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Thread: Whatís the future of watches?

  1. #1
    Master
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    Whatís the future of watches?

    Curious to know where people think watches will go in the future? Desirability, collecting, wearing, pricing, all of it.

    The rise of the smart watches could be the end of watches as we know it - Iíve been reading that for a couple of years or more now and personally whilst some people have gone that way, I think the number of people that are actually Ďinto watchesí is growing. Quite a few people I know enjoy watches more than I can remember. Younger people as well. Lots of younger people actually. I can name half a dozen I know all under 30 that love talking about watches. Whether thatís down to social media like Instagram or not, if itís now a fashion accessory, or purely the enjoyment of wearing one, Iím not sure.

    Pricing - this is a strange one. For the last say 3 years Iíve been thinking that watch prices have peaked in the pre owned market and brand new prices are too high and will fall. So far Iíve called it totally wrong! Iím not just talking Rolex either, many of the higher end brands have seen the new and pre owned prices rise and rise. Obviously the last year had been the strangest one in all of our lives. Some people have put more money into watches so demand has increased and supply has probably reduced so thatís one factor. On the other side though, some have seen their interest wane.

    For me my interest in watches is as high as I can remember, I think the future is safe and whilst technology overtakes most things in life, watch interest and demand will continue to thrive.

  2. #2
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
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    Great suggestion for a topic! Everything below is pure speculation:

    I think smart watches will run in parallel, as they have been doing, there was a lot of paranoia about the Apple Watch and it was mostly unfounded.

    Across the industry, prices will continue to rise, the Rolex effect will eventually deflate but that might be 5 years, 10, who knows. Meanwhile other brands will continue to push up.

    German watches will begin to falter in popularity as they lose their value proposition.

    The emergence of micro brands will slow to a near stop in 5 years as the market becomes saturated.

  3. #3
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    I feel that unlike now where alot of folk into watches tend to have an ever expanding collection, we'll start seeing more and more smaller more focused collections and sales slowing across new and pre-owned markets.

    Apart from price increases we're kind of reaching saturation now where there isn't much room for new unique designs, and most heritage models have been covered to death in both high end and even more so with micro-brand homages. With that it's difficult for things not to become a little stale.

    Perhaps some 70's designs still remain untapped so potential there for Omega(who have plenty of superb designs to fall back on there), Zenith etc. to consider reissues but not sure enough folk are ready yet for that era to make a big comeback. I think that will come but probably not this year.

    Agree micro-brands could start to struggle to stay relevant, the "we're cutting out the middle man and shaking up the Swiss watchmaking industry" line is becoming old and again as I mentioned above most heritage/reissue gaps in the market have now been filled which were a staple for adult of micros.. yet another Super Compressor homage anyone?

    I see more decline than growth in the immediate future, nothing too concerning but I'd be surprised not to see some slowing during the next year or two in releases.
    Last edited by Tetlee; 13th January 2021 at 19:49.

  4. #4
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    Smartwatches will become smarter and high quality watches will become more expensive and out of reach for most.

  5. #5
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post

    For me my interest in watches is as high as I can remember, I think the future is safe and whilst technology overtakes most things in life, watch interest and demand will continue to thrive.
    I'm just talking about the west as there are different dynamics in different markets.

    I don't know why but I keep thinking of Elvis memorabilia - prices went up and up and it was a sure thing to make money and then... prices started to drop because people who were interested died off. I'm sure lots of people will still wear a watch but I'm not convinced that someone who is twenty today is in twenty years going to decide to give up years of convenience with their smart-watch for dumb tech.

  6. #6
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    Some of the highest priced Rolex models currently are sub 40mm vintage Submariners and Daytonas. I often wonder if they will be perceived to be too small in years to come and go the way of the bubblebacks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    I'm just talking about the west as there are different dynamics in different markets.

    I don't know why but I keep thinking of Elvis memorabilia - prices went up and up and it was a sure thing to make money and then... prices started to drop because people who were interested died off. I'm sure lots of people will still wear a watch but I'm not convinced that someone who is twenty today is in twenty years going to decide to give up years of convenience with their smart-watch for dumb tech.
    That could well be true but part of the reason for this thread was my recent experience of younger people. Iíve just employed a 23 year old who inherited some money from his grandad and bought a Milgauss. I was very surprised at the time. In the summer an Electrician was doing some work for me and heíd bought a Deepsea. He was late 20ís. Antother younger man who I was chatting to in a pub had an Omega Seamaster. Both my sons have said that quite a few of their mates at Uni have Omegas and Tudors. In conversations they have had with them, itís followed on from their parents. Maybe because Iím into watches I noticed, but it made me think that the future is fairly bright for this hobby.

  8. #8
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    To quote the Elvis thing itís quite specific, you will get some new blood but generally the world will move on.
    I see yet another parallel with cars and the classic market.
    While interest in (for example) an MGA or an Austin Healey may wane, a Porsche will still draw the youngsters, probably as the new product is still relevant and desirable.
    I see a lot of parallel with Porsche and Rolex.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  9. #9
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    I see watches going from strength to strength, growing global middle class, plus growing knowledge of watches. Even smart and fitness watches are a gateway to luxury watches. I think there will be growing interest and demand across all genres from new, pre-owned, vintage etc etc

    In medium term, probably a slight shift from current luxury steel sports obsession towards dress, high end independents and complications. But demand for all categories growing.

    On side note, I think itís the last generation for combustion engine cars, so some enthusiasm there could be diverted to watches.

    Design wise, I agree I think might be reaching end of the heritage trend, so hopefully some brand new designs might appear, though itís going to take quite a while.

    So overall, Iím extremely bullish on this great hobby!

  10. #10
    The lower end of the market will decline as it losses market share to smart watches, Swiss brands already know this and have been pricing up for a few years now.

    Marketing will focus even more on luxury and lifestyle as brands try to justify their increasing mark-ups. I expect to see smaller runs and more limited editions as brands focus on collectibility. Precious metals, stones and materials will become more common too, again to justify their asking price.

    G-shocks and the like will get smarter, Apple & Android will integrate more with our lives and connected homes and cars.

    Collecting vintage pieces will become more niche as pieces become harder and more expensive to maintain.

  11. #11
    A lot of stuff below about £2-£3k will get eaten up by smart and fitness watches. Low end Tags, lower end Longines and Oris, Daniel Wellington etc. Seiko will be largely on due to its WIS customer base but it's already moving into higher priced stuff. G-Shock will go fully smart, as will others. High end will stay high end but quartz Omegas will be a thing of the past. Garmin will probably be the top brand for fitness/health, not necessarily smart.

  12. #12
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    The main brands Omega / Rolex / Breitling could easily offer true heritage lines . Buy up old stock and refinish them with a certificate they could probably price these 25%-40% above the market . Itíd keep the feeding frenzy going

  13. #13
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    A lot of stuff below about £2-£3k will get eaten up by smart and fitness watches. Low end Tags, lower end Longines and Oris, Daniel Wellington etc. Seiko will be largely on due to its WIS customer base but it's already moving into higher priced stuff. G-Shock will go fully smart, as will others. High end will stay high end but quartz Omegas will be a thing of the past. Garmin will probably be the top brand for fitness/health, not necessarily smart.
    That is pretty much what a commercial report I've just downloaded says - quick summary:

    * Players with low- and mid-range products with prices below GBP500 were losing share before the pandemic. One of the factors contributing to the declining sales of basic and mid-level watches was that with the increasing reliance on smartphones and smart devices, fewer young people were wearing watches. Previously, this was the target client base for watches within this low-to-mid-price bracket. Additionally, as smartwatches continue to see innovations at comparable price points, they increasingly serve as a threat to the watch industry priced lower than GBP500

    * As smartphones and devices no longer render watches a necessity, consumers who choose to purchase watches as investment or statement pieces will turn to the luxury watch segment to the detriment of lower-priced players. Hence, the luxury end of the category is less threatened by smartwatches. Rolex continued to see impressive growth in the UK in 2019, as did Audemars Piguet, as both brands continued to benefit from shifting dynamics in watches towards exceptional craftsmanship and ultra-exclusive pieces. The second-hand and pre-owned market for luxury watches has also been growing impressively

    * Even though the share of online sales of watches, particularly high-end watches, continues to lag behind other products, such as apparel and leather goods, the pandemic was forcing watch players to adapt to digital commerce or risk a potential collapse in their business (Tudor).

  14. #14
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    I think the interest will wane but so slowly that it will be irrelevant to us lot.

    In time the utility of a smart watch will be too great to resist.

    I was talking to my neighbours over the fence the other day and a delivery driver pulled up to his gate, he just lifted his watch to his mouth and said open gate ... his gate opened ... I was quite impressed with how convenient that was ...

  15. #15
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    If anyone genuinely knew the answer to this question and had a track record of getting it right, they would be making an absolute fortune.

    Simple truth is that every opinion here is completely unfounded and worth bugger all.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    If anyone genuinely knew the answer to this question and had a track record of getting it right, they would be making an absolute fortune.

    Simple truth is that every opinion here is completely unfounded and worth bugger all.
    You could argue that most posts on here or any forums are just Ďopinionsí so if you feel like that why bother to post at all. Every one of your posts are totally pointless but itís never stopped you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    You could argue that most posts on here or any forums are just Ďopinionsí so if you feel like that why bother to post at all. Every one of your posts are totally pointless but itís never stopped you.
    There's a difference between an opinion and an educated opinion.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    There's a difference between an opinion and an educated opinion.
    Indeed there is ...

  19. #19
    I believe we will see a truly disruptive technology to take the place of the current functionality of smart watches, and probably within the next 20 years.
    It's just a matter of time...

  20. #20
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    People have short memories- smart watches were said to kill luxury watches off about 5 years ago.

    Apple due to release HUD style smart glasses soon - hence I think will
    Canabilse smart watch sales

  21. #21
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    Did the smart watches of the late 60's and 70's known as the Quartz crisis, the original smart watch, did it kill the mechanical watch in the end or just cleanse the market?

  22. #22
    Journeyman Halitosis's Avatar
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    For younger generations watches are more an accessory and status symbol than timekeeper, so I think the cheaper end of the market will disappear in favour of smart watches.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  23. #23
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    I think there is a big difference between a luxury watch and a smart watch in terms of purpose. Being frank, very few people buy a luxury watch with the sole criteria of it being something to tell the time with! It is essentially a piece of jewellery, but not in the bling sense but rather something meaningful and that says something about the wearer. We buy a military themed vintage style watch because we love that era. We buy a Rolex Sub because in some way the spirit of adventure and tool-ness resonates with us. But actually overall a luxury watch looks cool and the craftsmanship makes a big difference to the appearance also.

    I don't believe these desirable fundamentals will change. Therefore I don't see demand for luxury timepieces waning. Because smart watches may be competing with the guys who would have spent £100 or so on something to tell the time but nobody is weighing up an Apple Watch vs a Tag Monaco and deciding which to buy

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    I'm not convinced that someone who is twenty today is in twenty years going to decide to give up years of convenience with their smart-watch for dumb tech.
    It's definitely changing. Now, the draw for a "new" watch has wained due to rising prices and, being nearly 50, the "I'm not paying that...it only used to be...."

    I am in software sales and nothing used to show success better than a Rolex. The youngsters in the industry are now different animals. I have yet to see a 30 something sales rep wearing anything other than an Apple Watch. I wear Apple Watch during the day and now save wearing my mechanicals for the evening.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    I think the interest will wane but so slowly that it will be irrelevant to us lot.

    In time the utility of a smart watch will be too great to resist.

    I was talking to my neighbours over the fence the other day and a delivery driver pulled up to his gate, he just lifted his watch to his mouth and said open gate ... his gate opened ... I was quite impressed with how convenient that was ...
    To be honest, over the long term I see functionality like that making it's way out of watches and in to augmentations of some form.
    Watches will continue to be functional jewellery.
    The points made about entry level seem realistic but I wonder if, when smart watches are replaced by something else, if they will return or stay very niche.

  26. #26
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watchmad View Post
    It's definitely changing. Now, the draw for a "new" watch has wained due to rising prices and, being nearly 50, the "I'm not paying that...it only used to be...."

    I am in software sales and nothing used to show success better than a Rolex. The youngsters in the industry are now different animals. I have yet to see a 30 something sales rep wearing anything other than an Apple Watch. I wear Apple Watch during the day and now save wearing my mechanicals for the evening.
    Funny,

    I once found myself trapped opposite someone trying to sell me a timeshare. The sales rep was double-wristing a Hulk and a Datejust. The guy was really forceful and had a Paul Thorpe greasiness about him, the rather vulgar combination of two clashing and fairly expensive watches really completed the package. I had no interest in the time share so spent most of the time reflecting on how such a display of wealth came across to most customers. Even now, seeing a salesman wearing an expensive watch puts me on guard as I immediately think Iím dealing with someone whoís good at selling and thus I will have to be cautious in buying from them or Iíll end up getting ripped off. I guess itís the same psychology that drives politicians to wear boxy, Ill-fitting suits and cheap quartz watches.

    I know thereís a balance to be reached in looking the part too and I suspect business to business is a different beast altogether.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread on a tangent...

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Idontgram View Post
    Funny,

    I once found myself trapped opposite someone trying to sell me a timeshare. The sales rep was double-wristing a Hulk and a Datejust. The guy was really forceful and had a Paul Thorpe greasiness about him, the rather vulgar combination of two clashing and fairly expensive watches really completed the package. I had no interest in the time share so spent most of the time reflecting on how such a display of wealth came across to most customers. Even now, seeing a salesman wearing an expensive watch puts me on guard as I immediately think Iím dealing with someone whoís good at selling and thus I will have to be cautious in buying from them or Iíll end up getting ripped off. I guess itís the same psychology that drives politicians to wear boxy, Ill-fitting suits and cheap quartz watches.

    I know thereís a balance to be reached in looking the part too and I suspect business to business is a different beast altogether.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread on a tangent...
    Haha, can't imagine seeing someone anywhere double wristing let alone with two Rolex. I've seen it often with one as a smart watch, but never two mechanical atches.

    There's a saying in sales "if you show bling they won't buy a thing". I stopped wearing my BLNR to meetings a while ago. Nowadays a good Seiko on bracelet is fine or - not often - a ND Sub. Nothing with a Cyclops of polished centre links. The Explorer I was perfect for meetings but a lot of money for a work watch.

  28. #28
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Most people are viewing watches as functional tools.

    On that basis, they're probably already pretty much redundant.

    People don't buy a Rolex, AP or Omega (or any premium priced watch) just to tell the time, the reality is that it's an item of jewelry.

    On that basis, while some will flaunt their expensive smart watch, the way they clamour to own the latest iteration of an iPhone, many will still want to own a name brand watch for their own pleasure or to demonstrate their success/wealth/good taste to others.

    It's possible that the lower/mid-range of the market will be eroded to the point of near non-existence by smart watches, but many people will still want a 'nice watch', I suspect.

    I don't wear jewelry at all (I know lots of men wear ear-rings, rings, necklaces and God knows what else), but I enjoy wearing a watch and if I think it looks good too, all the better.

    But who knows...?

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  29. #29
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    It's an interesting topic, can't deny the usefulness of a smart watch (I wear one day to day).

    Wonder if there will be a deliberate contrast with 'proper' watches though; I have a Garmin which is great but doesn't feel like it has the same soul as my mechanicals.

    Agree that the lower-end market will decline though, at least outside the microbrands.

  30. #30
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    Always fun to speculate. But the future isnít assured, far from it. Just think of traditional, analogue, cameras. Effectively wiped out. A mechanical watch is the equivalent in horology......it only takes fashions to change and the market will implode.
    So, who knows...not watch manufacturers.

  31. #31
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
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    On the topic of smart watches, after giving it lots of thought, Iíve settled on the clumsy analogy of trainers and shoes.

    They are both worn on your feet and at their most reductionist interpretation serve to protect your feet from uneven ground. Trainers are more affordable, more technologically advanced, lighter weight, (broadly) more comfortable when new. They are less hard wearing and usually need replacing after a year or two if worn daily.

    Still, people buy shoes. Even cheap shoes. People like the look of shoes and they are happy to just have a nice pair of shoes even if they canít play badminton in them.

    If you only wanted one set of foot wear, youíd probably just buy a pair of trainers. But then again, youíre not the customer who the shoe industry was chasing and you probably donít frequent shoe forums.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Most people are viewing watches as functional tools.

    On that basis, they're probably already pretty much redundant.

    People don't buy a Rolex, AP or Omega (or any premium priced watch) just to tell the time, the reality is that it's an item of jewelry.

    On that basis, while some will flaunt their expensive smart watch, the way they clamour to own the latest iteration of an iPhone, many will still want to own a name brand watch for their own pleasure or to demonstrate their success/wealth/good taste to others.

    It's possible that the lower/mid-range of the market will be eroded to the point of near non-existence by smart watches, but many people will still want a 'nice watch', I suspect.

    I don't wear jewelry at all (I know lots of men wear ear-rings, rings, necklaces and God knows what else), but I enjoy wearing a watch and if I think it looks good too, all the better.

    But who knows...?

    M
    Agree with this - to me watch is much more of a jewelry than a functional tool. I use the Chrono function / diver bezel to time things once in a while but that's just because I enjoy imagining the gears and levers that make it happen (my Casio does a much better job).

    I also think that even lower to mid-range watches are often treated as jewelries too:) At the moment smart watches are not exactly cheap... which I think leaves some room for the likes of Timex / Swatch still. I guess if an apple watch starts costing 50 - 100 pound, they'd really start taking over the market (although don't see that happen just yet).

    Who knows indeed! Don't think it will change how I enjoy my watches anyway:P

  33. #33
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    We also havenít considered the opposite sex, think most prefer even an analog fashion watch over any smart Apple, Garmin watch etc

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ac11111 View Post
    We also havenít considered the opposite sex, think most prefer even an analog fashion watch over any smart Apple, Garmin watch etc
    Thats changing.

  35. #35
    Master aldfort's Avatar
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    I think that the revival of the mechanical watch industry tells it's own story.

    For a lot of folks the lure of the mechanical watch is hard to explain but it's there. It's the engineering achivement that some seek to buy into. Of course for others it's just a "loadsa money" gesture. However the revival was not driven by the latter group but, I'd suggest, by the former aided of course by a lot of very clever marketing effort.
    By whay of comparison, why do some people who never travelled behind a steam locomotive go all dewy eyed when they see one?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Thats changing.
    Agreed, Mrs Weasel wears her smart watch all the time now and her 2 Omegas are sulking in the safe.

    I was going to buy her a Cartier for Xmas but she refused..., she likes watches but finds the convenience of her fitness apps and stuff on her wrist over a mechanical watch.

    I was also considering an Apple Watch myself, but scared of making my other watches redundant if I like it too much...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert_Weasel View Post
    Agreed, Mrs Weasel wears her smart watch all the time now and her 2 Omegas are sulking in the safe.

    I was going to buy her a Cartier for Xmas but she refused..., she likes watches but finds the convenience of her fitness apps and stuff on her wrist over a mechanical watch.

    I was also considering an Apple Watch myself, but scared of making my other watches redundant if I like it too much...
    Yeah, ive noticed that its either fitness watches, or AP/Rolex/RM
    The "in between" has been in decline, despite quite a few women showcasing brilliant collections on insta etc, they're a scant crowd atm.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by aldfort View Post
    I think that the revival of the mechanical watch industry tells it's own story.

    For a lot of folks the lure of the mechanical watch is hard to explain but it's there. It's the engineering achivement that some seek to buy into. Of course for others it's just a "loadsa money" gesture. However the revival was not driven by the latter group but, I'd suggest, by the former aided of course by a lot of very clever marketing effort.
    By whay of comparison, why do some people who never travelled behind a steam locomotive go all dewy eyed when they see one?
    There will always be a market for nostalgia but it's not what drives the market. I'd take short trip on a steam train, but wouldn't want to rely on one for the daily commute. I'd rather not use a typewriter for my daily work, nor would I want to trade my car for a Horse yet all still have their place in the world.

    Only a few decades ago an automatic watch was as arguably one of the most convenient, reliable and accurate ways to tell the time. In another decade I doubt that will be the case, and as history shows us, when there's a better alternative we take it.

    Fashion can be slow to change, especially in formal situations so I expect most people will still be buying classic pieces for occasional wear, but I don't jewellers windows having hundreds of models at every price point on display for much longer.

  39. #39
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    I'd take short trip on a steam train, but wouldn't want to rely on one for the daily commute.
    Could only be an improvement on the service of some of the franchises!

    M
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  40. #40
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    I donít know anyone under 25 that wears anything other than a smart watch. Thatís the future right there.
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  41. #41
    I wonder if we will see watch brands branching out into smart watches

  42. #42
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Parallel for the next five years. Then people will be switching to the unimaginable capabilities offered by "smart watches." By 2030, traditional watches will definitely be in the minority. By 2040, most of today's brands will be defunct and worn only by 'enthusiasts' like some of us at TZ-UK (not all, though!).






  43. #43
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    I just donít get smart watches and find them a bit go go gadget. I can honestly say Iím not in to any of the functions, I donít really care much about tracking my steps or heartbeat (though I do exercise almost everyday), and if anything, I wish to be less connected for mindfulness.


  44. #44
    Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacifichrono View Post
    Parallel for the next five years. Then people will be switching to the unimaginable capabilities offered by "smart watches." By 2030, traditional watches will definitely be in the minority. By 2040, most of today's brands will be defunct and worn only by 'enthusiasts' like some of us at TZ-UK (not all, though!).





    ^^^^
    By that time we will not be allowed outside our houses without these traceable wearables - with which the "authorities" will have complete access to MediC records and realtime Temp Stats and Bloods readings, as well as GeoTag data. All for our own safety of course.

    On the other wrist the old timers will be wearing their anachronistic mechanical devices. All lower tier manufactures would have gone out of business and parts for the remaining brands can only be serviced by their own branded service departments (so they like us to believe).

    On a contrary basis anything worn by the young affluent insta-crowd (whatever platform it is) will have their rich followers buying the same products in droves. The few remaining independents will be forced to merge with the two or three venture capitalist backed groups to remain viable.

    Pricing - more extortion >10K will survive, below 10K will die.

    The mechanical watch is dead. Long live the mechanical watch.

    Personally I wear a fitness tracker and a watch.
    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 14th January 2021 at 19:54.

  45. #45
    Journeyman
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    My son very rarely wears a watch despite having a nice Tag Heuer given to him by my brother some while ago and a Pulsar G10 I gave him for work, relies on his mobile phone for the time.

    Would think the 'traditional' wrist watch will eventually disappear and only be found in private collections and museums, though I hope after my time, personally not a fan of all these smart gadgets, more trouble than they are worth.

  46. #46
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    A lot of people here predicting the end is in sight for all but the more expensive brands. Sure, they will continue to sell, but I don't see the lower end watches dying out anytime soon. There is a healthy market at present and a lot of the general public are happy to keep buying up to a certain price point and why shouldn't that continue. These are the people who probably buy all those watches in the shop windows that we all stop and look at.

    A Rolex seems to have become a right of passage thanks to social media. My lad is in his late 20s and like a lot of his mates the first port of call was to buy a hot hatch, then when that wore off they look to things like watches. Two of his mates now own a Rolex, both a Datejust as I recall. They don't really know much about the brand or the models available, but they want one anyway.

    There will still be collectors out there for the rare pieces, think Jedley bidding $400k for a Milsub and not winning it. Those kinds of watches will remain trophies for the super rich as they now.

  47. #47
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    I have noticed that phones stopped getting smaller years ago and have got considerably larger.
    Why?
    Screen size, and the capabilities of view and control that a decent screen size offers, and small screens cannot.
    This is extremely relevant to smartwatches.
    Any smart wristwear is severely hampered by small size in terms of its functionality, so the function is resides on a large screen device (this race is already won, that item is one's phone).
    The other problem is that many higher functions are battery hungry, and a smartwatch with a battery life of a day or so seems very limited.
    So the smart wristwear is often just an interface, or adjunct to the phone.
    And lots of people just use the phone, without the small (and limited) smartwatch interface.

    So the wrist is free to be used for watch wearing by a large proportion of the population. Something that can tell time for years at a stretch, in all situations.
    So I do not see the watch's demise at the hands of smartwatches so easily as some do.
    The advent of truly flexible screens will be interesting, as one could wear the phone like a patch on your forearm.
    That might be a gamechanger, but I still think the watch will carry on.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by ac11111 View Post
    I just donít get smart watches and find them a bit go go gadget. I can honestly say Iím not in to any of the functions, I donít really care much about tracking my steps or heartbeat (though I do exercise almost everyday), and if anything, I wish to be less connected for mindfulness.

    I bought an Apple Watch about 3 years ago, loved it for a couple of months then the same ĎI donít want to be connectedí thing hit and I put it in a drawer. Decided to give it another try during the pandemic as I was trying to increase my exercise activity, but mostly because the Apple Pay function would avoid the whole fuss with masks and getting your phone out of your pocket to pay in the supermarket etc. Works a treat, Iíve turned off a lot of the annoying notifications but noticed I can unlock my MacBook using the watch, it can control all the homepods in the house, setting timers using Siri when cooking is simpler and cleaner, the haptic Ďtickí for an unobtrusive hourly chime and alarms is great. Itís even got about 75% of charge left after a days use so thatís a non issue. None of my sons friends wear a watch at all - they all have iPhones it seems and donít see the point of a watch. Ok, an Apple Watch is obsolete after 3 or 4 years, but how much is the service on a decent mechanical watch nowadays? - I think the days of the Ďproperí watch are numbered Iím afraid. Just seen the comment about women wearing Ďfashioní watches - most of my female colleagues wear a smart watch on a feminine coloured strap, be it an apple or a Fitbit. Going forward I see mechanical watches being seen as Ďflash jewelleryí worn for special occasions by men and women.


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  49. #49
    Master
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    Whatís the future of watches?

    Luxury watches are arguably more embedded to idea of middle class aspirational lifestyles. And the middle class is growing globally every year, a quick google says global middle class is going from 3.5bn to 5.3bn between 2017 and 2030. Thatís a lot of potential new customers coming on stream in next 10 years across the world, whilst luxury watch production in Switzerland is unlikely to grow that much because it physically cannot. Take Rolex the benchmark mass producer of luxury watch, consistently manufactures 1m watches a year, can they go 2m, I think they would even struggle to go to 1.2m. Of course some will decide not to wear a watch or wear a smart/fitness watch instead, but it only takes a small proportion of the growth to filter through to luxury and the supply demand is out of balance. This has been the case over the last 10 years where we have seen record prices across all segments, from lower end Seikos to omega, Rolex, Patek and now even independents like FP Journe. So overall, I think there is much higher chance of watches going to really stupid high prices in the medium term, than demand dropping.

    I think the next few years might be exciting for mechanicals, Iím eager to see what trends are next, we have had luxury sports, blue dial, green dial watches and heritage lines.
    Last edited by ac11111; 14th January 2021 at 23:49.

  50. #50
    Interesting thread. I might be alone but I can see the end of mechanical watches market, at least as we currently know it, coming very soon and even the likes of the mighty Rolex being consigned to the history books by the end of my lifetime. The reason being that the younger generation just donít wear them in anywhere near the numbers required. And itís not that a great many are wearing smart watches either, they just donít need a watch as their phones are in their hands at all times. I remember discussing watches with a group of new graduates years ago and them telling me that watches werenít needed anymore and me thinking theyíll grow out of it. Those graduates are in their thirties now and still, those that I still know, do not wear watches.
    The lesser mass-production brands will be the first to go and the bigger brands will continue to do what they are doing now, increasing the prices, artificially creating demand and spending millions to put their products on the wrists of influencers to maintain the perception of them being luxury items as long as they can. These brands will be ok so long as the current 40+ year olds are buying but theyíll struggle once we bow out of this game and their market becomes much smaller and much more at risk of being wiped out by said influencers overnight. I certainly donít see a huge number of collectors coming in the next generation and, whilst there may be the odd straggler or the occasional revival, it wonít be enough to maintain any of the current mass producers as viable businesses.

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