It’s a common trend in the world of technology – outdated products fade into obscurity, making way for the new and improved version.
The landline and the payphone have been rendered obsolete by the cell phone, which quickly faded into the shadow of today’s smartphones.
However, there are some timeless things in life that will never go out of style, and the classic timepiece is one of them. Transcending fleeting trends and technological advancements, luxury watches have become so much more than just a convenient way to check the time.
The most obvious competition for the luxury wristwatch is the recently introduced smartwatch. It makes sense too.
After all, who wouldn’t want to wear a computer on their wrist? The difference between the smartwatch and the smartphone, however, is that smartphones are utility devices that are prized for their usefulness and function, whereas timepieces are treasured for entirely different reasons.
For example, just look at the luxury watches available at major retailers like Tiffany, Rolex, or TimeScape; admire the grand splendor of those superb pieces of art. You won’t get that same feeling from technology, no matter how advanced.
Why Classic Timepieces and Smartwatches Are Not Comparable
People love owning watches because they are romantic and beautiful to behold. The stainless steel bands, sapphire cases, meticulously crafted bezels…there is just nothing like it.
When speculating about the future of the analog watch, it is important to consider context, and smartwatches and analog timepieces actually have very little in common besides the fact that they both tell time and are worn on the wrist.
A smartwatch is an extension of a person’s digital life, which usually includes a computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or all of the above.
On the other hand, a watch is more comparable to a treasured pair of boots or an upscale suit – both ageless and essential items that will never be replaced by technology.
Timepieces Harbor Emotional Attachment
Yes, watches do tell time, but these days that is certainly not the only reason why people wear them.
After all, most people can check the time on the tiny computer that they carry in their pocket.
Classic timepieces are many things including a fashion accessory, a status symbol, and often a cherished keepsake. People wear watches because they love wearing watches – it’s that simple.
People don’t carry around outdated cell phones, because it doesn’t make sense and they don’t have any emotional attachment to them.
The Case for Digital Watches
When the first incarnation of the digital watch first emerged in the 1920s, there is no doubt that consumers of the time assumed that mechanical watches would soon die out.
However, the iconic wristwatch did not go anywhere, and we can anticipate the same response this time around.
Watches will never be replaced by advanced technology simply because nobody is complaining about watches or wishing they would be improved upon.
Watch owners enjoy winding their mechanical timepieces because it connects them to a simpler time. Watches are a relic of the past, yet they are still firmly rooted in modern times.
Try Pairing a Smartwatch with a Suit
Just as you wouldn’t have your face buried in your smartphone at an upscale dinner meeting, smartwatches should only be used at specific places and times.
Yes, smartwatches are handy, but that does not mean that they are appropriate for all occasions. On the other hand, luxury watches are a wonderful complement to virtually any outfit, and they add a level of sophistication and class that smartwatches simply can’t rival.
Watches are functional fashion accessories that always work, and these days at least one solid classic watch is considered an essential component in any modern wardrobe.
Watches Are Time-Honored Pieces of Human Culture
At the end of the day, we have no way of knowing if smartwatches are going to withstand the test of time or if they are just another fleeting trend. Timepieces, however, have a clear and defined history.
There are plenty of collectors out there, and that is never going to change. Watches have been passed down from generation to generation and given as gifts for centuries, and today they represent the height of achievement and success.
Just as the credit card has not replaced gold, smartwatches will not replace luxury timepieces. They each have their own place in our lives, and there is not enough overlap for one to cancel out the other.
Simplicity Is Beauty
A smartwatch may have plenty of bells and whistles to play with, but there is something to be said for the understated elegance of a timepiece.
Yes, an authentic timepiece tells the time, but it also tells a much richer story. You may not be able to play games or message your friends with a classic timepiece, and that’s the point.
Watches and computers are two entirely different entities, and it is important to remember that when comparing the two. Regardless of how successful smartwatches become, the classic wristwatch is not going anywhere.