The future wristwatch?

The future wristwatch?

The last few years there has been a lot of talk about the death of the wrist watch. Claims are made that most “young people” (I have no ideal what actual age range represents this segment of the population, but am thinking it is more than just being young at heart) rely upon their mobile devices for the time rather than a watch. While I agree to a point, I feel the whole argument in general is blown out of proportion and the death of the watch is far, far off. Apple’s iPod fall event last week in a way proved that.

I know it entered not just my mind but the minds of many when the newly designed iPod Nano was revealed: it’s small enough it could be worn on the wrist. Its dimensions are 37.5mm x 40.5mm – not that much different than the TAG Heuer Monaco which is 39mm x 39mm (although I think no one would argue that the Monaco looks better). Aesthetics aside, the fact that the Nano can be worn on the wrist was demonstrated by Japanese writer Kei Ogikubo in the photo below (via Engadget via 9 to 5 Mac via Flickr) where he did what was on the minds of many: he attached a watch strap to the new Nano.

See, it can be done.

An adventurous reporter added a strap to his Nano.

Well, Engadget was on top of things again this time, showing that one company has actually designed a strap specifically to go with the Nano. iLoveHandles (website coming soon?) will apparently offer a strap designed to better fit the Nano for a nicer and more finished look.

The iLoveHandles iPod Nano strap

The problem? Headphones. That’s what makes this nifty idea not such a great one. Once you have those headphones attached to your Nano and firmly in your ears you can bet they’ll be ripped out of your head several times a minute. Probably painfully, to boot. The killer app here would be Bluetooth; if the Nano had the ability to pair with a Bluetooth headphones you’d have something here. Until then, I’m going to say this is a novel idea and move on.

Right on to another contender for the future of the watch: the Seiko “Active Matrix” E-Ink watch. Seiko has dabbled in limited edition e-ink watches in the past, but they now have a mass market e-ink watch which will be ready by the end of the year (as reported on the excellent watch blog, It will be exciting to see how Seiko can develop features and extras into these watches in future releases. Hopefully, the future models will have prices affordable to the average Jane and Joe, as the launch models have retail prices north of $1,000.

Seiko Active Matrix e-ink watch

So, the watch is not dead, not even dying, not even close. There are a lot of chances for it to evolve and morph with the times while still offering the classic timepieces that have been staples in many wardrobes for the past few generations. The wristwatch is dead; long live the wristwatch. (Cheesy way to close, I know.)

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  • chris when i saw the new nano, the first thing i thought was how cool of a watch it would make. it makes sense to have watches that are mini computers and can do all sorts of stuff other than just tell time.

    and hipsters love HUGE watches, another win!

  • I am offended that the general population doesn’t believe that us whipper-snappers wear wristwatches. I wear a wristwatch. It’s a lovely water-resistant thing with a digital face and a glowy light and everything!

    The face is also shiny and enormous.

    I like to pretend it’s a time-traveling device.

  • From what I’ve seen as a Jr. High teacher I would agree. Most kids don’t wear watches anymore. The truly frightening thing is, that unless it was digital, most wouldn’t be able to tell the time anyway. I would say that about 75% of the students I’ve taught can not tell time on an analog watch.
    On another note, Bluetooth for my ipod would be nice.

  • I love my wristwatch and will never stop wearing one. It’s just so convenient to just take a quick glance at my right wrist to see the time without it being a technical exercise as with other devices. But I love this idea of a wristwatch type Ipod Nano. Like a wristwatch, it’s easy to carry, as it is strapped securly to your wrist like a wristwatch. Convenience is the key here as well as it’s secure and not rattling around in a pocket or other location. The classic wristwatch design is a classic and will have a future of uses. Very intelligent design concept.

  • I understand that wristwatches add a certain elegance to any wardrobe. That aside, wristwatches are totally useless. I can look at any of 30 electronic devices in my home and quickly tell the time. In my kitchen alone there are six clocks built into the stove, microwave, coffee maker, etc. At work I can look at my computer, radio,etc. In the car there are two clocks, one in the radio and one on Sirius. Every damn electronic device now has a freakin clock built into it. Wristwatch, I do not rally in your demise but I predict it will happen soon after the bling fashion wears off.

  • I wear a wristwatch. Digging into my pocket for my phone/hoping my friend’s microwave is programmed accurately/wondering how long I’ve been in the shower are all moments in my day I would like to avoid. I want reliable. I want my wristwatch.