechanical watches and the fine arts … 
    I can not imagine  my self  not for one second, go to a meeting with friends, a theatrical function or concert, with that dead “electronic device” in my hand. 

    They (the apple makers) may try to imitate everything,  but the wheels, rubies, labor of artists and the “Tic-Toc”… They never be able to match. 

    I do not think ANYONE can proudly say: Look, I change my Rolex by this battery toy !!! 
    So I do not change my A. Lange & Sohne by “that thing”. 

    Greetings Mr. Adams !!!

  • Apple’s first watch might be the first watch for many.

  • RipJJ

    “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
    Apple
    I have many mechanical watches, and my children love them because they remind them of their dad. Just as my father’s and my grandfather’ watches takes me back to memories of them. My children are crazy excited about the Apple Watch, because this is their world now. And at the risk of sounding a little like a Patek Phillipe add, I’m only taking care if it till it’s their turn to rule their world.

  • So, with an Android and an iPhone, you double pocket!

  • The Patient Office should be closed because now it grants patents to rounded squares. .

  • Methinks that the Japanese watch industry has more reasons to shake in its kimono…

  • marbstiu

    say goodbye to the Panerai-wearing snobs

  • bdekok

    marbstiu While I’m not a fan of the Panerai range, I think that they are quite, quite safe.  The people who buy Panerai’s are interested in something that pulls on the heart, emotions and tradition.  The ?Watch has no tradition (though I’ll buy one).

  • marbstiu

    bdekok marbstiu would you wear a real watch on your leftarm and an iwatch on ur right? hehe i would do that if needed.

  • bdekok

    marbstiu bdekok I’m actually left handed, but because of the need to wind watches, I always wear them on the left.  The ?Watch would be easier to use on the right arm so I could use my left hand, but it might feel odd.  And I think I’d look a little tragic if I wore both at the same time.

  • marbstiu <flame bait> In that case Apple would have to create an oversized version, start off with other people’s tech and over price it while alluding to a military dive heritage of a country which lost the war. </flam bait>. Just having fun here, paneristis can relax again.

  • marbstiu

    bdekok marbstiu i think it’s not farfetched as people already carry more than 2 cellphones and whip them all out during coffee

  • marbstiu

    MarkCarson marbstiu and dont forget to hype up the left-handed version </flamebait>

  • joblow

    Apples and Oranges. 
    The Apple watch market and the high-end watch market have different consumers. I doubt Patek Phillipe, Jaeger LeCoultre, A Lange & Sohne, etc are worried about a little piss-ant Apple watch. In volume, the Apple watch may make any company envious, however, how many Apple watches does it take to equal one Grand Lang 1 Moon Phase or a Patek Sky Moon Tourbillion 6002G ?
    To answer, the Apple watch will never equal either, regardless of volume.Apple? Who cares?

  • bdekok

    marbstiu bdekok They do?  Obviously I’m getting old, as I can’t relate to that.  😉

  • marbstiu

    joblow But I recently read on the news that JeanClaude Biver thew a hissy fit about the swiss watch industry not jumping on the whole SmartWatch business trend.,
    Just saying hehe

  • marbstiu With a crown and button protection device (patented).

  • bdekok

    emenezes Whether its Apple’s watch or a Moto etc… I think it would be a good thing for the watch industry to have the younger generation used to wearing a device on their arm.

  • marbstiu bdekok Just attach off of them to your Batman utility Belt. Remember when people used to have belt clips for their cellphones? Maybe they will make a comeback or pants will have larger/more pockets. And here I though the purpose of a smartphone was to reduce the number of gadgets down to one. Silly me.

  • bdekok

    MarkCarson marbstiu bdekok I remember those.  I had one when I was a kid in the sixties.  Way cool, or so I thought then 🙂

  • joblow

    marbstiu joblow 
    Yes, I get it. It’s still a volume issue.
    The Swatch brand/type watch can compete with Apple. For high-end watch companies to do so will damage the companies image in the eyes of the Patek, Jaeger and Lang type of consumer. Think of Rolls Royce trying to compete with a Chevy Volt.

  • marbstiu

    MarkCarson marbstiu and Sylvester Stallone. (oh shite I went too far!)

  • marbstiu joblow You would think that as the head of all of LVMH’s watch brands, that JCB could exert some influence in the future direction of his brands regarding smart watches. Just the world needs, a You-Blow with a Mickey Mouse face.

  • joblow

    MarkCarson marbstiu joblow 
    “You-Blow” = funny and appropriate.

  • hautejalapeno

    aBlogtoWatch Hacker4748 You make some good points. I believe apple are jumping on a bandwagon which they think will be successful. Tablet sales are slowing and a new cash cow is required. In a few years there will be an apple TV set when their watch sales slow. It will be good to see if the watch will gain any proper usability. Currently one of it’s main features is detecting the pulse rate, which anyone can do with their finger.

  • hautejalapeno

    andrea70 My friend fear not, This watch will not change the world. However, if it does, I will happily provide a good home for your any of your vintage heuers & rolexes 🙂

  • hautejalapeno

    matrotter If anything it might make mechanical watches even more luxury and push up prices even more.

  • hautejalapeno

    MarkCarson hautejalapeno I would argue most of what apple does is evolutionary, what if anything have they invented?

  • hautejalapeno

    jkim010100 MarkCarson hautejalapeno My issue with that is as battery capacity increases so will the demand for apps etc. does the iPhone 5 have a significantly longer battery life than the original? I’d imagine not, but chips have got more efficient and batteries bigger. I think new battery tech is notoriously slow in coming out.

  • hautejalapeno

    therealcbone hautejalapeno Spot on, can’t disagree with any of that. Any watch I get must fulfil 2 simple criteria. 1, Tell the time 2, Have an element of longevity, no point in buying a watch that i can use in 5-10 years. It’s the latter point on which any smart watch falls. Over the last 3 years I have got tired of the constant conveyor belt of upgrading devices, remember when a mobile phone would last years and it’s charge days???

  • bdekok

    hautejalapeno To be fair, Apple have been working on the Watch concept for years, they haven’t just jumped onto a band wagon.  That would be clear to anyone that can see the attention to detail in the software and hardware;  that doesn’t happen overnight.  The rumours were so strong for the iWatch since 2011, that many other manufacturers jumped early to try and pre-empt them.  As it goes, people that don’t monitor the industry think Apple is following and they’re wrong.  Oh well, but it’s annoying listening to the flawed opinions of the ill informed.  As for a new cash cow, it would be a very poor company that didn’t bring a new product or iteration of one, regularly to ensure growth, otherwise the shareholders would jump.

    I’d waiting to see if Microsoft is going to enter this market segment.  I haven’t heard anything yet to that, but it would be very interesting to see another take on the wearable and boost competition even further.

    Unfortunately, Pebble is going to find things a little tougher now, and it was really Pebble that really beat everyone and was first with a decent product.

  • hautejalapeno Mock turtle neck sweaters.

  • hautejalapeno You mean cell phones like this?

  • hautejalapeno

    bdekok hautejalapeno As I am so ill informed, please can you educate me into what it is that apple have actually invented or been first on the market with? They jumped on the smartphone wagon, the tablet wagon, the smart watch wagon and soon, I imagine the smart tv wagon, but there will always be people out there that think that all these things were apple’s idea, they were not.

    Apple are the best at taking an idea and producing a product that melds hardware and software, however the consumer pays a price in terms of higher financial cost and a closed eco system, 

    I am an apple fan and believe their computers and laptops to be industry leaders, however their phones have fallen behind the competition and their tablet sales are flagging, but what do I know I don’t follow the industry and am ill informed!

  • MarkCarson but the crucial difference surely is that G-Shock, T-Touch, and the like,  don’t provide messages, email, phone calls, or internet access etc.  These aspects of a smartwatch are what are going to make it a very tempting option to compete against mechanicals for wristspace.

    I agree mech watches are niche items, luxury items and often status symbols and I don’t think any smartwatch is going to kill love and appreciation of them.  But I can see a lot of folk getting attached to the connectivity of a smartwatch and end up using it most of the time.  They’ll probably miss their mechs and keep them and wear them from time to time but find it hard to justify buying new ones…  🙁

  • aBlogtoWatch indeed.  i suspect it’s part of Apple marketing psychology.  Customers wanted thinner computers and phones so Apple starting using ‘thin’ rather than ‘thick’ –  as in ‘6.9mm thin’ – to avoid negative connatations of the word ‘thick’.  In the case of Apple Watch, I reckon Apple thinks customers will be more concerned about these watches being too small to use/see, rather than too big, so they slyly use the biggest dimensions (knowing also that anyone familiar with watches will just assume they’re talking about the width as per usual)

    BTW  why Apple Watch and not iWatch – surely iWatch is quicker and easier to say and type?  If I was a journo i’d get pretty tired of the Apple Watch mouthful pretty quickly

  • MarkCarson bdekok nice idea but not sure i’d want my heart rate drifting by +/- 30seconds a day – or have it stop whenever i fell off my bike
    or maybe you’d get a sapphire display back you cold take off for fixing

  • MarkCarson   And for 40 years of faithful service to our company, we are pleased to give you this gold Apple Watch.
    hahaha  –  excellent

  • stephenk MarkCarson I agree that watches like G-Shocks and T-Touches are at risk from the Apple Watch. My point was that since these multi-function watches did not kill off mechanical watches, neither will the Apple Watch. Cheers.

  • bdekok

    hautejalapeno bdekok Sure your ill informed.  Please read the post again.  I didn’t said they invented anything.  I said they were working on.  I didn’t discuss their tablet sales either, what has that got to do with the discussion of a watch?

    I’m not an apple fan, I’m not particularly keen of Android either.  They each have their good points though and what I like most is toys, be they gadgets, cars, boats etc…  I look for the good and if I find it, I usually purchase it.

    There is a certain type of individual though, that always bag things, never say only positive things, but mix a little positive to convince people that when they bag something, they’re sincere. and the better ones usually say they’re an Apple fan, especially a fan of Android or troll.

  • hautejalapeno

    bdekok hautejalapeno I believe you meant ‘Sure you’re ill informed’, but i’ll let that slide. You very much sound like the type of person you are describing. 2 MacBooks, 2 iPads, 3 iPhones (all of which I have been happy with) would suggest I am an apple fan and perfectly in within my rights to have a say on how I view their products.  As for your question, please refer to my original post. Thanks 

    (Written on a Macbook pro)

  • arielfatams

    As screwed as Ariel Adam’s diet.

  • bdekok

    Sorry. I went off on a tangent because I assumed you weren’t genuine. I’m just tired of people being negative and felt a need to weigh in. I’ve re-read all your posts in this thread and see that I was mistaken, and probably foolish. Cheers.

  • Fraser Petrick

    emenezes  Rounded squares? How like government!

  • arielfatams You know, comments like this make me feel like a real celebrity. I mean I am getting flamed from people who prefer to keep their name secret and with just pure angst. You made my day sir.

  • Ulysses31
  • Emperius

    As threatened as a Chevy Volt to Lamborghini.

  • I think that if you could somehow sneak in a Rolex flame-war-igniting comment in the article you could easily hit 1,000 comments… Apple+Rolex = Click Gold!

    Also, I will probably buy the watch and wear it for a bit. It looks too fragile to wear at the gym but with the mesh bracelet and wire lugs–add to that a “panerai” face–i’d definitely enjoy it!

    However, I think that when people realize that you have to take it off every few hours to charge it they will start to wear it less and less as the initial rush wears off.  The ONLY way this be a game changer is with a one-week battery or more.

  • bdekok

    It wouldn’t be hard to flame the Rolex. The brand relies on name recognition, is loath to change its designs, has oversized bezels with small faces and has been coped by so many Chinese nock offs over the decades, that I now imagine them as cheap knock offs themselves. Also, what’s with the lazy magnifyIng bubble over the date? Ugly. Why can’t they just make an oversized date as they’re already acknowledging the date is too small.
    Flame on…

  • marbstiu

    OH NO U DIDNT!

  • Panagiotis Apple Watch Rolex blah blah blah Apple Watch Rolex yada yada yada Apple Watch Rolex mumble mumble mumble.
    (Search engine gold, ha ha).

  • Yes please everyone start buying and wearing this nano looking pos and sell me your pateks, AP, Hublots, rolex, panerai, vacherons!! I will even by your tags. Enjoy your screens and let me enjoy your complicated movements. This apple watch is cute gift for the holidays maybe for your kids. ??=

  • GregMaletic

    Apple (and its smart watch competitors) will do to the luxury watch market what it did to the luxury cell phone market: render it non-existent, by nature of the superb utility of their offering. Yes, a $20,000 watch is exquisitely beautiful—so, too, would be a $20,000 cell phone from a (hypothetical) prestigious European manufacturer. But I’m not aware of one that anyone would be caught dead using such a cell phone, because it wouldn’t be a fraction as useful as a sub-$1,000 iPhone.

  • mla

    GregMaletic

    Naw, I think you’re wrong there. The mechanical watch has actually been obsolete for decades. It’s just a luxury item; a form a jewelry for men, which don’t really have that many other outlets.

    The luxury market will be hit a tad, but I doubt much. We all know an Apple Watch is not going to be treasured and use 100 years from now. But a quality mechanical watch may be.

  • Tarheeldad

    therealcbone

    I think you protest too much.  In any event as has is made clear the Apple Watch is a watch in name only.  Doubt Apple will tarnish its reputation by not supporting the Apple Watch.

    New poster pleased to join the discussion.

  • notech47

    The smart watch will only be popular for people that want cutting edge technology. Those people that appreciate the nuances of a conventional mechanical or even some quartz watches will have no interest in a smart watch. These people will continue to use an android or I phone and will find Apple watches and others like them lacking the characteristics that make conventional watches so desireable.

  • Jimmy H

    Nice article.

  • dcarlito

    How can you be so definitive with your words? It seems to me that this market is so new that it is difficult to speculate.

  • DemaraDavidson

    20 years old and have been wearing traditional watches since I was a kid… Bought my first ~$400 watch a year ago and thoroughly enjoy it. Will always prefer the intricacies and craftmanship of a traditional watch over this drivel.

  • Humanfactor

    DemaraDavidson’s comment hit the nail on the head. Product updates and obsolescence seem to be a core marketing strategy for technology companies. Whereas a well made timepiece seems to be timeless and keeps one’s affection and even creates a relationship that bonds the wearer with the timepiece. A few years ago I found a Seiko 6309-7040 in a Chinatown pawn shop. The watch was in pristine condition… I paid well below what I would have paid online, and to this day it is one of my favorite time pieces, not just for the deal I got but thinking about where this watch has been before and the journey it might have taken (think of the film The Red Violin :), I’m not sure if I would feel the same thing if I found a 1980 PC with the DOS 1.0 operating system 🙂 . The watch design has a certain time tested pattern to it, like the Fender Stratocaster, which houses that man made work of art within. The movement of a watch conveys much intrinsic value and meaning to us, they are a work of art. Movements like the ETA 2824, ETA Valjoux 7750,  Grand Seiko 430, Omega 2500, Rolex Caliber 3135, etc… are beautiful paintings framed in these solid timeless designs. I guess what I am trying to say is that we have a more emotional link to our mechanical watches. Our watches have a more poetic relationship with us.

    Conversely, I do love technology and how it has improved my life over the years… waiting to do banking only during certain hours and until noontime on Saturdays or trying to find a pay phone (and having money for the call) where all major inconveniences when I was growing up, so technology is fantastic. I think some advances will fare better than others. One usage flaw I see in the SmartWatch concept is redundancy.  You need your mobile phone on you or near you to enable all the functionality of the Smartwatch.  I guess it provides a convenience in the time to see a message coming in, but I would suspect the user to then grab their mobile phone to read the full message more clearly (due to the larger screen) and then to reply (more easily with the larger UI of the mobile phone). I think just having a mobile phone in my pocket is all I need to handle my messaging, activity monitoring, phone calls, etc…  I don’t need another device I have to charge each night. 🙂

  • Humanfactor BTW – the IBM PC was introduced in 1981 (but close enough). Cheers.

  • Humanfactor

    MarkCarson Humanfactor  Oh, yeah, that is correct (1981 , 1 year after I graduate from my University :),  as the one I used had a 20 meg Winchester hard drive in it. LOL.

  • notech47

    Rapid obsolescence plus no long term desirability that conventional time pieces can have willnot going to make these smart watches mega hits. How many people have you seen walking around with Google glasses?

  • willnysc

    Got my mind set on buying Apple watch.  But, as with any technology it will become outdated and probably need to be replaced with a more current model.  But at the price point it will serve its purpose.  For this reason though I do not believe that it will replace traditional watches, because traditional watches can last a life time without having to be replace due to technological updates.

  • Humanfactor

    willnysc Well said.

  • jsdswitzerland

    It well not replace a swiss watch only take away the potential buyer of one.  I live in Switzerland and I sometimes I still think it’s the stone age around here.  They really fear change in Switzerland.

  • Raymond de Mystère, fils

    If this is the ‘threat’ the watch industry can rest assured time is on its side. The Apple watch is just another complication in our hectic lives, a solution in search of a problem.

  • kong

    For customers, the most important consideration is the price of servicing. Without readily available parts supplied, the costs could be huge as no third party watchsmiths can repair your watch. Moreover, they may not be familiar with the so many in-house movements. Omega coaxial are aliens to many third party watchsmiths.

  • shar

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