Swatch versus Apple Watch. The battle lines are drawn. On one side, the plastic fantastic watch that saved the Swiss watch industry from the clutches of the quartz crisis. On the other, the watch that made analogue watches obsolete. The conflict between the two types of watches reveals the future of wrist-borne horology. Let the battle begin . . .
In Parts One and Two of this series, we explored the hidden dynamics behind lousy watch websites like Hodinkee and aBlogtoWatch. In this post, I want to explore the driving force behind their so-called editorial. How it represents the tenor of our times . . .
In Watch Website – Why They’re So Boring, we revealed the not-entirely-hidden truth: watch websites are closerthanthis with watchmakers. So every watch they “review” is awesome. They either ignore Coronageddon or treat it like a sick Aunt’s unspeakable illness (that will surely get better on its own). The smartwatch is a “stepping stone” to “real” watches.” Etc. It was not always thus, but it’s getting worse, not better. As Deep Throat advised (link safe for work), follow the money . . .
The buzz surrounding Apple’s watchOS7 software is insane, what with its sleep tracking, new watch faces, automatic handwashing timer and more. It’s no wonder the traditional watch industry doesn’t see smartwatches as competition. They can’t compete. The traditional watch is it’s own thing, they say. A different thing. Yes, well, it’s an analoguetime thing. And that’s a problem…
In 1930, César de Trey watched a polo match in colonial India. After the match, a player showed the Swiss businessman and watch collector his damaged watch, its crystal shattered. He challenged Mssr. de Trey to devise some sort of protection against the slings and arrows of outrageous mallets. Thus began the Jaeger-leCoultre Reverso (all watch images courtesy #h.m.uhren) . . .