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Apple Watch And The Threat To Rolex
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Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
9/12/2014 | 1:34:44 AM
Re: Digital watch vs Rolex??
I hope this doesn't mean that the other kids will laugh at me because I still wear a Timex. But seriously, now that most people carry a smartphone that, of course, can tell you what time it is, what is the purpose of a watch? A piece of you body's real-estate - your wrist, is now open for a new tenant. But, other than making it possible to access some of the smartphone's functions while it is ensconced in your pocket, this whole concept of a smartwatch just doesn't seem all that compelling.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2014 | 7:23:39 PM
Re: Packing technology into a Rolex is nothing new
Strangely enough, I think if Apple had designed a fully mechanical watch (maybe with an Bluetooth transmitter to make bio data available to iPhones) it would have been receieved at least as well as the Apple Watch and would have even broader appeal.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2014 | 7:21:13 PM
the swiss?
>None of them raise the notion that Swiss watchmakers could innovate using software. 

They could but I think there's a reason US software companies, particularly Apple, Google, and Microsoft, have done so well. Good software design is difficult. I cannot think of a single software application from a hardware vendor (except perhaps TiVo) that I enjoy using. This becomes particularly obvious anytime you use an application designed by a printer company. It's invariably awful.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2014 | 5:52:44 PM
Re: Apple Watch And The Thread To Rolex
I think Chris is right on the money with the idea behind this article. "Software" is no longer a compartmentalized idea that refers to 'the stuff that powers computers'. It probably hasn't been for a long time, but the apple watch is a wakeup call - "software" now refers to the stuff that powers just about everything. Let that sink in. Everything. In the world. That being said, I think BillB031 and other dissenters also have a valid point - there are some places digital just won't take over - even if Apple wills it. It's completely fair to suggest high-end watches might be one of those places.

I think both these points have merit, in their own rights, and don't necessarily contradict each other. I think they're also still both correct when you extrapolate them to their larger meanings. Companies ought to take a close look at what 'software' means to them, or risk being left behind. At the same time, there's a whole world out there of people that still don't use the internet daily. Now, software definitely still touches their daily lives in some way they don't realize - but it might very well not be their watches, or plenty of other products. There are some niche industries that will remain true for in our lifetime, I think.
GregC438
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GregC438,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/11/2014 | 3:54:19 PM
Re: Packing technology into a Rolex is nothing new
David... I own a Rolex Submariner, Datejust and date.  I also own an old Tudor from the 70's along with a Speedmaster.  I am your classic watch fanatic that studied everything Rolex.  I put on a Pebble watch 9 months ago and not one of my mechanical watches have been on my wrist since.  Everytime I try to put my sub on I end up taking it right off.  The Pebble is so useful to me as a professional.  Lately I have been considering selling my watch collection... that is how hooked I am on smart watches.

For the past 50 years Rolex had nothing to fear.  The secret to their success is that they haven't changed.  That is why so many people are drawn to rolex... the fact that they haven't changed.  Yes, they changed their movements over the years but the outside has remained the same.  Going from acrylic crystal to saphire crystal is about the extent of their cosmetic advancements.  I will admit, the made a lot of changes lately with their case shape and clasps but this is not enough to compete with a smart watch.  Once people realize what a smart watch can do for them, Rolex sales will suffer.  Trust me.
GregC438
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GregC438,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/11/2014 | 3:41:24 PM
Time is changing!
There is an old saying... when the outside world is changing faster than the inside of your company, you are doomed for failure.  Nobody loves watches more than me.  I have a collection of 3 Rolex, an Omega Speedmaster and a Tudor (rolex's cousin).  I have been facinated with mechanical watches and wore one on my wrist for nearly two decades.  That is until my Pebble watch came along.  I can't put a Rolex back on my wrist because a simple Pebble does so much more for me as a professional.  The Apple watch is much more advanced than my Pebble so I am looking forward to the upgrade.  My point is that if Rolex isn't nervous they better be.  They made a name for themself by sticking to the same formula for 50 years and it worked.  They made very slight changes to their line over the years and it worked.  I really think their time is running out because of technology.  Apple and technology destroyed a lot of industries.  Think about it... who would buy a digital copy when they would rather buy a physical CD or DVD?  Yet somehow itunes and the ipod nearly destroyed the music industry.  The outside world is changing and a simple time piece, no matter how beautiful or expensive, will soon be outdated and useless if it can't keep up.  And for those that think a smart watch connected to their phone is useless or a waste needs to actually try one.  I love my smartwatch and can't live without it.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2014 | 2:15:41 PM
Rolex or Apple.
I foresee the competiton Rolex is going to face with the new Apple watch. Though why people would opt for smart watches when they have smart phones, tablets and all the latest technology in their hands? I would rather have a good old-fashioned (and ridiculously expensive) Rolex watch instead for its symbolic grandeur. But Apple watch will be a favorite for the gadget lovers who are absolutely obsessed with technology to the point of having their bills paid by a watch. ( I am not one of them)

By the way I came across an interesting comment on facebook:
''I think Apple watch battery will last forever: it is powered by Steve Jobs spinning in his grave after seeing how ugly it is''
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2014 | 1:46:26 PM
Re: Packing technology into a Rolex is nothing new
Chris captures the crux of the worry for the Rolexes of the world quite well. What happens when the user decides he wants Apple Pay on his Rolex, which he is not interested in giving up? Who's in charge -- Apple, or Rolex? The software companies, or the car makers?
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2014 | 1:30:20 PM
Evolving products in software; the rest of the world will catch on
Apple is a great example of a company that redefines a product through its software and by integrating external services into the software. It's leading in this space, not owning it forever. I assure you, even those devoted to pure mechanical art will find a way to incorporate software into a high end, digital version of their product. It will be necessary to survive. Americans excel at capturing and interpreting the wishes of consumer culture in software. The Swiss, the Germans, the Japanese and the rest of the world will catch on. Not sure when they'll be able to catch up.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2014 | 12:50:54 PM
Re: Packing technology into a Rolex is nothing new
I've seen a number of articles today (Wall Street Journal, Daily Beast, Reuters) discussing the competition for Swiss watchmakers. All of them just assume it's today's Swiss watch vs. the Apple Watch. None of them raise the notion that Swiss watchmakers could innovate using software. 
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