"Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

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Serlo
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"Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by Serlo »

"According to a designer who works at Apple, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, in bragging about how cool he thought the iWatch was shaping up to be, gleefully said Switzerland is in trouble — though he chose a much bolder term for “trouble” to express how he thought the watchmaking nation might be in a tough predicament when Apple’s watch comes out."

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/fashi ... .html?_r=0

What do you think guys? Are we (or is the watch industry) about to face a smart watch crisis? We inmates like our mechanical watches, don't we. The way I feel about smart watches is: I am never going to get one of these devices. Firstly, I don't like the idea of watches that have to be charged every day and I cannot understand why a watch should have more functions than ... telling the time. In addition the idea of being (or having to be) available all the time feels awkward and might make our lives more stressful and in no way easier. I am not even sure whether I would be allowed to wear a smart watch during work (I am a teacher and the use of mobile phones is forbidden in German schools, at least for students :lol:).

I know that a quartz watch also does the job (provably more accurately than a mechanical one) of telling the time, but it feels like a heartless thing without the inherent beauty of a mechanical movement. A smart watch is just one more gadget I don't need.

So what are your feelings/opinions about smart watches? Does anyone of you consider getting one? Has one of you already got one? Why would or wouldn't you buy a smart watch?

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Re: Switzerland is in trouble, is it?

Post by akirk »

typical marketing puff... ;)

we have already been through the most disruptive change to watches with quartz, I don't see this as being the same at all - anyone who already chooses to wear a mechanical over quartz is doing so because they prefer the beauty / the intricacy / the mechanical marvel / the elegance / the sophistication / what it says about them... if those reasons drive purchase and wearing of a mechanical - how would a smart watch perform better in any of those ways?

I can see smart watches doing well - but it will hit other manufacturers:

fitbit / nike air / etc. who do fitness devices
digital watches
quartz watches
etc.

those will be replaced - but not mechanicals...
So I am sure it will affect some, but I can't see it being an issue for watch lovers...

For me - I carry a phone to use when I choose to and then it gets put away, I don't have it to show off / it isn't 'me' / I wouldn't wear it on show - so why would I with a watch?

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Re: Switzerland is in trouble, is it?

Post by blowfish89 »

I am one of the younger members here, and quite excited about new technologies. I am also planning on getting my first iphone in the iphone 6 so I will be intently listening to the keynote next Tuesday. I also do not have any digital watches in my small collection, as I never liked the look of the G-Shocks.
I will consider one if it is in my budget, provided it -
1) looks good, which IMO is very hard for a smartwatch to do
2) offers significantly different functionality from my phone
3) offers significantly different functionality from my fitbit flex

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Re: Switzerland is in trouble, is it?

Post by bspj »

People still buy Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin motor cars.
I can admire a Toyota Prius but do not wish to buy one.
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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by nbg »

I have no interest whatsoever in an iwatch or similar - then again I also have no interest in owning a high end smart phone.

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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by DJP31 »

18 months ago before I became properly interested in watches I would have been the first in the queue for an iWatch, and almost certainly I'll be one of the first for the iPhone 6, stock permitting. But now, no chance of the iWatch finding itself onto my wrist. Why? Because I'm really enjoying wearing different watches for different occasions and building a modest collection.


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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by theaub »

Hubris.

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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by Lavaine »

Fine watches (mechanical or quartz) are for people that like watches. Smart watches are for people that want to carry their phone on their wrist.

Jon Ive is a pompous ass. Pure and simple.
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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by gweilgi »

A load of tosh.

They are different products, addressing different needs and desires. A Swiss watch is a bauble, a luxury item, an object of non-technological desire. They have very little to fear from Apple who are chasing a whole different target group.

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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by craigski »

Another consideration is the 'useable' life of a 'smart' watch, and how quickly a 'smart' watch becomes less 'smart' compared to latest version.

Look at the rate of change of mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc over past few years. The rate of change of this consumer technology, there is a constant demand for consumers to have the latest version, and the older models just become 'iJunk', unable to run the latest software.

I recall seeing (on this forum?) there have been some 'hybrid' watches announced, where there is a mechanical component and a built in digital 'smart' piece in the wristwatch, that can read emails, SMS messages, etc. Mmmm, I don't think that is such a good idea.

What I possibly would invest in would be a mechanical watch with some electronic wizardry to manage the mechanical engine, similar to a Engine Management System on a modern day car engine:

http://www.seiko.co.uk/discover-seiko/t ... ring-drive

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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by bradjhomes »

The quartz crisis was a crisis. This won't be.

Smart watches 'may' get popular (I doubt it though tbh) but the average Swiss watch buyer isn't the same person who is going to be a smart watch buyer - or if they are, they will continue to buy both.

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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by daveodz »

What a load of cobblers!

I have as much interest in an iwatch as i do in using Facetube and ****!

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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by Serlo »

Ironic remark: Jonathan Ive has designed a JLC for RED (aids charity) that was auctioned by Sothebys in New York last year...

http://www.ahametals.com/jony-ive-marc-newson-watches/

In pictures he often wears IWCs...

All in all I'd say that the smart watch will not trigger a new crisis for mechanical watches... People who consider watches to be master pieces will not go for the iWatch (or whatever iThing it will be), but cheap quartz watches might be affected.

Having said that I wouldn't buy the iThing for the wrist, I have to admit that I own almost ever iProduct (iPod, iPad, iMac, iBook, iPhone etc.) there is. But I am not a consumer who has to have the latest product and my iPhone will stay with me for the next five years.

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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by craigski »

"Electronic watches accounted for less than a quarter of export sales, but nearly three-quarters of total volumes."

Some Swiss stats for 2013:

http://www.fhs.ch/file/59/Watchmaking_2013.pdf

20 Billion CHF in exports in 2013, of which 4 Billion where quartz, 16 Billion mechanical.

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Re: "Switzerland is in trouble!" Is it?

Post by benbjo »

It might have an effect on Tissot T-touch, Casio's and the like, but no effect whatsoever on mechanical watches. You don't buy a mechanical watch to tell the time (only), but because it is a piece of art and essentially a piece of jewelry.

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