Are Watches Becoming Obsolete? Watch vs Phone

Posted on January 11 2021

left- apple watch, right- traditional watch

A very simple & straightforward answer to the question proposed in the topic of the article is NO! A BIG NO! It's no surprise that with every passing day, functionalities of a watch are becoming more & more equivalent to a smartphone's functionalities. And just because of the multiple similarities between the two, the most inquired question nowadays arises, Which one is better, Watch or Phone? Followed by some other questions like, Has the phone made the watch obsolete? Is time running out for timepieces, or are they really timeless? What can a timepiece do that a smartphone can not do better?

Everyone you ask will probably have different answers because both have their specific pros & cons as per their usage.

Here in this article, we will be focusing on why watches will never become obsolete & the benefits that a luxury timepiece presents?

Let's start by looking at three reasons why watches are timeless.

Watches are Comfortable & Fashionable

Yes, watches may feel like an unnecessary gadget if you are only looking for the time, but they hold a comfort factor. Suppose a scenario where you have got both hands full, you are unable to reach into your pocket & pull out that cellphone to check the time. At this point in time, a timepiece makes the task quick, easy & convenient.

When it comes to fashion, just like it means to pull the right colour of tie to match your suit, knowing the customs in how to style your timepiece is essential. It does not matter whether you wear an exclusive Rolex or Patek Philippe model from Twain Time, the timepiece you wear is an extension of both your wrist & personality, so you definitely need to get it right every single time. 

Actually, most people don't buy watches to tell the time. They buy them as a style statement because they like the look & the design of the watch & want to flaunt their expensive wrists.

WATCHES ARE ACCURATE & LAST LONG

Unlike smartphones, Watches do not get discharged/dead & hence the time zone & other manual changes are not needed to be performed every single time you switch on your phone. And, another great thing about watches is they don't run out of battery.

Accuracy is like the holy grail of watchmaking. Even the most significant manufacturers would not ever reach it entirely, but they will always seek it with endless commitment. From a time measurement viewpoint & its quality of manufacturing & aesthetics, the race of perfection, accuracy is one of the most prominent key reasons to buy a luxury timepiece.

All those times when you need to use your cellphone & suddenly it's dead? That doesn't happen with watch batteries – they last for a long time. Watches stay active by merely moving or winding.

Watch Sales are Increasing

We are seeing that watch buying has started to go back up according to some investigations. It's the luxury watches that continue to have slumping sales.

  • The watch market(globally) is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.10% during the period (2020 - 2025).

  • Moreover, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the watches companies are upgrading & launching products to detect the early symptoms of COVID-19 in individuals. For example, in September 2020, Apple Inc, introduced the Apple Watch Series 6, which includes features such as Blood Oxygen sensors & Heart Rate, as it detects early signs of respiratory conditions like influenza & COVID-19.

    We can not predict the future. But we do think there is always going to be a booming market for watches.

    Some Benefits of Watches over Smartphones?

    • You have to put your smartphone in your pocket, bag or somewhere else but a watch is worn on the wrist & hence it is more accessible.
    • For the same accessibility reason, watches consequently saves time.
    • Taking into consideration security concerns, watches are a whole lot harder to lose because they are always attached to your wrist.
    • Again for the same security concerns, the watch will, in the long run, end up saving you more money that would have otherwise been spent on lost or stolen smartphones.
    • Compared to some smartphones, many watches are water-resistant.

    Collector’s Aspect

    Every watch enthusiast who has ever worn a luxury watch on their wrist knows that the very first watch is usually not the last, but often the beginning of a lifelong passion. The watch market is pervasive & without thorough research, you run the risk of getting caught by counterfeiters & fraudsters. 

    Watch enthusiasts who focus their collection on single manufacture or brand often have an emotional connection to it. Maybe their parents were particularly attached to this brand. They grew up close to the watchmaker & therefore feel a special connection. Other collectors are simply enamored with the brand in every aspect – history, technical innovation, culture & quality.

    In conclusion: do we feel the wristwatches are outdated? NO, not at all. 

    In fact, We don't even feel they are really competing with smartphones. Yes, a phone can tell the time, but it's not going to replace the timepieces. A smartphone is more, or let's say entirely about communication. Many studies have shown that if you have a phone out on the table & answer it while talking with someone, you're actually creating a divide between you & them.

    A great watch for a man is more than merely telling time. It is about his connection with time.

    Researches have shown that one is more likely to be punctual when he/she wears a watch. (And when you're stuck in a meeting, we find it's a lot more subtle to check the time on your watch rather than on your phone)

    Watches & phones serve very different purposes. To me, they really are non-competitors.

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