Is a Smartwatch Really a Watch?

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Keith Lehman, Nov 18, 2016.

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  1. Keith Lehman

    Keith Lehman Creative Services Production Leader
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  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    They dont appeal to me, but may to others.
     
  3. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    May I ask why? Is it because they are not mechanical. They do perform some interesting functions, that is, if you have a phone
    Regards
     
  4. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    I like the older watches, that are made to be repaired, not thrown out.
     
  5. Adam Harris

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    Me too
    But one day modern mechanical watches using silicon balance wheels or springs will NOT be repairable.
     
  6. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    For example i am thinking a movement more like a Hamilton 992B for example.
     
  7. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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  8. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Mechanical watches are watches, quartz, electronic, digital watches, once popular digital watches with calculator, are watches and so smartwatches are also watches.
    Stil - I don't even ike quartz, electronic or digital watches, not to mention smartwatches. I don't like anything without balance wheel and escapement and the only quartz Fossil watch I have - I also don't like. In fact, not because it's a Fossil (nice watch, btw), but because it's quartz...

    Still - nowadays most people prefer quartz, and some people I know like their smartwatches as well.

    As for repairability - I also have my doubts about the, widely understood, plastic parts. Like the new ETA's plastic escapement in Powermatic movement to look at the lower priced models... I think unlike fine steel, plastics will deteriorate in time, no matter of the conditions they are kept in.
    Will ETA be there in 150 years to supply a new one :) ? NOS will be equally deteriorated, no doubt...
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    #9 novicetimekeeper, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016

    Plastic parts are a potential problem, I agree. Silicon isn't a plastic, and silicon or ceramic parts are not going to degrade. The jewels in your watch don't degrade for the same reason.

    As to whether or not it is a watch, well they were called watches because they didn't make a noise so you looked at them to tell the time, unlike clocks which are named after the bells you hear. They seem fairly watch like, though perhaps they should be called beeps.
     
  10. leeinv66

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    Yes they are watches. What is more, they are watches that are capable of performing functions far beyond the capabilities of the best mechanical watches. I own a GPS enabled sports watch to track my walking. It tracks distance, elevation, current pace, average pace, calories burnt, steps taken, etc, etc, etc and even shows the time ;) That said, my daily watch is a Seiko 5 automatic because I prefer mechanical watches and most of the time I don't need all the other functions my smart watch offers. Will it ever be a collectable? I have my doubts.
     
  11. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Ceramic parts - agreed. As for silicone... I don't know, never read about silicones enough to know how will they be in 100 years' time...
     
  12. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Silicone is a polymer, Silicon is an element. They are not related. I think the watch parts are silicon based, not silicone.

    If they are silicone then yes, same applies as for plastic.
     
  13. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Oh, you mean silicon... bad reading - not a native language...
    I don't know what's used to make watch parts, silicon or silicone (or both?), but I can hardly imagine silicon itself used in any way - it would have to be a composition or alloy, right?
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  15. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Just to clarify - I am discussing "silicon" material like Omega's Si14 balance wheel and spring.

    In a mechanical watch of "all" metal, EVERY part including the spring can be made by a watchmaker. But NO one can manufacture a silicon, balance spring or wheel. Its done in complicated machinery.
    So in 50 years time a broken silicon part, is irreplacable - making "built in obsolescence"

    Adam
     
  16. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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  17. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I wouldn't be so sure about that, it may be the way a lot of things are made byt hen.
     
  18. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Absolutely
    But the individual tooling machines for the complex designs, will have been destroyed - no one will keep them 60+ years to make a few spares!
    My understanding is, that no one will be able to remake an Omega Si14 balance wheel and spring for "say" a caliber 8500

    That is my understanding anyway.
    Adam
     
  19. glenhead

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    No, it's not a watch. It's a computer that has been scaled down to fit on your arm. Its primary market is for those people who are so addicted to The Holy Glowing Rectangle that they can't stand being without it at any point. Having one on an arm makes it so they can worship even more Holy Glowing Rectangles simultaneously. Heaven forbid they should miss the latest picture of someone's half-eaten hamburger.

    Glen
     
  20. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    I refer to them as the Zombie generation, addicted to their cells, texting as they cross the street and such, oblivious to everything around them.
     
  21. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    LOL. If I posted that, I would be banned. LOL
     
  22. Colin Drake

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    Me, a zombie? Well I never! I may only be 22 years old but my phone flips open, and I might text once a week.
    In all honesty though, I do agree with you. There is a lot of that going on.

    My boss wears an Apple watch. Customers look around at all the antique clocks we have in the shop, then they see his Apple watch and laugh. He just says "When your wife buys you a thousand dollar watch, you wear it."
     
  23. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    So, if we follow that logic, then a mechanical wrist watch must be a tower clock that has been scaled down to fit on your arm ;)
     
  24. gmorse

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    Hi Peter,

    Well, in terms of the historical development of timepieces, that's exactly what's happened!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  25. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    #25 leeinv66, Nov 21, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
    Hi Graham,
    Then could it not be argued that the smart watch is in fact the natural progression in the further development of the wrist watch?
     
  26. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Peter,

    If it's a device to measure or show the passage of time, (regardless of what else it does), then yes it is a natural progression, although whether that progression is down a cul-de-sac remains to be seen!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  27. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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    Calling a Smart watch, a watch, is like calling a Kitchen Aid food processor, a mix master. It will blend, chop, slice, mix, grind, stir, and I don't know what else. A Smart watch is no more a watch than a Kitchen Aid food processor is a mix master. The fact the Smart watch is called a "watch" is that it happens​ to give the time as one of its functions. It is a "data processor"!
     
  28. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Early longcase makers tried to fit in as much as they could in data terms, I agree with Graham this is a natural progression.

    In the 18th century your clock could have told you the time, the day, the date, the month, the astrological sign, the time of high tide at a number of ports, the state of the moon and the equation of time to correct the time from your sundial.
     
  29. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    #29 pmwas, Nov 21, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
    A watch with varoius complications is still a watch. Can show moonphase, date in various ranges, time zone, can have a chronograph, repeating function and alarm as well. Like I said, some digital watches had calculators... Yet - it's still a watch. And so I think a smartwatch is still a watch. But I don't think it can be objectively prooven ;)
    I understand the point that allfunctions I mentioned are closer or more distantly related with watche's main function - timekerping, but calculator is the first exception and obviously building other unrelated features in a digital watch could be expected. And now they evolved to smartwatches :)
     
  30. harold bain

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    I suppose the first "smart watch" was used by Dick Tracy back in the 1950's or so.
     
  31. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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    I still call it a data processor.
     
  32. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    :)
    Of course it's a data processor. Still a smartphone is a data processor as well, quite contrary to the original telephone... so is smartphone a phone? If so, can a data processor be a watch? If it can be a phone, tablet, laptop, why not a watch?
    It's a very wide definition - a data processor...
     
  33. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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  34. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Oh yes, that's the word :D
     
  35. novicetimekeeper

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  36. leeinv66

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    Doug, the first data processors were mechanical, so their roots are much closer to that of a mechanical watch than you imply. A mechanical watch that records split times could also be called a data processor could it not?
     
  37. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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    Call them whatever you like. They are of absolutely no interest to me!
     
  38. Jeff Hess

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    Great conversation.

    we have gone from big giant nurnberg egss, down to big giant 18s and 20s pocket turnips, down to slim deco pockets down to petite ladies "pockets being worn on wrists" (25mm or so) in 1918 era, gradually up to 30mm wrists for 30 years or so up to 48 mm wrists a few years ago and then to 200 mm pcoet watches (cell phones) then down to 60 mm smart watches. Now what?

    Bizarre.

    Jeff
     
  39. captainscarlet

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    My 2 cents worth.....I don't believe these things are "watches" in the true sense. I can separate the so called smart watch from any mechanical/quartz watch by asking one question..... What is their primary function? A mechanical, quartz, watches primary function is to tell the time. They may have secondary functions, but it remains that this single task was what the watch was designed and built for. This can not be said of a smart watch. The time is merely one of a multitude of functions which enable the user to spend less time on the phone (A smart watches primary function)
     
  40. leeinv66

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    What is their primary function? I think that depends on the user.
     
  41. Pvt-Public

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    Personally I see it more as a client/server relationship. With the phone being the server and the "wrist display" being the client. Because without being paired to a phone the watch losses a lot of its "gee whiz" functions other than being a watch.
     
  42. Hawk53

    Hawk53 Registered User

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    Absolutely no need for one!

    toon-1463.gif

    toon-2025.gif

    a62cc10713cd944b7706f2ca17e6254c.jpg
     
  43. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    The only functions my sports watch losses when not paired to my phone are phone functions. All the main functions I brought the watch for, including telling the time operate independently of my phone.
     
  44. harold bain

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    Yeah, Dick Tracy's two way wrist radio was sort of like that. Probably didn't have spell check, though. It was from the 1940's
     
  45. captainscarlet

    captainscarlet Registered User

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    So you "bought" a smart watch for functions not associated with your phone? More power to you sir!! I've got a clock like that in my kitchen. One of these days I'm actually going to start cooking my meals in it:D
     
  46. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    My watch is equipped with GSP and tracks, maps and stores my location no matter where I am. That's important when you do a lot of trail walking as I do. My phone is next to useless once I am outside the city limits. So, the fact my watch can sync with my phone is of very little use to me.
     

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