In case you missed it, a few weeks ago Apple announced details of its own range of smartwatches which are due to be available in the UK very soon. The event was highly anticipated in the tech world, and it’s expected that Apple will revolutionise this tiny market in the same way that the company single-handedly resurrected tablet computers with the iPad. The company announced three ‘collections’ of watches: Apple Watch Sport (US$399, entry level sports watch), Apple Watch ($549–$1,099 depending on size, case and band) and Apple Watch Edition ($10,000–$17,000, 18-karat gold case).
The announcement was met with a mixed reception. Apple appears to be taking on several distinct markets with these collections: young fashion-conscious Apple fans with the sports watch, gadget fans with the standard model watch, and the high-end luxury watch market with the gold edition.
Hemingway Tailors’ clients will be most interested in the two more expensive collections, but don’t expect us to part with our favourite watches any time soon. We’re intrigued by the idea of smartwatches, but as we all know Apple’s business model relies upon the release of new versions of its hardware every year or so, tempting us all to upgrade when a new model launches. This is in stark contrast to the current way we buy watches – they are investment pieces, and can be used for over a decade before they break down. Their value grows over time. This won’t work with Apple Watches, and it’s perhaps the main reservation we have with the devices.
No doubt the Apple Watch will become as much of a fashion accessory and style symbol as Apple’s phones and tablets, but we’re unsure if Apple will make much headway in the high-end market. Of course, only time will tell – there’s no denying that we’ve all underestimated Apple in the past – but in our book, mechanical watches will remain the must-have accessory for businesspeople.
Don’t forget – you’ll need a well-fitting bespoke suit to look the part, regardless of your chosen accessories.