The short answer is no. But the short answer is never any fun, so allow me to elaborate.
Half a century ago, wearing a watch was the only way to tell time on the go. Which made them a necessity. And, when something is so vital to you that you wear it every single day, then it has to be fashionable, right?
Fashion is always changing. What was once old-fashioned is again trending today (hello bell bottom trousers) and watches are certainly no exception. So, let’s review exactly what the industry is doing to ensure that these lovely accessories never go out of style.
Necessity Or An Accessory?
Let’s face it; watches are certainly not a necessity in our day and age. Almost all of us have smartphones, which not only allow you to tell time in a few seconds, but also allow you to check out any time zone in the world. Something that older watches certainly never could do.
But even with the ultimate time-teller in your pocket, there is still something attractive about wearing a watch. They’re certainly a faster way to tell time than smartphones – unless you tend to carry your iPhone in your hands all day. And those few seconds that you waste taking your phone out of your pocket (or hours finding it in your purse) add up. So, people who want to be extra-efficient will resort to wearing a watch.
For Some, Still A Necessity
The reason why I started wearing a watch in the first place was to be able to tell time in quizzes and exams in school, and then college. Most educational facilities have strict policies on uses of smartphone in class, and especially during exams, that even taking it out too check out what time it is could result in a fail. And with the rise of smartwatches nowadays, some schools are even banning wristwatches in exams!
So, I got used to wearing a watch. And I’m willing to bet that you did too. Most people do this; they start wearing a watch when they’re young and they just get used to it. If you’re one of those people, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about – ever feel naked when you leave home without it?
Also A Fashionable Accessory
Now think about it, what’s the one thing that pretty much all teenagers are obsessed with? Being cool and trendy. And so, if they have to wear a watch, then it has to look good. But, not many teenagers can afford a Rolex or a Piaget and that’s something that the fashion industry quickly recognized.
Many fashion brands started including watches in their product range, trying to make them affordable to appeal to a wider customer base. Calvin Klein did it in the late nineties, and Swatch and Fossil have been doing it from the early eighties. What was once a luxury product became affordable to a much wider population, which inevitably impacted the demand in the market. And that wasn’t enough.
Fashion Brands And Affordable Watches
For some, a Swiss watch or even a Fossil watch were still a luxury. Which is where high-street brands come in. Walk into any shopping mall in the world, and you’ll be able to find a decent watch for less than $50.
Brands like H&M, Topshop and Asos all try to appeal to an even wider customer base with the affordability of their products. And they realize that it’s better to sell hundreds of watches for a lower price, than just a few luxurious ones. Even some so called “Swiss Brands” have affordable options these day.
But what that also means is that a single person can afford to have many different watches, and wear a different one every day. They will buy different watches to coordinate them with different outfits, or simply to have new arm-candy to show off to their friends. So yes, even though smartphones are kind of killing the high-end watch industries, affordable and stylish watches will never go out of fashion – even if only for aesthetic reasons.
Watches Of The Future
A sure way to bring something back is to put some tech in it. Like Sheldon Cooper once said, everything’s better with Bluetooth. And he wasn’t wrong.
The fact of the matter is that the watch industry we knew two decades ago doesn’t exist anymore. Everything is changing rapidly, sales of smartwatches are increasing every day. Apple and Android are competing with each other, trying to establish dominance in this market, and seriously hurting the Swiss watch industry in the process.
All of that is understandable. Why get an old-fashioned watch when you can get one that can measure your heart rate read you your emails and tell you how many steps you took that day? Plus, brands like Fossil and Ticwatch have even gone a step further and designed them to look just like regular watches. No one will even know that you have a smart watch until you start going through your messages – how’s that for a wow factor?
And of course, there’s also the ever so popular Fitbit; a must for serious runners and athletes. Additionally, many other sports brands are expanding their product range in this direction, with names like Nike and Adidas coming out with their versions of a smart watch. And that’s just the beginning – BMW has a watch that will park your car for you. There appear to be no limits to what a watch can do.
And The Long Answer
So, the short answer is no, watches are not going out of fashion. The long answer is actually a question; how can something go out of fashion, when there’s so many brands who are just dipping their toes in that particular pool of opportunities?
Who knows what the future will bring? Maybe the watches of the future will allow us to fly planes or completely replace our smartphones? One thing is for sure; with such rapidly developing technologies, everything’s possible.
Photos are from Pexels
Guest Author Bio
Neil has been obsessed with watches since his 12th birthday and collecting them ever since. You can learn more about him on his blog where he shares his in-depth watch knowledge.
Blog / Website: I Know Watches