The Other Obsolete Jewelery Thread: Will the Apple Watch Kill the Classic Watch?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by rhyzome, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. rhyzome, Mar 27, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015

    rhyzome macrumors regular

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    #1
    How do you think the Apple Watch will affect the market for "classic"/"dumb" watches? How do you think the two markets will interact/have already interacted?

    Will smart watches render classic mechanical watches obsolete? Will hybrid mechanical-smart watches arise? Will people have two watches--a fashionable one and an Apple one? Or will Apple's watches just become fashionable--either because it will realize its dreams of ever-slimmer aesthetics or because the standards of aesthetics will change?

    Perhaps Apple watches will have unexpected effects--like affecting the prices of classic watches?

    I personally expected Apple, given the attention they lend to thinness in notebooks and phones, to make this watch slimmer and for them to have a round option, but perhaps my preferences will be addressed in future iterations.

    What other impacts do you think this watch will have on society? I can imagine how test/exam proctors/makers who previously prohibited smart phone calculators and other gadgets might soon regulate what watch you can wear while taking an SAT.
     
  2. Poochi macrumors 6502a

    Poochi

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    #2
    I expect ultra luxury classic mechanical watches to stay intact..

    However lower end to middle range watch makers are doomed. May take a couple of years for that to become obvious though.
     
  3. rhyzome thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    That's a good prediction. I didn't consider the nuances of the hierarchies in classic watches.
     
  4. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #4
    They'll be in the same shoe as dumbphones are right now.

    Switzerland will be in trouble in the long run because the current crop of young people will find themselves unable to function without a smartwatch and will consider a high end version of it rather than a Patek, etc. when they're well able to afford it later in life.
     
  5. kingofwale macrumors 6502a

    kingofwale

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    #5
    I'm sure Rolex is devastated right now because "young people unable to function without smartwatch" is the exact demographics for them.
     
  6. Rlong405 macrumors member

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    #6
    You need to read the rest of what he wrote. He explained why young people choosing Apple watch would cause problems for higher end watch makers down the line.
     
  7. random person macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Well, clearly the Swiss watch industry is taking notice. For example, tag heuer has teamed up with Google and Intel to create a Swiss made android smart something or other. As strange as it sounds the apple watch could do some damage to the traditional watch industry.
     
  8. kingofwale macrumors 6502a

    kingofwale

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    #8
    did he really explained or just assumed so? There is a quite a difference.

    Many high end watcher owners have explained time and time again that people who buy high end watches aren't buying them exclusively for time-keeping. (or else we'd be Casio), it's the craftsmanship.
     
  9. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #9
    That's the old school of thoughts as watches have traditionally served one major purpose, which is time-keeping. That's no longer true with smartwatches. Instead, today's young people who find themselves as dependent on their smartwatches as we currently are on our iPhones will instead seek a high-end smartwatch later in life, dooming high-end luxury classic mechanical watches in the long run. Unless, of course, Rolex, Patek, etc. get into the smartwatch business ;)
     
  10. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    #10
    No more than the iPhone or Android has killed the flip phone.
     
  11. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #11

    This, more or less. The Rolexes and above of the watch world are bought for their prestige, heritage, appreciation of mechanical watches, and even sometimes the sense of "status" they convey...many reasons. Typically they AREN'T bought for the fact that they are the most accurate time keeping device. I really don't see that changing any time soon. Before an Apple (or any other smart watch maker) is bought by that type of buyer (of which I am...several Rolexes), Apple's product is going to have to gain some clout/prestige/etc among the (large...Rolex alone sells almost 1 million watches a year) group of people that buy high end luxury watches en masse. I liken it to the high end sports car world...the top of the line current Corvette can compete, and in lots of cases beat, Ferraris, Porsches, Lambos that are 3X or more the cost. But...what do the wealthy buy? A Vette, or Italian/German/expensive sports car? Why? Status, heritage, history...lots of things. Performance isn't usually the TOP reason.

    And also, as I've said in other threads, don't think that large, powerful Swiss companies such as Rolex (only watchmaker in Forbes Top 100 most powerful companies...ahead of Exxon Mobil even) aren't watching the smart watch trend and planning a possible strategy IF they ever feel threatened by smart watches. For those that know anything about Rolex, you know that they are one of the most technologically advanced manufacturers in the world.
     
  12. rasputin1969 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Yes - once the Apple watch can go for five years without charging, once I can go swimming in it, once I can go hiking for a week, once it's dust proof, water proof, shock proof, can operate at extreme temperatures. In short, once it's as good as a $90 seiko 5, then yes.
     
  13. betabeta macrumors 6502a

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  14. whtrbt7 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I don't think Apple will kill off all Quartz watches honestly. The low end is still really ridiculously cheap and there will always be a market for those until time stops. It also won't kill off higher end above the $5k mark. In fact, if anything, I think it will spur purchases in that segment. The market I see hurting would be the mid range around $300-$3k. Specifically the overvalued ones with poor parts. its just my opinion however and I'm no market analyst :)
     
  15. rhyzome thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Very interesting discussion.

    whtrbt7--An interesting thought! I could imagine how if and when smart/"modern" watches become much more common and even normal, a certain nostalgia and yearning could develop for "genuine"/"classic"/"traditional" watches with "mechanical" (especially "high quality" mechanical) parts.

    As others perhaps have pointed out, it might have already happened in the highest end, as already people oppose the mechanical brilliance and beauty and perhaps status and tradition of a Rolex to the (merely) highly accurate keeping of time or more broadly the realization of pure utility--perhaps embodied most in the "high tech" of the Apple Watch.

    Perhaps even the middle-end market will feel compelled to have two watches: a "smart" watch and a mechanical/jewelery watch?
     
  16. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #16
    If I knew the answer to your question, then I would buy PowerBall tickets rather than posting to a fan site. However, people need to understand that Apple is not trying to sell you a device that tells time and monitors the biometrics of your aging body. The ultimate success of the Watch is to remove everything that you currently carry in your pockets.

    One of the things that gets lost on forums like this is that the rich are very practical. What can a $200,000 traditional watch do for them? Give the time. What can a $17,000 Watch Edition [or a $350 Watch Sport] do? Give the most accurate time available from a wearable device to start. BTW, it is a watch that never requires an owner reset--not for a loss of power, not for the changeover to Daylight Savings Time/Standard Time, not for a change in time zones. It also replaces your car keys, hotel keys, and method of payment at a growing number of establishments. I will have as many other functions as there are Watch apps.

    With all of the functionality of the Watch, why would anyone wear a device that can do essentially just one thing. It is now eight years (8) years after the iPhone went on sale. When was the last time you saw a flip phone? How many of those mechanical monstrosities known as classic premium watches do you expect to see eight (8) years from now?
     
  17. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #17


    I think the error in this argument (as a watch collector myself) is that the "iphone vs flip phone" example doesn't really fit with watches. I can (and do) own multiple watches. One for dressy occasions, every day wear, working out, etc. The iPhone killing the flip phone isn't the same. VERY few people can logically own more than one phone and use them regularly. Just doesn't work that way. So, if one buys/bought an iPhone, then naturally the flip phone they had before sits. Not the case with watches. Most of the people buying the really expensive watches own multiple. I've not talked to one Rolex, Patek, AP, JLC watch owner that will suddenly not wear those watches. Same thing with cars. I have a (relatively) expensive fun car (Cadillac CTS-V) that I drive when I'm wanting to have fun. But there's also a Kia and Honda in the driveway for when I want to be more practical.

    If you're not a watch enthusiast/collector, it's hard to understand why we buy and like mechanical watches. But it's really not a lot different than people who like classic cars/muscle cars/exotic cars. There are much more modern cars out there that do a lot more and are way more advanced and even practical, but they don't kill the want or desire to own the "impractical" ones.
     
  18. kingofwale macrumors 6502a

    kingofwale

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    #18
    I said it earlier and I will say it again. People who buy high end watches buy them because of craftsmanship.

    let me dumb it down a bit for you.... Why would anyone go to a concert if they can just download the song? Why would anyone go to the stadium for hundreds of dollars to watch an sporting event if they can just watch it on their TV? Why do people still go to theater when they can just download torrent??


    The point is, people get different experience from different things.
     
  19. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #19

    Basically what I was saying in my post above. People who don't buy/admire/collect "expensive" (the term is relative) watches can't possibly understand why the people that do, do. Just how I don't understand how people appreciate abstract art. To me it usually looks like something a 6 year old could do. But that doesn't matter to the people that do appreciate it and sometimes pay ridiculous prices for it.
     
  20. adammull macrumors 6502a

    adammull

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    #20
    I know this. I've had a Rolex and a Panerai that I don't give a damn about for keeping time. There are clocks in my face in the house, car, work, gym, etc. Really the only instance where I glance at my watch for the time is when I'm outside or in a meeting and can't pull out my phone. They're fashion pieces. And they keep lousy time. A swatch is FAR more accurate.

    The Apple Watch will disrupt the watch industry for reasons already mentioned above. I don't understand why people won't accept this. I have. Once I have this I don't think there's any going back. And the argument is that, no, it may not hurt Rolex now. But it will ingrain in those younger among us the dependency on the smart watch. And 50 years from now Rolex will have smaller sales. They will still exist.

    I think the smaller watch houses like Tag Heuer are in for a serious hurting immediately.
     
  21. Samtb macrumors 65816

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    #21
    According to this forum, every apple product will take over the industry its competing in. I think Apple watch will have little effect on brand watches, maybe some effect on the lower end digital watch market. Reason being Apple watch doesn't replace the brand value of watch makers such as Rolex. It's different from the phone industry where before iPhones, phones had no real luxury brand value. Apple watch and other smart watches simply adds another category to the types of watches available but like I said it's more likely to affect lower end digital watches. People aren't going to stop buying rolexes or tags.
     
  22. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

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    #22
    I think that smart watches will affect the sale of traditional watches, especially at the lower end. But they'll survive in the same way that books still survive, some people will always prefer them.
     
  23. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    #23
    I suspect that Apple Watches will hurt the cheaper lower end of traditional watches in the under $1k range but not the people who spend big money on a watch as the Apple watch would not tempt most of them except as a novelty.
     
  24. dejavery macrumors newbie

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    #24
    I think the current watch market will be fine. It may need to adapt, but it's not doomed.

    I have an apple watch and I love it, but I don't wear it all the time. For work, I prefer my old watch that I inherited from my Dad. Outside work, I still like to wear a Swatch for anything where I'm worried about damaging it or sometimes just to wear something different.

    So I'm still going to wear classic watches. I'm still going to buy low end Swatches. But I do also like the Apple Watch. It's excellent if I'm traveling.

    I just don't feel the need to be connected 24/7
     
  25. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #25
    Including your phone. When the Watch can completely replace your phone, and Siri perfectly transcribes your thoughts without having to speak out loud, and the watch beams video to your glasses or contact lenses, then maybe it will be more valuable than anything else a person could wear on their wrist. On the other hand why does such a device have to be worn on the wrist? Why not a necklace, or a broach, or earrings, or a belt buckle? Why not sensor nodes sewn into your clothing, or just a fob carried in your pocket or bag? Why does it have to be the same uniform device for everyone?

    Unfortunately, the Watch is nowhere near replacing everything your pocket. It will be years before the  Watch is compatible with the security systems of every car on the highway, and every hotel room in the world. And this also discounts the fact that watch makers won't have the same kinds of technology for payments, locks, and ID embedded in their watches, regardless of whether they offer notifications or not. And it will be years still until the watch is able to offer some kind of video interface to replace the iPhone screen in your pocket.

    Predicting the end of the traditional watch at this juncture is fruitless. You'd be better off with PowerBall.
     

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