When asked about his thoughts on smartwatches, Kern believes that these devices will most likely end up competing with the lower-end market. He also states that IWC is a luxury brand and he does not think that Apple and their Apple Watch will not be able to compete with them, despite the Apple Watch Edition targeted at the wealthy.
However despite IWC refusing to enter the smartwatch market, Kern thinks that smartwatches are a good thing because they could get younger people interested in wristwatches in general, which he then jokingly adds will eventually drive them towards IWC’s watches in the next few years. We suppose that makes sense as with phones being able to tell the time and set alarms, the need for a dedicated wristwatch has started to decline.
IWC is not alone in their refusal to enter the smartwatch business. Other luxury brands such as Patek Philippe have also refused to make smartwatches with the company’s Chairman Thierry Stern then stating, “When you are buy a Patek Philippe, you buy a timeless piece of art. It would be as if you told people to no longer buy paintings but TV screens projecting the image of a painting.”
However this is by no means saying that IWC is opposed to what smartwatches are trying to do, which according to Kern’s observations is all about connectivity. The company’s CEO said that there is no reason why both can’t exist side by side and why one can’t keep the traditional watch and the art of watchmaking around, while combining it with connectivity.
Kern then adds that IWC will be showcasing something along those lines in the next few months. Presumably this will be similar to what Breitling is trying to do with the B55 Connected which features traditional watch components, but adding in modern connected features through the pairing of a smartphone app, but do check back with us at a later date for the details.