With all the recent drama around the Pebble watch and the potential Apple iWatch, I was surprised to read so many people have replaced their watches with phones (granted, these were comments on tech blogs, so obviously a biased sample). I’ve been wearing a watch ever since I can remember, including the calculator ones (although the ones able to control TVs evaded me). I, for one, can’t imagine my phone replacing my watch, and while I can see the appeal of a smart watch, I don’t see myself buying one any time soon.
You see, there’s nothing like a good ‘ol watch, built to last and built with quality. I currently own 2 watches, an every day Accurist watch which has been going strong for a couple of years now and an expensive Rotary watch for interviews, weddings, etc. The Rotary has an awesome feature where you can swing open the back and see the inner working of the watch, there’s something quite beautiful about it (shown above). You can also hear the internals of the Rotary working away when you hold it to your ear, just awesome.
As you’ve probably guessed, I like a nice watch. But lets move on to some practical reasons why a phone can never replace my watch:
- I’m on a crowded train and need to check the time quickly
- I need to get away from a meeting or someone holding me up to get back to finishing something, simply take a sly glance at my watch instead of pulling out my phone
- I’m walking down the road and need to check the time, just a quick glance at a watch will do
- I’m walking down a rough neighborhood and need to check the time, it’s safer to look at my watch than to pull out my phone
- I’m at the gym and need to check the time quickly while in the middle of an exercise
Fairly reasonable and practical reasons I’m sure you’ll agree. But why not a smart watch, after all, I can do all those things with one:
- There’s nothing like a watch built by a company with experience of building watches for decades, if not centuries. A Pebble watch or iWatch will never be able to replace the feeling I get when I put my Rotary watch on
- Battery life. I don’t care how much battery Apple or anyone can squeeze into a watch, unless someone has a smart watch to match the battery life I can get with my Accurist (battery not replaced for at least 2 years) or Rotary (wind up and then runs through physical movement like walking, etc). If your watch needs to be charged within a few months, count me out. I don’t need the headache of needing to charge my watch.
- Information overload. Ya rly, I’ve actually turned my phone off a couple of times, just to stop checking my phone for messages and constantly fiddling with it. Last time I need is a watch telling me stuff or another gadget which I can fiddle with constantly.
- Another thing to worry about damaging. My watches are resilient. They’ve been banged around so many time, I’ve shocked I haven’t shattered the glass on it yet. Now, I don’t know what Accurist use for the glass on their watches, but I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to use that type of glass at the moment on smart watches. Gorilla Glass doesn’t even come close.
To add to the above, when my old Ben Sherman watch stopped working (damaged water seal *sniff*), I hit it a few times with a hammer to see how long it takes to crack the glass. I can tell you now – no smart watch glass will last being hit 5 times at full force with a hammer.
Now that’s quality built to last.