29th March 2013, Borough Market, London
It's happened again. Someone has just asked me what so many people do: "Why have a watch when you can tell the time from your phone? "
It's an interesting paradox, and the answer tells us a lot about ourselves. True, you can tell the time from your phone. I often do. We can do amazing many things with a phone. In fact, I get many suggestions for features to put on a watch that really should stay on the phone.
Yet watch sales are relentlessly climbing. The undeniable fact is that we are as addicted to watches as ever. We may not wear one all day any more, but we continue to buy them, love them, and wear them socially. Why?
We are all emotionally connected to watches. Can you think of another product where both men and women will pause by a shop window to admire a product's beauty, whether it is affordable or not?
Watches are social chemistry. We choose our watch according to what we want people to think of us, not for the information it yields.
Timekeeping is our history. Classic designs are cherished, and even when straying from conventional design, we adore the echoes of traditional timekeeping.
Watches are easy to understand. You can absorb everything they are trying to tell you at a glance. Keeping it simple deters no-one.
Watches allow frequent access. A glance at your wrist is less effort than pulling your phone out, and is more socially acceptable in company.
Watches are not interactive. In normal use, they tell you information, not the other way round.
Watches are living jewellery. A well-crafted watch is a moving work of art that can captivate us for hours.