A lot has changed since the first pocket watches of the 16th century, but the watch industry is still one built on slow gains and not one reliant on an ever-changing conveyor belt of new pieces. That’s not to say there haven’t been changes in recent years, especially now a new upstart has been chucked into the market, the smart watch.
And so with the help of four leading brands and watchmakers, including bastions of the British watchmaking scene Bremont and Farer, Swiss heritage innovator Rado and celebrating its 35th birthday, Casio off-shoot G-Shock, we discuss what trends we could possibly expect over the next watchmaking year
The larger brands have obviously all recently launched their latest blue dials but we believe it’s just the start,” says Jono Holt, co-founder of Farer. “People are bored of the usual. We believe unique and different colours will reign supreme in the future.”
This is a point echoed by Kikuo Ibe, founding creator of G-Shock, who believes basic colours will still be popular but brands will look to diversify. “For example the plastic will be black, and the metal will be white, silver, gold and black. But people are looking for hints of bright, unique colours blended with the basics for a bit of an extra spice on pieces that will come out as limited editions. Expect things like faint rainbow colours on the plastic and pink gold on metals to increase in popularity.
In direct reaction to the growth of tech wearables there is also a huge surge in people becoming more and more interested in mechanical watches .
Although Ibe believes that smart watches have become a huge part of the industry already, he doesn’t think they’ll take customers away from the more traditional watches.
There are officially three groups of watches now, smart watches, mechanical and quartz. Those groups will co-exist though and you can’t compare them. If you want a mechanical watch you won’t buy a smart watch instead.
Buying your first ‘proper’ watch – or gifting it, for that matter – has never been easier. There’s the volume of good advice for a start, accessible and understandable .Quality and cool factor can easily be found in automatic watches under £2,000.
The case will be better built for a lifetime of knocks and splashes, and your leather strap will be hard-wearing alligator or even a hefty bracelet, rather than flimsy calfskin. Ultimately, spend up to £2,000 and you’re investing in heirloom territory. Simple enough, you might think – until you realise the sheer spectrum of styles on the market.
- Patek Philippe (Geneva)
- Rolex (Geneva)
- Breguet (L’Orient)
- Jaeger-LeCoultre (Le Sentier)
- Blancpain (Le Brassus)