Luxury Watchmaker TAG Heuer Sees Digital 'Tsunami' - InformationWeek

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Luxury Watchmaker TAG Heuer Sees Digital 'Tsunami'
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tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2014 | 1:23:09 PM
Some brands are timeless
While watchmakers like Casio and Citizen might be good candidates for a smartwatch, I can't really imagine traditional watchmakers like TAG, IWC or Rolex making these kinds of watches. OK, maybe TAG, but for the most part the watches these companies make are more formal, upscale and traditional. They make statements. People who buy these watches are making statements. THey also appreciate the watch for its craftsmanship and traditional functionality. A digital design would certainly cheapen the brand and make it more accessabile to demographics that are not desired by the watchmakers.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2014 | 7:35:37 PM
Re: Some brands are timeless
If traditional watchmakers are to smart watches what Sears/Kmart, etc. is to ecommerce, then they are not in the new game. So the Rolex epitaph is tick, tick, tick...
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2014 | 11:39:41 AM
Re: Some brands are timeless
You get an a vital question -- where does digital belong? The highest end carmakers have decided they need digital interfaces, though they've also had to learn where a knob is better than a touchscreen. But i think it's dangerous to say digital means cheap.  
anon5574260690
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anon5574260690,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2014 | 1:44:54 PM
What Apple watch?
How can you structure your article around a product that hasn't been released yet? Pebble, Moto 360, LG and Samsung watches are not smart enough?
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2014 | 3:35:33 PM
Re: What Apple watch?
This article isn't about the Apple Watch. It's about TAG Heuer's reaction to the planned watch and the digital disruption ahead for companies in a variety of industries. 
anon5574260690
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anon5574260690,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2014 | 3:42:53 PM
Re: What Apple watch?
Apple is responding to an existing market same as TAG. Failure to mention that (the existing market) makes this article a clickbite.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2014 | 4:57:23 PM
Re: What Apple watch?
Agreed, the article isn't really about the Apple Watch. However, the Apple Watch is highlighted as the "killer app" that has (which remains to be seen if it will) changed the industry. Smart watches are growing in popularity. The release of the Apple product will most likely present a significant incease in smart watch ownership, but I don't know that it will really eat into the market of precision timepieces all that much.

I do find it interesting, though, that these watchmakers are seeing that there could be a significant change to their market. I think back to the change that traditional publishing houses have gone through (mostly kicking and screaming) with the arrival of the ebook. There is still a place for paper-based books. Many prefer them, but there is also a huge market for ebooks.

With watches, I think both with live side-by-side for a long time to come.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
12/24/2014 | 2:12:32 AM
Re: What Apple watch?
@jagibbons: ebook was targeted to penetrate into a market where people were already using conventional books. Also their want any cost involved in creating and maintaining ebooks. On the other hand, smartwatches will have to create a new market altogether where people never worn a watch. Targeting those people and making them change their mind will be tougher than making ebook a success.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/24/2014 | 12:22:55 PM
Re: What Apple watch?
...smartwatches will have to create a new market altogether where people never worn a watch...

@nomii, I'm not sure I agree completely. I think folks who have never worn a watch aren't really a likely  bigtarget market. If you've never worn a watch, I just don't see any smartwatch being very compelling. There are still a lot of watch-wearers out there. That's where I believe the bulk of the market lies.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
12/26/2014 | 7:05:20 AM
Re: What Apple watch?
@jagibbons: if we filter out the probable target market, than as you said people who don't wear a watch aren't the target market. Than we extract those who wear watches but are not technology freak/literate (especially old people) and will prefer their conventional watch. In the last excluding those who simply didn't like this product. My point is that this product currently doesn't have a huge target market like smartphones or potential to create its own market like tablets.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2014 | 7:06:07 PM
There's something about mechanical devices
When you look at a digital device, you don't see anything. Oh, yes, you see the chip, but you don't have any inkling as to what's happening inside. There might be enough going on to keep dozens of engineers busy for a lifetime, but you can't see it. All you see are electrical connections going in, and electrical connections going out.

A few weeks ago, I had need for a a small audio amplifier. No, I didn't build it with mechanical components, or even vacuum tubes. I built it of discrete components and transistors. I took a picture of it. It was beautiful. You could look at it, and if you had a bit of training, you could see what was happening, and understand the signal flow.

Maybe that's one of the reasons that "steam punk" is so popular these days. Those old machines had souls. Rough, hard, mechanical souls, but they had real character. No I'll never be wealthy enough to own a beautiful machine like a Rolex, but I wish I were. The elegance of the parts working together in harmony can stir an engineer's soul. I hope enough people wealthy enough to afford these gems will stay interested so that these wonderful machines don't fade into history.


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