Who said connected watches would frighten the watch houses? They're dealing with the 2.0 challenge with their customary superb, as demonstrated!
It started with the Apple Watch, then in the fourth quarter of 2015 exports of connected watches outstripped those of Swiss watches for the first time: 8.1 million to 7.9 million. A development that might have been expected to upset the watchmakers. Not in the least! Innovating, reinventing and perfecting has been part of their genetic makeup since the invention of clockwork. So we have de Grisogono, for example, infusing its considerable knowhow into the Samsung Gear S2, a technological gem offering a choice of touch screens and clad in the Geneva watch house's garb of shagreen strap, pink-gold case and black diamonds. Another Baselworld stand-out was the Tag Heuer Connected offering multiple options via 11 original designs conceived with the brand's ambassadors. This grade-2 titanium watch powered by Intel and Android Wear technology channels the Tag Heuer Carrera style and features three hands plus digital displays (chronograph, GMT, etc.). Breitling's first connected chronograph is positioned as the ultimate instrument for pilots. The Exospace B55 teams up neatly with a smartphone so the pilot can make certain adjustments (e.g. setting the time) on the smartphone screen and conversely download data from chronograph to smartphone for archiving or mailing.
Most watch brands will be delivering their take on a connected timepiece (e.g. Swatch's upcoming Touch Zero One) and this ground-breaking accessory isn't likely to ignore collectors' demands either. With them in mind, leather expert Hermès has already revamped the Apple Watch to luxurious effect.