Technology giants are trying hard to replace smartwatches with the classic ones, but as they say, old habits die hard. The classic wristwatches are not going anywhere. They have survived the past 500 years and will continue to be around, getting through wars and tech revolutions. We may have advanced a decade in terms of technology, but we are not trading our precious time machines for Apple & Samsung.
Even the potential competition and pressure from tech giants have failed to discourage known brands like Rolex, Patek, Harry Winston, and A. Lange & Shone from slowing down. Both watch manufacturers and watch lovers understand that as long as there is demand, the sales and industry will continue to flourish.
The Bond Effect
During the WWI, soldiers were given trench watches, which led to the evolution of mechanical wristwatch into a major luxury market. Today, watch lovers seek out brands like Cartier, Rolex, and Harry Winston not only due to the product quality but also the history that these brands carry. A person owning one of these watches indicates affluence, values, and good taste.
In the United States, Rolex has become a status symbol. People buy Rolex for what it signifies about them rather than the product itself. One of the best that Rolex has produced is Rolex air king which gives tribute to the flight pioneers and the Oyster’s roles in the epic story of aviation.
Apart from history, today, the luxury watch market has successfully captured the attention of many celebrities. Endorsements from pop artists and showbiz are commonly used as a marketing strategy to attract potential customers. For example, after the James Bond movie Skyfall, there was a 45% increase on WorldWatchReport in consumer interest for the Omega Seamaster Collection. Men were intrigued to buy the 007 watch not because it was a high-quality product but because the Seamaster inspired them.
Replace an iPhone but never a watch
Mechanical watches have survived the digital age because of their artisanship and everlasting quality. It is understandable to replace an old phone or a computer with a new one; but older the watch, the more valuable it is. Watch buyers pay tens of thousands of dollars for what went into putting the watch together and will make it last. Even the most expensive smart watches go obsolete as soon as newer upgrades are introduced in the market. However, unlike the digital gadgets, classical watches are a vintage accessory. The older they get, the more precious they become. An old Rolex can become a collector’s item but it can certainly never become an obsolete accessory.
It takes experts of watchmaking months and sometimes, years to manufacture the detailed interior systems that make mechanical collectors’ watches so extraordinary, for example, a split-second chronograph (two second hands to time different events) and timeless calendars which are created to show the right date on any day in the future.
Watches live for generations
Watches, much like antique jewelry, are passed down from one generation to another. People buying high-end watches do not buy it merely for the sake of wearing, but also for their perpetuity. Considering this interest of watch buyers, brands have started integrating the idea of permanence into the making of their products to make them a collector’s item.
A Luxury Accessory
Unlike Smart watches, you Rolex or Cartier is not a mere time telling or a utility piece. In fact it is a luxurious accessory on your wrist that speaks volumes about your class and personality. A classic vintage wrist watch is as precious as solitaire ring or an emerald necklace that is both priceless and timeless. That level of luxe is something the new age watches such as Apple can never match. You can wear absolutely no accessory yet a simple Cartier on your wrist will be more than enough to catch the attention. There is a reason why they have always been known as an executive watch.
New age smart watches lack the aesthetics in design when it comes to using them as a fashion accessory. An Apple smart watch will look nothing short of an eyesore when worn with a tuxedo at an executive dinner. The intricate aesthetics that are part of classical mechanical watches make them a timeless fashion accessory.