Recently, the mega corporate Samsung launched the “Galaxy Gear”, a smart watch with a 320 x 320 resolution display, a 1.63-inch touch screen and a built-in camera with a speaker. The watch supports more than 70 applications and also has the capability to read data saved over the Web. This is not an overt move by Samsung. More and more corporate into manufacturing are coming up with their releases of smart watches supporting a hoard of features and functionalities, in addition to displaying the time.
Future of traditional watches
A logical question arises whether mechanical wristwatches are “done”? Do they no longer have a future? While the answer may seem obvious, a few individuals may be surprised if they were to know about the reality associated with mechanical wristwatches. Branded watches are far from “over”. A dedicated market segment – the niche, in fact – still subscribes to the doctrine of using mechanical watches. Certain people still prefer traditional wristwatches, and will not substitute wearing smart watches in lieu of “smart” ones. The basic fact is watches have been around for more than 500 years, survived both the world wars, saw the man landing on the moon, and even successfully survived tech revolutions. A certain group of people will not trade their Omegas and Cartiers for fancy tech stuff. Brands such as Piaget, A. Lange & Sohne, and Harry Winston continue to excel, and show no signs of slowing down in spite of the popularity of electronic watch products churned out by tech giants.
From a practical point of view, there is no reason why people should buy traditional wristwatches while more advanced ones are available. However, people still collect watches, and it would appear it is not just for availing the time. Market surveys indicate mechanical watch manufacturing is still on the rise, even though the market associated with it has changed slightly. The niche watch market is picking up. Some of the old watches are fetching a huge price for antique collectors.
Auctioning of antique watches
The nondescript 14-karat Longines watch owned by Albert Einstein has his name engraved upon it. In 2008, it sold for $596,000 at Antiquorum New York auction house. One year later, Mahatma Gandhi’s priced pocket watch, no longer functioning, sold along with his sandals, wire-rimmed glasses, sandals and a bowl for more than $2 million. It is interesting to know that the watches owned by the famed actor Steve McQueen routinely sell for over six figures. The Christie’s last year oversaw sales of over $100 million in the international market. It would seem that the emotional connection between antique watches and their collectors is not the only reason why men are attracted to time pieces from the past. Traditional watches still have a permanent place in most homes, even today.