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comment by ecib
ecib  ·  1225 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Kevin Rose Moves On From Silicon Valley to Watches

Well that's...specific.

I've been wondering about the sub $1,000 quartz-movement watch segment. It's sort of the entry point of "luxury" for new enthusiasts, and probably the segment that is going to be decimated by wearables in the not so distant future. They can't compete on functionality, yet they lack the craftsmanship and engineering that mechanical movements are cherished for.

Of course, wearable tech moving mainstream could just ignite an already established trend...watches (especially dumb watches) are jewelry so owning more than one makes a lot of sense.




thenewgreen  ·  1225 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Pretty much all of the watches of Hubski...

...Fall in to that sub $1000 category. I agree that wearables are going to destroy it. I'm one of those that would seriously consider switching... and I love my watch.
kleinbl00  ·  1225 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've had my original Yes since 2002. A 13-year-old "wearable" would be the equivalent of a Palm Treo on your wrist.

People who want wearables are going to buy wearables. People who want watches are going to buy watches.

ecib  ·  1225 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I wonder though if beautiful functional wearables will convert people who just want something nice on their wrist into repeat customers that upgrade every 3-5 years though. Quartz movements aren't exactly heirloom pieces.

I have a Hamilton Ventura that I absolutely love, but every time I wear it I can't help but think how much it exists solely as a fashion accessory that has essentially zero functionality. I think the Apple Watch for instance, looks easily as good (I suspect I may have odd taste in watches though) and I could see myself unquestionably choosing something like that to fit the role of "look good on wrist" if it does that plus offers a shit-ton of functionality to boot. If I was buying today I'd definitely choose the Apple Watch for instance.

Maybe smart watches will capture a large part of the sub 1k watch segment, but maybe they'll be like Starbucks was too coffee shops, expanding the market in the end (devouring many existing players whike enabling more new ones).

I guess I just wonder if watch buyers at this price range buy to "collect" or hang on to for a long time. I myself don't really care about that.

kleinbl00  ·  1225 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you answered your own question: how much of it is fashion? because yes - something as high fashion as a Ventura may well look dated in 5 years. Your tastes may change. And there may be something you like better.

But I'm still unsold on wearables. Screens have been cheap enough to put on luggage tags, zipper pulls, belt buckles, you name it for ten years now and they aren't. We like our technology separate from our apparel. Wearable penetration is negligible now and it will likely be negligible until someone comes up with a killer app for wearable tech. The only benefit to having a phone number flash on your wrist instead of your phone comes about solely because phones now are bigger than TI-85s were.

ecib  ·  1224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    But I'm still unsold on wearables.

Yeah, though I admit I'm tremendously curious to try the Apple Watch (and that's literally it for wearables). After demoing Google Glass for a very short time it was glaringly obvious just how...absurd it was. On so many levels. But a smartwatch seems so much more compelling to me, not least because if it looks very nice and tells the time competently, it can damn near justify its place on your wrist on that alone.

    Wearable penetration is negligible now and it will likely be negligible until someone comes up with a killer app for wearable tech.

A recurring theme I've seen in a lot of the Apple Watch reviews is that the utility is subtle, intimate, but very real...which doesn't take any real suspension of disbelief for me. Notifications in particular are something I think people may misunderstand on a watch. I think the last thing you want is to know when every email or phone call comes in, but that there are certain selective notification in certain selective scenarios that could make the device extremely compelling. I'll tell you right now that if my turn by turn directions were beaming from my phone in my pocket to my wrist while on my motorcycle, that alone would be great to me.

I'm not quite curious enough to buy one because it's so early in the life cycle, but I am definitely going to demo one, and I wouldn't be surprised if I pick one up withing the next three years.

    something as high fashion as a Ventura may well look dated in 5 years.

It's already dated :) That's the cool thing about Atomic Era design...it can look pretty progressive even though it's old. But it can very easily be a bit overwrought too imo. Much better than the hideous modern update to the old design though.

kleinbl00  ·  1224 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Okay, I knew I recognized the watch, but you totally busted me. Perhaps it's because I'm more of a Danish Modern guy and less of a googie guy, but the watch is a statement.

I worry, I think, that there is some compelling marvelousness about wearables but I just can't see it. I had any number of calculator watches for the simple reason that fuck yeah calculator on my wrist. However, that form of technofetishism went out in like '86 and hasn't really come back.

It's interesting that you mention motorcycling. "On my wrist" is the last fucking place I want my info. I keep mine on my tank bag, and it works fine. I just bought an Arai Defiant; I suspect it'll be my last helmet without a HUD.