How old were you when you got your first watch? I think I was in the second grade. I remember the thrill of opening that shiny birthday box and pulling out a yellow, wind-up Snoopy watch. I was finally a Big Kid. I was so proud.
These days, fewer Americans are buying or wearing watches, due to the rise of cellular phones.
A widely-quoted 2006 Piper Jaffray & Co. study is said to have found that two-thirds of American teens never wear a watch. And Experian Simmons Research discovered that only 19% of American adults bought a watch in 2011. Meanwhile, the number of adults owning cell phones is at 90 percent.
But 19 percent of American adults is still 42 million people. So while some people think classic timepieces are on the way out, I don’t. Look, during my book industry days, I remember alarmists predicting that e-books would be the death of print. Sure, the popularity of Nooks and Kindles may have forced some industry changes, but bookstores are in no danger of going away forever. Thank goodness.
Watches, too have their place in our lives—perhaps a place that is changing rapidly or is marked by nostalgia, but still, I feel, a permanent one. People like me, who don’t own a cell phone will always need a watch. They’re fun fashion statements, and they’re much more acceptable to peek at in a meeting than, say, a smart phone. You don’t have to turn them off your watch at the movies, either.
Of course, watch technology itself can evolve. According to one technoblog, you can now wear a timepiece that “connects wirelessly with your laptop, MP3 player or mobile, turning ‘Inspector Gadget’s’ cartoon super-watch into a reality!”
Mmmm…Inspector Gadget. Now there’s another blast from the past. I’m not likely to purchase a techno watch, but that vintage polka-dotted Pop Swatch I saw on eBay the other day? All over it.
What do you think? Have you stopped wearing a watch because you carry a phone?