Get­ting Smart

ARE SMART WATCHES A REAL THREAT TO HIGH-END TIME­PIECES? A RE­CENT CHANGE OF HEART BY AN IN­DUS­TRY VET­ERAN MAY SIG­NAL THE TIDE IS CHANG­ING IN A WORLD OF PER­MA­NENT CON­NEC­TIV­ITY, WRITES Sean Li

Hong Kong Tatler - - Lancôme -

There’s a term in­creas­ingly bandied around to de­scribe the gen­er­a­tion born into the in­ter­net world—the mil­len­ni­als. The on­line world has be­come so preva­lent and ac­ces­si­ble that it’s easy to for­get it wasn’t so long ago that it en­tered our lives and be­came a vi­tal tool in ev­ery­thing from day-to­day com­mu­ni­ca­tions to work, travel and en­ter­tain­ment. Just look at the har­ried faces of trav­ellers post-check-in as they try to get on­line even be­fore reach­ing their rooms. It’s as if we’re al­ready living in The Ma­trix and don’t know it.

This world of al­most per­ma­nent con­nec­tiv­ity is pre­sent­ing the watch­mak­ing in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly the high end, with a po­ten­tial chal­lenge in the form of smart watches. It’s a mo­ment of déjà vu. There was a time when the me­chan­i­cal time­pieces we so trea­sure to­day were ef­fec­tively on life sup­port. The quartz cri­sis of the late 1970s

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