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Apple reaching out to Swiss watchmakers for partnerships, tries to poach horology experts - Page 2

post #41 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
 

Swatch itself is not a luxury brand. However, the Swatch Group owns multiple brands in all price categories including luxury brands Blancpain, Bregeut, Harry Winston, and Omega as well as mid-range brands like Longines and Tissot. The latter three all have some visibility in sports timing.

 

An Apple iWatch poses a serious threat to Swatch because Swatch is heavily involved in endorsing a lot of action sports like beach volleyball, snowboarding, BMX, surfing, mountain biking, etc.

 

Luxury brands like that are all mechanical or electro-mechanical movements. The expertise they can port to a smartwatch is quite limited to materials including sapphire faces  and what is confortable to wear. They know a lot too about longlife batteries and kinetic wounding but the constraints are so different I dont see that porting well to what is essentially a tiny computer or at least a wireless screen  with the cpu in the phone.

post #42 of 62

Apple is absolutely, positively not looking to "create a great watch."  And with the iPhone they weren't trying to make a great phone.

 

They very well may create a compelling product that people wear on their wrists that a) happens to tell the time and b) happens to crowd out watches from that real estate.  Watch companies should be a bit nervous.

post #43 of 62
after months with my pebble, my mind (and that of my brother and others in the office who got one after seeing mine) has been permanently changed with regards to Smartwatches. I love mine now and it has changed how i interface with my phone.
its so simple to check calls, emails, texts etc without having to walk across the room or dig the phone out of my pocket while driving/queuing/walking etc
i get 4-5 days out of battery and if i forget and it goes dead during the day, SO WHAT? i still have my phone working, so just go back to old method until that evening. Battery life on my phone has decreased by a tiny amount.

And the beauty of Pebble is that it works with iPhone and Android. Guy at work has it with his HTC One and after 4 days said he didn't want to be without one again.

It can only get better from now on, better features, better battery, better design.

All I can say to anyone who has not used one, is until you have spent a few weeks with one, do not say how you can't understand x, y and z. 90% of you WILL change your mind.

Only one word of warning, if your eyesight is not good, don't get one. You will not be able read caller names or texts easily. This is the only reason why 2 other friends didn't buy one, even though they soooo wanted one. Having to take out your glasses to reads the watch is the bother as taking out the phone in the first place.
post #44 of 62
Quote:


All the iWatch-related Apple patents are a must-read and give a large insight in what is essentially Apple's Think different. These patents show Apple reinventing the watch for the 21st century (and if you look closer, also giving us the answer why kids and teenagers should pick one in the mobile era).

 

While others are stuck with a centuries-old paradigm of what a watch is and fall victim of its inherited limitations (the original watch was designed with only one application in mind after all), Apple is working on yet another bold reinvention and product from the future. Others are making the horse faster, Apple is inventing the car.

 

PS For classic watch lovers - the classic watch will be around for decades to come. But just as Apple leaves the vinyl records (beautiful and great sounding as they are) to others, they will leave the classic watch products to the Swiss and other manufacturers. Traditional is (luckily for us) not in Apple's dictionary.

post #45 of 62
Disruption alert, indeed. And who says Apple can not produce and sell a $3,000 watch. Consider it solid gold and a mechanical face which lies beneath a transparent sapphire screen.
post #46 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

I've always maintained that wearables is as much fashion as it is high tech and that the right business model is Swatch brought a few notches upmarket.  No, Apple will not be selling any $10K watches any day soon but they will hire the world's foremost experts in precision micro-scale mechanical engineering and materials and the products that Apple will come up with will be beautiful in the Jobs-Ivian or jobsivian (claiming copyright right now) sense.

That Swatch guy sounds a lot like that Palm CEO remarking how computer guys can't just barge into the phone business and expect to succeed.

Apple's vision for wearables looks more and more like it's way beyond what Samsung and Google and the rest of the also rans could conceive of.  No wonder it's taking 'so long'.

10k watches?

Here is the realhigh end

btw Baselworld is on atm, where manufactures show off their new stuff.
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post #47 of 62
Battery life will be an issue, so the solutions are going to include new tech for charging. I remember back 40 years ago when a tiny flywheel was used to wind watches. Anything that can generate energy is fair game. Body heat, motion, sweat, induction, piezo-electric, EMR, new battery design (like why can't the watch wristband be the battery?).
post #48 of 62
I wonder if Apple has considered a physical system to recharge the battery that collects the energy from the movement of the phone. Imagine a phone that recharges itself while riding in a car or airplane when you are not actually using it.

The self winding watches are not capable of going into sleep so they run down when not in use. A self winding mechanism for energy charging a phone would only need to produce 10% of the phone's battery charge in 8 hours to significantly extend the battery life of the phone. having a 2 part recharging system with light charging from sunlight could extend the battery life of a phone by as much as 20%. A 5 inch iPhone with a 10 hour battery and built in rechargers that could extend it's standby time almost indefinitely.
post #49 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macnewsjunkie View Post

I wonder if Apple has considered a physical system to recharge the battery that collects the energy from the movement of the phone. Imagine a phone that recharges itself while riding in a car or airplane when you are not actually using it.

The self winding watches are not capable of going into sleep so they run down when not in use. A self winding mechanism for energy charging a phone would only need to produce 10% of the phone's battery charge in 8 hours to significantly extend the battery life of the phone. having a 2 part recharging system with light charging from sunlight could extend the battery life of a phone by as much as 20%. A 5 inch iPhone with a 10 hour battery and built in rechargers that could extend it's standby time almost indefinitely.

I would bet they have considered it but my concern is the amount of energy created and stored is too minimal to be effective for an advanced electronic device on the wrist. I'd say the same for solar.

That said, perhaps one or both of these solutions could allow for additional power even if a wireless charging system to a base station is the more effective method.

That that said said, I wonder if adding these other components are not worth the complexity and space they take up over using some advanced battery tech.

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post #50 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'm not following your argument. I don't expect Apple to make a range of wrist-worn wireless iPhone peripheral devices that compete on price and luxury as the highest-end wristwatch market, but I do expect them to produce something that is attractive and fashionable for this nascent market segment that Ive and company would be proud to wear.

 

I think you're right, I suspect there is going to be a new market segment created by someone and hopefully Apple.


From what I anecdotally see, people who either can't afford, or don't want to wear an expensive watch everyday, seem to have all but stopped wearing watches, based on the fact that they have a more accurate clock than any watch in their pocket, on their phone.

 

Finding a way to get that huge segment of the market to wear something on their wrist again is a hell of an enticing prospect.


The high end watch market is somewhat irrelevant, since a smart watch could be additive to that.  My everyday watch is a $5000 Breitling.  It's clearly overkill for everyday use, but I can't (or won't) justify buying a cheaper watch that just tells the time for everyday use.  I would consider buying something in the $500-$1000 price range if it did more than just tell the time.

post #51 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

To Maestro64

Yes battery life is key. I believe Apple has a patent on putting a solar cell beneath the watch face. Apple always thinking. Hey maybe the watch solar cell is on sapphire??/

My eight year old citizen has never had a battery change and never will. It has a solar cell, watch face that looks elegant and is very, very practical. :-)

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post #52 of 62
I dunno. A mechanical watch these days seem so... steampunk. Maybe a brand as old as Patek Philippe can pull it off, but it's not for a Silicon Valley tech company to do. Can you imagine an Apple watch with all those gears and springs? I can't.

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post #53 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I think you're right, I suspect there is going to be a new market segment created by someone and hopefully Apple.

From what I anecdotally see, people who either can't afford, or don't want to wear an expensive watch everyday, seem to have all but stopped wearing watches, based on the fact that they have a more accurate clock than any watch in their pocket, on their phone.

Finding a way to get that huge segment of the market to wear something on their wrist again is a hell of an enticing prospect.

The high end watch market is somewhat irrelevant, since a smart watch could be additive to that.  My everyday watch is a $5000 Breitling.  It's clearly overkill for everyday use, but I can't (or won't) justify buying a cheaper watch that just tells the time for everyday use.  I would consider buying something in the $500-$1000 price range if it did more than just tell the time.

Long before we heard of Apple making biometric buy ups and hires I stated that I think that is the ticket to a wearable since it's the one area that phone, tablet and "PC" can't easily do. Even with the iPhone having pedometers and heart rate monitors it's still not a great solution.

Fitness wearables can be useful but they are isolated in their utility and feature set to move a market. They are essentially the PDA before the iPhone came along.

I'd love for Apple to announce something next week and it seems like something might drop this year, but looking at the state-of-the-art I still question if the technology is yet available to be a fashionable watch, have a worthwhile set of biometrics, work with your iPhone well, and have good battery life? So far I've only seen 2 or 3 (at most) all at once, but not all 4.


PS: I doubt the price will be $500-1000 range but perhaps Apple has considered putting the same HW in cheaper casings and more expensive casings specifically for this particular market. That said, buying a luxury watch isn't going to become obsolete and it last you a lifetime, could be given away in your will, and might appreciate, but a computer on wrist will not that likely suffer the same fate and I'm not sure how many people will want to spend $500, $1000, of $5000 every year or two for a new iWatch.

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post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I dunno. A mechanical watch these days seem so... steampunk. Maybe a brand as old as Patek Philippe can pull it off, but it's not for a Silicon Valley tech company to do. Can you imagine an Apple watch with all those gears and springs? I can't.

 

This is state of the art in Swiss movements, from Omega:-

 

 

The attention to detail is a very Apple kind of thing.

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post #55 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Battery life will be an issue, so the solutions are going to include new tech for charging. I remember back 40 years ago when a tiny flywheel was used to wind watches. Anything that can generate energy is fair game. Body heat, motion, sweat, induction, piezo-electric, EMR, new battery design (like why can't the watch wristband be the battery?).

Because puncturing or damaging a battery band could cause great physical harm.

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post #56 of 62
A combination of mechanical and smartwatch (I imagine you still see it having a touch display) I don't think so. Do you guys have any idea how thick such a watch would be? Mechanical movements take up a lot of space and space comes at a premium in watches (and with a smartwatch a decent battery is also a must again space loss). Not to mention those biosensors you are envisioning it having :s. It probably was regarding material use and such. And if it was this year that they tried to hire them either the iWatch is not being released this year or it's for a next generation.
There are examples of digital/analog (not smart) watches. But one with touchdisplay, sensors, decent battery life,... I don't think so.
Edited by Chipsy - 3/29/14 at 9:35am
post #57 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinglesthula View Post


If (IF) smart watches catch on like iPad and post-2006 smartphones have then traditional watch makers will be the next MSFT/Nokia/BBRY.

Swatch maybe as it is not a luxury brand (even Rolex and Breitling are just mid tier in the mechanical watch world) but the market of Jaeger-LeCoultre (my favorite watch brand), Patek Phillipe, Hublot, Ulysse Nardin,... is not the same market as for the iWatch (not even close). So they are right not to be bothered.
Edited by Chipsy - 3/29/14 at 9:56am
post #58 of 62
Apple… …tries to poach horology experts

 

NYT: Apple Hires Hookers

Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #59 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post


Swatch maybe as it is not a luxury brand (even Rolex and Breitling are just mid tier in the mechanical watch world) but the market of Jaeger-LeCoultre (my favorite watch brand), Patek Phillipe, Hublot, Ulysse Nardin,... is not the same market as for the iWatch (not even close). So they are right not to be bothered.

 

Watchmakers are in high demand, due to the threat of cheap quartz almost killing the Swiss watch industry through the eighties and nineties, little investment in training new staff was carried out.

 

As older watchmakers retire there is no-one to replace them, hence a ten to twelve week turn around for servicing Swiss watches is common.

 

Apple will find it difficult to poach anyone.

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post #60 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Because puncturing or damaging a battery band could cause great physical harm.

This does not apply for the latest flexible battery technology, though. In fact, I've seen a video demonstration showing how one can keep cutting the battery off with scissors piece by piece, safely and with the rest of the battery still working.

In my opinion, building the battery in the band might be the only feasible option when it comes to smartwatch.
post #61 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobleh View Post

This does not apply for the latest flexible battery technology, though. In fact, I've seen a video demonstration showing how one can keep cutting the battery off with scissors piece by piece, safely and with the rest of the battery still working.

In my opinion, building the battery in the band might be the only feasible option when it comes to smartwatch.

Batteries store energy so there is always a risk of that energy escaping. I'm not sure cutting of a flexible battery makes me feel safe about it strapped to my arm. Can this now unprotected battery get wet without catching fire?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #62 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post


Gorgeous.

Horrendous.

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- African proverb
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