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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Time is running out for watches

There was a time when watches were regarded as a fashion accessory. Sometime in the late 80’s / early 90’s Titan had introduced a watch with straps in various colours and people used to decide on the colour of the strap depending on the colour of their attire. This watch (can’t recollect the brand name now) was a huge hit at that time. Times have changed and people have now started picking the colours for the casing of their MP3 players so that it matches their attire.

Talking about watches, I should mention the two sets of extremes that I have come across. The first category of people consider the watch as an ornament and flaunt their status by donning the most expensive Swiss watches. The second category of people don’t wear watches as they feel that they can anyway see the time from their mobile phones / handhelds / PDA’s etc. Although portable devices tell the time, they might never equal the look and feel of a real watch. Marketers are now concerned because the second category of people are on the rise.

Watchmakers today are worrying that their time has passed and they are scrambling to do something about it. Who would have thought, even a decade ago, that could happen?

But according to the Wall Street Journal teens and young adults are fast abandoning watches as too low tech and too limited.

In the not so distant past no one — not teens, young adults or the middle aged — would have left home without a watch.

So, will a watch run out of fashion?

Only time will tell.


  • I am in the second category and have been so for the last several years. Even when I had no gadgets on me, I hated wearing watches due to one simple reason. If the watch should not loosely wrap around your wrist, it means you have it tight and to me, in a medical sense, it felt like constricting the blood flow there. Add to it the fact that it is a totally imported concept from the Raj and you can sure count one person less who will be assimilated :-)

    By Blogger thennavan, at 4:46 AM  

  • Kaps: I dont think watches will go outta fashion. Let me tell my hypothesis. I think a lot of ppl know that flash memory has really revolutionized things. But how many know that some brands of watches in the market are "wrist drives" :D They come with like 256 Mb/512 Mb flash drives. And so thats the future and once those things become more popular, watches are going to be as popular as they have always been!

    By Blogger anantha, at 9:56 AM  

  • hi kaps,
    whatever people may say, watches will be there always. i always like to wear a watch even when i go next door

    By Blogger Nallavan, at 10:11 AM  

  • watches are gone...i dont see lot of ppl sporting them ....i stopped it couple of yrs ago...

    By Blogger Me, at 11:11 AM  

  • Interestingly, I saw a recent editorial in Guardian or maybe Times which said the opposite. In this age where we can see time from a hundred different sources (Mobile, PC, Wall clock, PDA and what not), the use of a wrist watch has not come down, maybe people have got so used to twisting their wrists to see time.

    By Blogger SLN, at 4:20 PM  

  • i havent worn a watch since i was 18 ;) until friends recently gifted one and am finding it odd to wear ;)

    By Blogger visithra, at 5:45 PM  

  • Same as most people here, I haven't worn a watch in years

    By Blogger WA, at 5:48 PM  

  • Amam.. after all this, oru payyan vandhu time ketta, the ladies still get pissed. ROTFL!

    By Blogger anantha, at 9:37 PM  

  • lol...

    By Blogger Me, at 12:40 AM  

  • watch might go out of fashion as just a time piece, but the first tribe that you mention will also rise in numbers, the sales of medium-high end watches like Swatch are picking up very well even in india.. And of course there is the bottoom of the pyramid who will rise to titan levels.. The watch marketers just need to shift their focus now, and positioning.

    BTW do check out my recipe blog

    By Anonymous anthony, at 1:07 AM  

  • hi kaps,
    i dont think time is running out for watches, may be they are now not uses as a time device, but certainly a fashion device. how can u say such a thing when Aamir Khan comes in Titan watch ad.

    By Blogger வேதா, at 10:15 AM  

  • Well i wouldnt agree with the PDA or cell phone route to checking for the time..Because the time usually appears at the corner or is blurred with a power-saving screen...So watches are still the most convenient means to check the time with least effort. And carrying them around,unlike other gadgets, isn't a hassle at all.

    By Blogger Vikram H, at 5:41 PM  

  • As tech has advanced, what was a lifetime investment at one point of time is now something that is a commodity or something that is not necessary at all. At one point of time, even pens were lifetime investments but now they are a total commodity. Same with watches, computers etc and now even automobiles seem to be following the same trend. In all this transition, only the boutique brands seem to be making money purely on the basis of fashion and brand which is pretty ironic since people of the world no longer seem to appreciate the genius of an inventor even in a hi tech product, but lavish more attention and money on the so called creativity of a designer.

    By Blogger redrajesh, at 12:55 AM  

  • When I am on business travel, I wear the watch on other days, I am comfortable with the mobile. I think the watch has outlived its utility.

    By Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy, at 1:58 AM  

  • Me too use mobile phone to tell time.

    By Blogger Maran, at 8:55 AM  

  • yes Kaps, u r right. I lost interest in normal watches these days and need to think of something BIG ( 1L work ;). But no money enna seyya. Hey, Check my blog for a innovative Guy's iCar.

    By Blogger REFLEX, at 9:11 PM  

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