Arguments abound against the Apple Watch’s likely success, but the most common one I’ve heard is that people don’t wear watches anymore. This piques my curiousity, and I’ve been tempted to start paying more attention than usual to whether or not people are wearing watches. Is it true that people have stopped wearing watches because their phones take the place of the watch? Perhaps a better judge of the decreasing popularity of watches, though, would be to look at what the most famous of watchmakers are doing: the Swiss.
And what are the Swiss doing? They’re releasing more watches, including smartwatches. In fact, Swiss watch brands Frederique Constant and Alpina have just unveiled their own lineup of smartwatches. The two watch brands, which are both part of parent company Union Horlogère Holding, have teamed up with Fullpower Technologies to give their luxury wristwatches fitness smarts. Fullpower Technologies is the company behind the technology in Jawbone, Nike Fuelband, and other wearables.
The watches will be marketed as Swiss Horological Smartwatches, and will offer features common to fitness tracking wearables, but not necessarily the features of a full-blown smartphone-like experience that the Apple Watch and others will be offering. These Swiss smartwatches will pair with apps on your smartphone, but will not have smartwatch displays of their own. Instead, you’ll get the traditional Swiss analog watch experience that luxury watch-owners have come to expect and crave.
Another Swiss smartwatch announced today by Mondaine is the Helvetica No1 Horological Smartwatch. TAG Heuer, Swatch and other brands have already confirmed that they have new collections with smartwatch features on the way.
Perhaps some people think that watches are a passing fad, but it is clear that the luxury watchmakers still believe in their industry and are working to keep up with the technology in their own luxurious, stylish way.