People make the same mistake regarding smart watches that people made when digital watches were introduced - you think they will render mechanical watches obsolete.
But they didn't. And neither will the smartwatch.
I love watches and I especially value the artistry, intricacy and complexity of a mechanical timepiece. You could claim I fetishise such watches if you wish, but I would prefer to say that I appreciate them. A Swiss Watch with a mechanical movement is often a quite beautiful thing and you can trace it's lineage back through generations of craftsmen. That has value. It's worth preserving and keeping alive.
Luckily, mechanical watches are still useful, purposeful and relevant. A mechanical watch is a better timepiece in the same way that a single-purpose device such as a Kindle is a better e-reader than a tablet; the focus on doing one thing well dials down the mental noise and allows us to concentrate. Even in the details, a conventional chronograph wins. Power reserve is important. My company car has a small fuel tank and I have to refill it once every two days. It just takes a few minutes, but it's an inconvenience and I've come to dislike the car. And so it is with watches - my litle mechanical Seiko winds itself through the motion of my body. It won't run out of battery and it will likely still be useful and functional after a generation of Apple Watches have been and gone. As a timepiece, it's simply better than a smartwatch, because it does less and it does it better. It has convenience on it's side. Less really is more.
Now, I've nothing against the Apple Watch and its Android contemporaries. I've got a few sports and trekking watches and various other wrist-worn tools. They're pretty cool and I like them, but they don't render traditional mechanical watches redundant. They just complement them.
I'm sure you all appreciate fine things. You may own a number of Apple products and they're often about more than just function. They're about form, too. Can't you see how a conventional wristwatch can still be functional, beautiful and contemporary?
One day when I'm feeling more monied than I am now, I intend to purchase an Omega Speedmaster Professional. I connected with the Omega brand in the 1970s as my father wore a Seamaster. Sometimes I would lift it off his bedside cabinet and wear it to school. I've got a vintage Seamaster now, just like he wore and despite being more than 30 years' old, it looks great and still performs that one crucially important task - telling the time - really well. The Speedmaster is a different proposition. It doesn't just look great, it has an amazing past - the first watch worn on the Moon. It was chosen by Nasa after exhasutive tests. It's the historicity and provenance that makes me want it - not the price. When you wrote "quite a few of those who proclaim a love of expensive mechanical watches will soon find out that they just have a love of expensive things on their wrists", it occurred to me that this was a pretty shallow evaluation. Those who really love the Speedmaster Professional, for instance, lust not after some jewel-encrusted precious metal version of that watch, but the original flight-qualified Nasa model with a plastic 'hesalite' crystal instead of sapphire.
It's cheaper, but it's more desirable, because watches are about much more than just "expensive things on your wrist". Peter M.
I doctored the above comment by Peter a little because it was a response and I thought it would make for a good standalone article. It's rare for me to agree with almost every word someone writes, but I am a watch wearing likeminded sole in this instance.
Some of you have complained about the amount of watch coverage on Lost In Mobile recently, but I will counter with the fact that the vast majority of that coverage has been about the smart variety. Whether I believe that smart watches will be successful or not, they won't be, they will be worth writing about for the next few months until someone blows us away with a remarkable new phone.