Smartwatch rising: Is time up for traditional luxury watches?

There's a new turf war in technology, and this time, it's the battle for your wrist. q technology correspondent Clive Thompson weighs in.
Left: "Moonwatch" Apollo IX 1969, Omega 18k, a gold limited edition chronograph wristwatch. Right: Customized gilded Apple wrist watch. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/AP//Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)

There's a new turf war in technology, and this time it's a battle for your wrist. 

On one side, you've got the expensive gold standard: the Swiss watch. A timepiece crafted with such care, it can be passed between generations.

On the other side you've got a different, but also extravagant time piece: the smart watch. Apple's version starts at $700. But you won't be passing it down to your kids, because the software will be obsolete.

Despite that, it looks like the smartwatches are gaining ground. The latest numbers show that for the first time in history, manufacturers shipped more smartwatches than Swiss watches.

Clive Thompson, our tech correspondent, joins Shad to talk about the shift and what we may be losing if we let go of our analogue timepieces. 

Clive Thompson on tech. Author and journalist Clive Thompson always takes the red pill. Follow q's whip smart tech correspondent to the frontiers of science and technology — from virtual reality journalism to life on Mars.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?