Is time running out for watches…
or are they timeless?
Has the phone made the watch obsolete?
What can a watch do that a phone can't do better?
It's a controversial subject… today we're going THERE.
We're going to look at the arguments on both sides… and reach what I hope are logical conclusions. (Some of you won't agree.)
Let's start by looking at three reasons why watches are outdated… and three reasons why watches are timeless. Which makes more sense to you?
WATCHES ARE OUTDATED
#1. Smartphones Tell Time And Have Replaced Them
More people today are carrying smartphones than wearing wristwatches. When it comes down to it, the smartphone has the time. Why would you wear something that's redundant when you've got a phone in your pocket that has the time?
#2. Phones Tell Time More Accurately
Phone time is actually more accurate. Whenever you're traveling the phone will update itself to be in sync with atomic time. No need to worry about adjusting a watch. Your phone's using GPS to stay very accurate.
#3. The Sales Numbers Reflect This
For a number of years we've seen wristwatch sales start to decline. A lot of people have said the industry is on its last legs. But is that the most accurate data? Let's look at the other side of the coin…
WATCHES ARE TIMELESS
#1. They Are More Convenient And Stylish
Yes, watches may be redundant if you're literally just looking for the time, but there's also the convenience factor. When you've got both hands full you're not going to be able to reach into your pocket and pull out that cellphone to check the time. But you can do that with a watch – it's quick, easy, and convenient.
But most people don't buy watches to tell the time.
They buy them as a style statement – because they like the look and the design of the watch.
When I chose the watch I'm wearing today I wanted something light and subtle that would work with a pink shirt and a gray jacket. I went for a light tan strap and a white dial that worked really great with that outfit.
That's what you can do with fashion watches. You learn how to wear a watch based on your outfit and have fun with different options.
#2. They Are Pretty Accurate And Don't Have Battery Problems
Why wear a watch when time based on GPS signals is probably going to be more accurate? Well – how accurate do we need to be?
A great mechanical watch will only be off a couple of seconds over the period of a month.
A quartz watch is going to be even more accurate. Yes, it may get off by half a second – but another great thing about watches is they don't run out of battery.
All those times when you need to use your cellphone and suddenly it's dead? That doesn't happen with quartz batteries – they last for a long time. Mechanical watches stay active simply by moving or winding.
#3. Fashion And Mechanical Watch Sales Are Actually Increasing
When you break down the data what we're actually seeing is that fashion and mechanical watch buying is starting to go back up. It's the smart watch that continues to have slumping sales. There's one main player in the market nowadays and people are still questioning whether it's ever going to catch on.
I can't predict the future. But I do think there's always going to be a market for mechanical and fashion watches.
In conclusion: do I feel the wristwatch is outdated? NO, not at all. In fact I don't even feel it's really competing with the cellphone. Yes, a phone can tell time – but it's not going to replace the watch.
A cellphone is about communication. Many studies have shown that if you have a phone out on the table and answer it while you're talking with someone, you're actually creating a divide between you and them.
A great watch for a man is about more than just telling time. It's about his relationship with time.
Studies have shown that you're more likely to be punctual when you wear a watch. (And when you're stuck in a meeting I find it's a lot more subtle to check the time on your watch rather than on your phone…)
Watches and phones serve very different purposes. To me they really are non-competitors.