It’s been centuries, the first watch was introduced to humans. Brands like Breguet became synonym to luxury watch brands worldwide later. The inventions like Tourbillon, Chronograph, Water Resistant and so on kept the luxury watch brands relevant. The designs kept on improving year by year, may it be ergonomics or from the beauty point of view. Precious metals, Gemstones, Diamond and a lot more was added to keep the luxury watch novelties still alive. But after witnessing SIHH 2017 and Baselworld 2017, the most talked point was “Have the watch designs saturated?”.
What made the luxury watch brands do so?
A majority of luxury watch brands preferred relaunching their iconic models, which is good because these are the timepieces That made these brands trendy in such a competitive market. But there is no doubt in saying that it is very much visible that watch brands are depriving themselves of “watch design inspiration”.
So, are these watch brands going to die?
A big NO. Reason being, the watch segment belong to state of the art engineers and designers. This is what they do, they create. Of Course, the brands which have stopped innovation will bear some losses in the market share but there are quite a few brands which have presented innovation which no one was expecting.
- Bvlgari Watches‘ thinnest Self Winding was one of the most talked timepieces this year
- Harry Winston brought some incredible dials for us to see in ages
- The HYT H4 Neo, definitely pushed itself both beyond technical and aesthetic limit.
- Longines VHP definitely gonna be a straight yes for many in that price segment.
What is expected from Horology now?
From last few years, there has been a constant noise made by Smartwatch industry. Many luxury watch brands even went ahead and incorporated same. It was either a Hit or Miss in last year but this year, its not the same. Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45, IWC Connect and Montblanc‘s E-Strap were some of the few which made many heads turn and even converting into sales. But these Smart segment can run as an Add On not replace the Mechanical Watch. Reason being very simple, these luxury watches are something that are carried forward as legacy and a smart watch becomes irrelevant after a year if not less. And worst of all its not even upgradeable.
More Complicated Timepieces
We don’t think so. Complicated watch have a very different set of buyers and admirers. Both of them do not coincide because of the exaggerated or overly expensive price tag. Also majority of world is aloof from this since it requires a definite taste which isn’t very common. So, this isn’t happening any soon.
We believe, there will be some watch brands which will definitely take the hit but the watch industry have been there since ages. The digital watches came and went, nothing happened. Mobile Phones with millions of additive features came and went but still, nothing could defeat this industry.
Watch collectors are very fast to point out lack of novel ideas and hence are moving towards newly launched independent watch makers because they bring a set of new ideas on the table.
This is definitely going to be a watershed moment in the horology industry. But we are betting our money for the new ideas.
Stay tuned for more.