Cartier Chief Disses Smartwatches
As other high-end watchmakers like TAG Heuer announce plans to launch luxury smartwatches to compete with the Apple Watch, Cartier intends to stick to the classics. Of course with a legendary name like Cartier, you don’t need to follow fads.
Speaking at the reopening of the posh Cartier Champs Elysees boutique, brand chief Stanislas de Quercize was blunt about his low opinion of the new batch of wearable devices being introduced by tech giants like Apple, LG, Samsung and Sony. “There’s usefulness, but no emotion,” de Quercize said, adding, “All of our watches are strongly connected by emotion.
“When you look at the time on a smartphone or connected watch, they don’t inform you of the preciousness of passing time.” Uh, OK. That was pretty pretentious, even coming from the head of an iconic brand that has been making fine timepieces for 168 years.
It doesn’t really matter what de Quercize thinks of the current fad for smartwatches since a luxury watch from Cartier is a classic that can be handed down from one generation to another—or sold if the owner runs into financial trouble. The makers of timeless watches are likely to be safe from the threat posed by the Apple Watch and the other disposable devices that it inspires. Mid-range watches, on the other hand, could be facing a major hit.
Sales figures are now coming in from the previous quarter and for some mid-range brands they’re pretty grim. It’s understandable that the customer shopping for a fashion watch in the $300 to $500 range would be tempted by the shiny new toys with their arrays of apps and features but the buyer who is looking to put down several thousand bucks for a timeless luxury timepiece will always choose a brand like Cartier. That’s why de Quercize can afford to be smug.