John Biggs of Wrist Watch Review wrote a short piece for TechCrunch describing how the Apple Watch has changed the watch industry. Here’s the most insightful takeaway:
Watch analysts believe that Apple created a halo effect. Of the millions of people who bought and wore an Apple Watch, a majority had never worn or thought about wearing a watch. Once they tried the Apple Watch, however, and outfitted it with leather bands, fancy Milanese loops and outfit-matching colors, the attitude changed. If wearing watches is so fun and expressive, why not try other, more storied pieces
It’s a theme we’ve come back to time and again here on RESCAPEMENT, most recently in our Apple Watch Series 4 review. There’s nothing particularly new from Biggs’ piece, but it’s interesting to see a large tech blog like TechCrunch running an article picking up on the themes we explore here daily.
The future of wearables will likely take one of two paths: (1) the next generation of wearables will look less like watches and more like mini-computers, with an array of new functions (many of which will be health driven), or (2) wearables will continue to look like watches, with designs and styles proliferating. Apple is clearly pushing towards scenario (1), with its push into health- and medical-focused functional improvements, with brands like Fossil (buoyed by Android’s Wear OS) leading the charge toward scenario (2). Because Apple’s design ethos is second-to-none, they’ve won the wearables race up to this point; but, if more established brands continue to enter the wearables space (see Tag Heuer, Montblanc), the battle for the future may not be over yet. But, with the Apple Watch already on its fourth iteration, these luxury brands better catch up or fall behind for good.
It’s interesting to point out that as Apple Watch sales have grown, sales in the over $3,000 category of luxury watches have also grown. Something I’ve pondered is whether these two market segments are completely bifurcated, or if a brand can successfully appeal to both of these consumers with one product (if in fact, these are two consumers, and not just one consumer who bought an Apple Watch before “upgrading” to a luxury mechanical timepiece). Tag Heuer and Montblanc connected watches in the $1,000 to $2,000 price range are testing this premise right now.
Read the entire TechCrunch article here.