Friday Chronicles #6: iWatch, Dances with wolves?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

It is amazing how people suddenly got passionate about Apple iWatch. For the past 10 years brands like Suunto or even Nike have proposed “smart watches” that would measure your health and give you something more than time. Then, when Peeble was launched, there was more buzz about the way it was financed than the product itself. And lately, all the Samsung and many Android gear got most of the time slapped by the press. You can read our full review about it here.
In any case nobody really dared to compare a Rolex, Omega and Patek with those electronic gadgets. And suddenly, Apple decides to launch its iWatch and everybody started to fire up. The feeling of excitement that this incoming product delivers is basically the same as Kevin Costner’s character in Dances with Wolves, when he discovered the “wild west landscapes. So we are all Lt. John J. Dunbar facing the Buffalos.

Apple iWatch is not a watch, it is a wearable electronic device, says Kicking Bird

The all concept of the iWatch or any wearable device produced by an electronic goods company will always be…. An electronic good.
Apple iWatch
Far away the idea of criticizing or to say bad things about a product that is not even launched. It is just a way of defining things the right manner.
The main purpose of a watch is to give time as most accurate as possible despite exterior conditions and the moves of its owner. Some of them are mechanical others with a Quartz movement. All of them serve a main purpose of being a timepiece.
A second purpose, more related to high luxury watches, is the purpose of prestige and the fact that your watch will be your companion every day and probably something you will pass along to your son or daughter.
Patek Philippe Geneve ad
Patek Philippe ad mother and daughter
It is also an amazing proof of craftmanship and ingenuity. All these points make the iWatch far away from the watchmaking territory.

There is only one wrist, like there is one Sitting Bull

Probably one huge detail that most media did not think about is the fact there is only one position in your wrists for a watch. And a part of being Fidel Castro with 2 Rolex watches, you might find difficult to manage more than one watch at the same time.
Fidel Castro RolexFifel Castro 2 Rolex

Fidel Castro had 2 Rolex watches

Getting emotional… not with the iWatch

So would you be emotionally attached to your iWatch as you probably are with your Omega Speedmaster, your Rolex Submariner or your Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso? Probably not. Why so? Well the main reason is the fact that the electronic market developed short product life cycles. Brands are built in 6 month, launched for 2 years, manufacturing a new product every 3 month and then disappearing from our minds and our hearts as fast as they came. Take the iPhone for example. We are all addicted to our iPhone. We could not live without it and even not do 3 steps outside home without the smartphone in the pocket. We even wonder how was life before. In average, each iphone user check his smartphone 150 times a day (source: Mashable). We get very connected to our iphones… Until Apple launches a new one.
All iPhones since the beginning
So every 18 month we get a new iPhone. Who is literally in love with his iphone 3? Apple even officially stopped the support on iphone 3. So Apple educated people to get attached to the next new thing rather to the current products. This is one of the main differences with a real watch. So the iWatch will be by default renewed, revamped, refurbished, remixed and upgraded every 18month with software and hardware. It is not meant to last, it is meant to evolve.

Apple will hire Swiss watch makers, not really…

Since the beginning of the iWatch saga, several people are afraid that Apple would hire top Swiss watch-makers and even produce its iWatch in Switzerland. There is a lot of dreams and imagination going on. Jean Claude Biever declared in the press that several key people working for key Swiss watch brands received offers from the Cupertino company. On this point, lets reassure everybody. No Swiss watch-maker would dream to work for a company as Apple that would never propose a more interesting job that the one (s)he has already. If you are lucky enough to work in the technical field for brands like Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex or Cartier, there is nothing Apple could offer that would replace the interest of those amazing jobs.
This week it was announced in the press that Patrick Pruniaux, Vice-President Sales of Tag Heuer was hired by Apple.
Patrick Pruniaux hired by Apple
So is there a danger for the Swiss watch-making industry? Not really. Even Jean Claude Biever in person declared that he is happy for his collaborator to embrace this new opportunity. He also declared that if Patrick Pruniaux had left for a “competitor” that he would have felt it as a treason. Not in this case. It says a lot in how it is taken.
It is a different product, a different expectation and a different business model.
In conclusion, this new iWatch launch has been generating the biggest buzz Apple has ever had. Actually, every-time Apple is working on a new product, the buzz starts sooner and stronger. The iWatch has been in the press for the past 18 month. Apple has the pressure to succeed where others have failed. So let’s hope that while other brands might get scalped by us indians, Apple will be dancing with wolves.

LA

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Info sourced at Bilan.ch, Wikipedia, New York Times, Newsweek and previous reviews at luxuryactivist.com. Featured image sourced at technobuffalo.com and used only for illustration purposes. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.

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