The last few years there has been a lot of talk about the death of the wrist watch. Claims are made that most “young people” (I have no ideal what actual age range represents this segment of the population, but am thinking it is more than just being young at heart) rely upon their mobile devices for the time rather than a watch. While I agree to a point, I feel the whole argument in general is blown out of proportion and the death of the watch is far, far off. Apple’s iPod fall event last week in a way proved that.
I know it entered not just my mind but the minds of many when the newly designed iPod Nano was revealed: it’s small enough it could be worn on the wrist. Its dimensions are 37.5mm x 40.5mm – not that much different than the TAG Heuer Monaco which is 39mm x 39mm (although I think no one would argue that the Monaco looks better). Aesthetics aside, the fact that the Nano can be worn on the wrist was demonstrated by Japanese writer Kei Ogikubo in the photo below (via Engadget via 9 to 5 Mac via Flickr) where he did what was on the minds of many: he attached a watch strap to the new Nano.
Well, Engadget was on top of things again this time, showing that one company has actually designed a strap specifically to go with the Nano. iLoveHandles (website coming soon?) will apparently offer a strap designed to better fit the Nano for a nicer and more finished look.
The problem? Headphones. That’s what makes this nifty idea not such a great one. Once you have those headphones attached to your Nano and firmly in your ears you can bet they’ll be ripped out of your head several times a minute. Probably painfully, to boot. The killer app here would be Bluetooth; if the Nano had the ability to pair with a Bluetooth headphones you’d have something here. Until then, I’m going to say this is a novel idea and move on.
Right on to another contender for the future of the watch: the Seiko “Active Matrix” E-Ink watch. Seiko has dabbled in limited edition e-ink watches in the past, but they now have a mass market e-ink watch which will be ready by the end of the year (as reported on the excellent watch blog, ablogtoread.com). It will be exciting to see how Seiko can develop features and extras into these watches in future releases. Hopefully, the future models will have prices affordable to the average Jane and Joe, as the launch models have retail prices north of $1,000.
So, the watch is not dead, not even dying, not even close. There are a lot of chances for it to evolve and morph with the times while still offering the classic timepieces that have been staples in many wardrobes for the past few generations. The wristwatch is dead; long live the wristwatch. (Cheesy way to close, I know.)