Tech Geeks Love Luxury Watches
One interesting fact emerged from last week’s Watch Collectors’ Roundtable in New York City: Even leaders in the smartwatch field love traditional timepieces. Randy Brandoff, founder and CEO of the luxury watch subscription service Eleven James, moderated the panel discussion on the impact of the smartwatch in general and the Apple Watch in particular.
In his position as chief technology officer for the global branding agency Momentum Worldwide, Jason Alan Snyder has had the opportunity to try out just about every piece of wearable tech available but admits that his everyday watch is a Rolex Datajust that was a gift from his dad. He stated that the combination of the traditional watch and his smartphone was adequate for his daily activities.
“The sort of capital you derive from wearing a timepiece is different from the sort of capital you derive from wearing a smartwatch,” Snyder commented. “Right now it’s the difference between luxury and utility and they’re very different ideas.”
One hot topic was the upcoming smartwatches from brands like TAG Heuer. Should these makers of fine luxury watches be jumping on the wearable bandwagon? According to Jeffrey Hess, CEO of Ball Watch USA, “I think it’s a huge over reaction, I don’t think there’s a place for it. There are a lot of watch brands that are afraid to not be on the boat.”
Milton Pedraza, founder and CEO of the Luxury Institute, admitted that he is not impressed with the first incarnation of the Apple Watch. “The Apple Watch will evolve into something compelling. Today, it is not.”
Pedraza predicted that watch collectors of the future will own both traditional and smartwatches. “It won’t be this or that, it will be this and that,” he said. “I see an opportunity to make this luxury [category] larger and I’m not worried about the watch industry at all.”
After all, in every collection of luxury watches there’s always room for one more!