Smartwatches – a case of ancient and modern?
Canalys forecasts the global smartwatch market will grow by 18% in 2017, with 28.5 million units shipped with a total value of US$10 billion.
Predicting further declines in the traditional watch industry as smartwatch makers look towards more high-end models, Canalys says this shift could mean the value of the smartwatch market will reach about two thirds of the forecast value of the traditional Swiss watch market in 2017.
A series of Android Wear smartwatches were unveiled by high profile traditional watchmakers at Baselworld 2017 in March, among them TAG Heuer and Mont Blanc, showing some have adopted Android Wear while some are still going for “hybrid” timepieces.
Canalys sees these hybrids – in effect analogue watches with notifications and fitness/sleep tracking – as a “short-term, intermediate solution”, a halfway house if you like for the traditional watchmakers as they look for ways to offset the declining traditional watch market.
Unlike global watch conglomerate Swatch, Fossil Group, for example, seeing smartwatches erode its traditional watch market shifted quickly to wearables as a new growth driver. Its new Diesel On and Misfit Vapor products are evidence of the firm looking way above fitness bands.
Movado too has partnered up with HP to apply affordable smartwatch technology across its various brands (Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors etc) albeit with a mainly analogue+digital hybrid outlook.
Looking further upmarket, Mont Blanc’s debut smartwatch, the Summit (photo above right), uses Android Wear 2.0, as does its rival at this end of the market, TAG Heuer, whose new Connected Modular timepiece (photo above left) allows the consumer to choose various body/strap combinations.
Both have clearly been designed using classical mechanical forms and materials to attract existing devotees of the respective brands.
Where to from here? Despite rumours of the death of the smartwatch, the latest resurgence of new products, from particularly the traditional watchmakers who have embraced Android Wear, indicates the thrill of the connected wristwatch remains.
Apple Watch bands
In March Apple released a new range of interchangeable bands for Apple Watch. Highlights for the Northern Hemisphere’s Spring season include a wide stripe Woven Nylon band (left), standalone Nike Sport Bands and upmarket Apple Watch Hermès bands in new colours. The new collection of bands include: Sport in Pebble, Azure and Camellia; Woven Nylon in Berry, Tahoe Blue, Orange, Red, Pollen and Midnight Blue; and Classic Buckle with new buckle design in Sapphire, Berry and Taupe.
Garmin Forerunner 935 Running Watch
At the end of March Garmin announced the new Forerunner 935 GPS running and triathlon watch with new performance monitoring tools and Elevate wrist-based heart rate technology. In addition to 24/7 heart rate monitoring, Forerunner 935 includes new training features, allowing users to fine-tune exercise and recovery to be a better athlete. Easily paired with the new separately available Running Dynamics Pod – a tiny pocketable/clippable accessory module designed to measure Running Dynamics data instead of HRM-TRI or HRM-RUN straps – Forerunner 935 users will now be able to see all six running dynamics without the need for a chest strap. At only 49 grams its design was chosen with comfort
in mind for the more advanced athlete.
Remington Mother’s Day products
Spectrum Brands has a plethora of products to tempt gift givers for Mother’s Day 2017. Two gift packs in particular should tempt the undecided. The first is the Remington Shine Revival Dryer Pack (pictured) including a powerful 2300W salon quality AC motor dryer, essential styling tools, a professional quality round brush, Osmo Berber oil shampoo and mask, sectioning clips and a beauty pouch for safe keeping.
Also nicely packaged for mums this year is the Remington Shine Revival Straightener Pack which features the Shine Revival Straightener with its advanced ceramic plates infused with Moroccan Argan Oil micro-conditioners, complimentary vent brush and a heat proof storage pouch.