Sentimental value is a truly bizarre notion when you stop to think about. Just about anything can gain value, be it an old mug, a pair of jeans, or even a rock, for no other reason than value has been placed upon it. Not logical value by any means, which is what gives an item the label of being valuable, but only in an illogically perceived sentimental fashion.
This was the assumption when a recent article was published in the Wall Street Journal, drawing attention to a seemingly strange phenomenon. Some men, the article declared, were wearing analogue watches on their wrists. This in itself would not have been strange, but for the fact that the watches were broken, hence making them entirely useless. Yet the watch stayed firmly locked around wrist, being nothing more than a collection of old cogs, and other parts.
But was it just sentimentality that caused this strange behaviour, or something more?
Analogue watches are quickly becoming obsolete. Or to be more specific, they are obsolete. Watches made from moving parts are not only a great deal less accurate than digital clocks, but have the added nuisance of requiring their own battery. There is no reason at all to have an old analogue watch strapped to a wrist, especially given the now rapidly increasing popularity in smartwatches.
The latest smartwatches not only tell the time, but can also count steps, keep track of heart rates, and even give limited wireless access to smartphones. Some of the latest models even allow access to cutting edge casino games, which is a true testament to just how obsolete an old watch really is.
But that these old timekeepers are quickly becoming out of date is perhaps part of their appeal.
A Symbol Of Ingenuity
The hard truth is that the smartwatch industry, just in terms of those made by Apple, not only outsell traditional watch makers, but to such an extent that there is no longer a comparison. The entire Swiss watch industry, plus Rolex and Swatch, do not equal sales of Apple smartwatches. Yet, an interesting reality can also be seen, if paying close attention to analogue watch sales. Yet these brands continue to survive, and it seems that traditional Swiss watch sales are even increasing. Why?
CEO of luxury watch company Crown & Caliber, Hamilton Powell, was quick to make startling confession in a recent interview. He stated, plainly, that most of the time when looking at the time, he is using his smartphone. Though, he went on to explain, that to him, and many others, watches are more than timekeepers. They are long standing symbols of what the human race is capable of. Mechanical devices as complicated and intricate as watches, he explained, are perhaps the greatest technological feat of humanity.
Watches remind us of that, he concluded
Luxury And Status
But of course, it isn’t just that old watches are reminders of human ingenuity. They also happen to hold very high regard in terms of being status symbols. The majority of analogue timekeepers these days are, very simply, luxury items. The very fact that they are obsolete makes them all the more noticeable. Plus the massive price tags attached, and incredibly detailed designs, make them nothing short of decadent.
So as it stands, smartwatches may indeed be kings of the market, but there is yet still room for the tick-tock style of wrist items that have existed for centuries. A sign that, even though we are surrounded by incredible technology, we still have a place in our hearts for true sentiment. Even if it does mean we are late as our analogue watch has stopped working again…