Friday, 12 September 2014

Rolex or Apple Watch?

One of the marvels of the power of the brand is why baby-boomers keep wearing Rolexes and other luxury watch brands on their wrist when these expensive little machines do not do much more than simply tell you the time and the date that you already know.    They are not even intelligent enough to know that February has only 28 days but once every 4 years it has 29 and that June always has 30 days.

The power of the Rolex brand is supported by their creative advertising ( its is not just a watch; it is history!!) and strong sponsorships of the affluent sports i.e. tennis, golf and yachting.   Wearing your Rolex is a deeply ingrained habit which adds little practical value to your daily life but without it you would feel improperly dressed.

This deeply ingrained habit is now being challanged head on by the Apple Watch.   Apple is the most valuable brand in the world, it is the Company with the highest market valuation and with cash piles that can be invested in driving the brand into the territory which so far has been dominated by luxury watch makers.  It is the Company that with its I-phone introduced in 2007 brought Nokia to its knees even though Nokia had some 40% of the world-wide market share of the mobile phone market.

There is no doubt that from a practical point of view that wearing the Apple Watch will give you much better value than a simple Rolex.   Linked as it is to the I-Phone 6 there is pretty little the I-phone can do that the Apple Watch would not be able to do.

The question is whether the Apple Watch would deliver to their bearers the status symbol that the present otherwise useless luxury watches add.  Get ready for a titanic battle of the brands which has already started.   The Rolexes  will hammer that without wearing a luxury Swiss Made watch on your wrist you are really not up to it, whereas Apple will emphasize that irrespective where their watch is made it has the same functionality of the I-phone and their design is even cooler than the Rolexes of this world.

Apple have a tough challange to make a success of their Watch.    They designed it well in 4 different configuration each in two sizes to offer a choice to their respective market segments:

  • the baby boomers who needs to be convinced to acknowledge the uselessness of their traditonal luxury watches and the functionality and style of the new Apple Watch;
  • the millenials who do not wear watches any more as they seek status in Starbucks and I-Phones.
Apple can extend their gold version to include as many diamonds as the wearer seeking status would want.   Watch the battle of the watches!!

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