Smartwatches. We all know of them, many of us own one and, yes, there’s no denying they have many more uses than an analogue watch can offer us. Let’s look at the Apple Watch SE for example. With convenient ways to stay in touch, sensors which monitor your movement and health plus added safety features such as the new crash detection feature which can call for help if your unable to in a car accident, what’s not to like? And at a starting price of £259… I’m almost sold.
Then there’s luxury smartwatches…. Montblanc currently offer the Summit 2+ and following on from the success of this model and they are soon to release the Summit 3+. And there’s no denying that this is a stunning looking watch and it will be sure to catch the attention of any passer-by. A smartwatch at its finest.
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The Summit 2+ offers a stainless steel case with a sapphire glass display just as you’ve come to expect from an high-end analogue watch. It offers a water resistance of IPX8 which allows the device to be submerged in fresh water of up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. However, these devices should not be used in saltwater, at the beach and they are also not dust/sand proof. Poolside you’ll be okay, beach holiday? maybe not.
The Summit 2+ can be connected to Wifi, GPS, LTE and Bluetooth 4.2 plus allows for the use of many apps such as MontBlancs exclusive Timeshifter and stress management apps. Similarly, to any analogue you can customise your strap choice. You can also customise your watch face which is obviously not an option on your analogue so for those of you who enjoy change this is an attractive feature. It also has an integrated microphone and speaker. It is the worlds first smartwatch to be powered with Wear OS by Google allowing you to navigate the world. At £1,035.00 the Summit 2+ certainly has a lot on offer and can be easily justified for those who have the money to spend on such an item.
Overall, in terms of functionality, modern day smartwatches are a cut above the traditional analogue watches. Digital watches will almost always outperform an analogue for accuracy. Plus, due to their screens digital watches tend to be much more visible and you won’t need lume to see your screen in the dark, simply turn the brightness up.
However, whilst the demand is high for smartwatches in a modern world and these smartwatches certainly do seem to have all the bells and whistles, for some there is just something missing.
The classic craftmanship, the history and the charm associated with analogue wristwatches is something else and, when taken into consideration, account for a lot. Whilst smartwatches cater for all possible specifications we now desire in technology, analogues offer us simplicity in this already too busy world. Analogues have always been focused on three things: function, form, and design.
Do smartwatches withstand the test of time and hold value?
Analogues are designed to withstand the test of time and remain stylish and functional for many years often holding their value or even increasing due to their precious minerals and expert artisanship. Meanwhile those producing smartwatches often are looking to meet trend demand at the time as well as meeting the continuous change in new technologies. With this constant movement and developing market each smartwatches value generally decreases with time. Continuous software updates hinder the watch from using its intended functions over time as it was not developed to interpret the new software often leading you to purchasing a new watch.
Smartwatches also rely on a lithium battery to function and will need to be charged usually around once a day depending on usage. General rule of thumb is to charge them when they reach 5%. Lithium batteries last for around 2-3 years before they will need replacing. It’s safe to say smartwatches just don’t offer the same longevity.
What do you want from your watch?
With a limited lifespan and ever-changing modern technology I personally could not justify entertaining a luxury smartwatch that will devalue over time and essential become unusable due to modern app functions and updates. Spending any more than £400 on a smartwatch seems obscene for something that will struggle to withstand the test of time. A good example is the original Apple watch Series 1, 2 and 3 which have now stopped receiving watchOS updates and are more than likely discarded by their owners. Whilst I love the concept behind a smartwatch and the idea of having everything you need on the wrist it is ideally just reflecting the idea of your smartphone and does anyone really need both?
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Most look to buy a luxury wristwatch to have it forever as an investment piece or to be passed down through generations and treasured. If this is your reason then a smartwatch isn’t for you. Unfortunately, it is more than likely your smartwatch will become a useless piece of technology that can no longer handle software updates and will lie redundant in a draw somewhere.
An analogue wristwatch can offer you something else entirely. Functionality, longevity and timeless style are the defining factors of a treasured timepiece and whilst they cannot offer you all the modern apps what they do offer makes the right watch timeless.
Having said all of this, I almost feel guilty for giving smartwatches a hard time. They are indeed very much leading the future of our wristwatches and if there’s something about these new smartwatches you just can’t ignore and can justify the price then why not? What they can offer is outstanding even if it may not last forever.