In the year 1987, a Hindi movie called Mr India, starring Anil Kapoor, captured the public imagination with it’s innovative storyline. In the movie, Anil Kapoor is bequeathed a gold watch that helps him to disappear. The villain Mogambo desperately wants that wonder watch and finally the good prevail over the evil. The film went on to become the second highest grosser of the year and till today is considered among one of the cult classic movies of Bollywood.
The humble watch that we use to keep track of time has gone through several transformations. Initially it was the hourglass that used to indicate the correct time. Later, that evolved into the sundial, water clocks and pendulum clocks. The wristwatches were initially mechanical devices driven by clockwork and springs. The mechanical devices were later replaced by vibrating quartz crystals that gave more accuracy in measuring time. The next stage of evolution was the digital watches which ran on electronics technology.
Wristwatches started becoming popular after the Second World War. It was also a popular item given as gift in marriages. The wristwatch was also used as a credit card --- if you were short of cash, you could keep your wristwatch as a security till you arranged the cash. However, with mass production and the prices of watches coming down drastically, the popularity and esteem value of watches also started coming down.
While the Japanese watchmakers like Seiko and Casio popularized the digital watch, the Swiss watchmakers breathed a new life into the watch industry by making it a fashion accessory. Rolex, Rado, Omega and Swatch came up with breath-taking designs that added the gleam to your personality when you adorned their watches. These models were also a precious possession bought by people who travelled abroad and gave gifts to their acquaintances.
The launch of the Apple Watch has brought in a whiff of fresh air into the watch industry and is also all set to pose a serious threat to the traditional watch makers. As per information given by CNET, “The Apple Watch is a music player like an iPod, a fitness tracker with heart-rate measurements, a communications device that will send and receive messages, calls and audio recordings, and a handheld portal to other apps, too. It also makes payments via Apple Pay. It can also control your Apple TV and act as a remote for connected smart home devices.” This electronic device will monitor heart beats, track calories burnt and take dictations. The most remarkable feature of this watch is a “haptic” processor that will send subtle vibration feedback for notifications, alarms and other messages.
How will Apple Watch change the contours of the watch industry? Just the day after Apple Watch was unveiled, we got a shocking news --- HMT was closing down after 53 years of operation. The company whose punchline was “timekeepers of the nation” could not face the onslaught of the new age watchmakers who promised more beauty, elegance and style in addition to accurate time. And how are other watchmakers gearing up to face the competition from Apple? The luxury watch makers had previously successful fended the challenge from quartz and digital watch makers, but this time they are up against a much formidable competitor. The high end watchmakers will continue to have patrons who will vouchsafe for their quality, design and craftsmanship. But, as the adage goes, once Apple enters a particular category, it leaves very little room for competitors to maneuver.
How will it change our lifestyle ? Well, we might just stop using mobile phones and switch over to the Apple Watch. So no more botherations of having to pull that brick out of your pocket to make calls. It might make us very very health conscious and calorie conscious. And as the haptic engine of the Apple Watch promises to convey feelings through taps and vibrations, we might just stop hugging and kissing our loved ones and send subtle tap signals instead !!! Shall we see James Bond ditching the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra wristwatch and switching over to Apple ? Whatever it is, the Apple Watch promises to be an exciting device that might radically transform the way we communicate and live.