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The Watch Market is Under Fire at #Baselworld
By: Cindy Wendland
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Times are a-changing, and change can be a glorious thing if you are riding the wave of change. Change can be a burden and frustration if you are fighting for your old way of life. Technology has infiltrated the watch market in a new way with the advent of smartwatches and wearable tech. Traditional watch makers are concerned their way of life is ending.

Watches were a popular necessity 20 years ago. If you wanted to know the time, you wore a watch. Now, we have our smartphones by our side, and we use them to check the time. Personally, I had 14 watches I gave away a few years ago because I stopped wearing a watch. Recently, watches started becoming a fashion accessory, and I now own one watch, just for the look of the accessory. It has taken retraining to remember to look at the watch for the time, but slowly the memory is returning. Many in my circle wear a Fitbit or similar and would rather have their wrist be used to document their physical activity.

In Switzerland, the Baselworld 2015 World Watch and Jewelry Show boasts attendance by over 1,500 brands this week. During the opening of the event, there was a flurry of questions regarding smartwatches. Obviously, the industry is concerned about what impact they will have on their market. According to Joe Santana, ex-chief executive of Timex, "There's going to be a paradigm shift. The biggest company in the world [Apple] with the largest amount of cash that you can imagine has put its eyes on this sector — to think it will stay the same is unbelievable. But there is space for others.” Basically, move over, watch makers, Apple is in the house.

It’s exciting and yet sad that another industry will be in tumult because of technology. Apple will bring about great advancements in the watch market. Companies with poor branding and an inability to keep or attract customers or sell their value proposition will be the losers. Since I already have a watch, maybe I’ll go buy Apple stock.

   

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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