After more than a year of rumors, and having seen many mockups of possible designs, today Apple finally announced the highly anticipated Apple Watch (no, it’s not named iWatch.) While we at Monochrome mainly focused on High-End (yes, with capitals) mechanical watches, we have covered the odd smart watch before, like the Seiko TV-watch that can be regarded as the mother of all smart watches. But now the big question: will the Apple Watch change the watch industry?
The short answer is yes. However what is “the watch industry”? This industry comprises hundreds, thousands of watch brands, with prices varying from a few Euros to a million Euros and more. I do believe that the low end of the industry will seriously feel the arrival of the Apple Watch, however whether the Apple Watch will have an impact on our preferred segment is another question. The Apple Watch might charm us with its multiple functions and possibilities, however its electronics and rechargeable battery, lack the charm of gears, bevelend and polished bridges, featuring Côte de Genève striping and jewels set in gold chatons. Besides that, the Apple Watch requires an iPhone to operate, and that immediately positions it as an accessory to Apple’s smart phone.
During the presentation, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Apple Watch “will redefine what people expect from a watch.” In discussion about smart watches in general, they are also referred to as a phase, like hybrid cars. According to many these are not the ultimate product that will have a long production live, however something that serves as a bridge until we, as humans, have the functions, as offered by smart watches, build into our hand, ear or arm. That might sound futuristic, but hey, would you have thought smart watches possible, in times when you were still playing on your Commodore 64 home computer?
Do we need all these functions in a wrist watch? I’m not sure. Honestly, I can imagine that most people are already on information overload as it is. Let alone having even more info on your wrist available AND visible at all times. But you have to admit that the Mickey Mouse version is very cool!
The Apple Watch comes in two sizes, with several choices of straps and even a good looking bracelet and is available at a base price of $349 USD. Whether it will be the game-changer that some people believe it will become, or not, is something that only time will tell. Soon we’ll come with more opinions and in-depth views on this potential game-changer.