I don't think the next couple of years will be fun for luxury watchmakers. Instead of thinking of their customers and innovating, TorrentFreak is reporting that luxury watchmakers are forming a type of consortium to send cease and desist notices to people giving away free knock-off watch face downloads for smartwatches. While a company has a right and obligation to protect its trademarks, I find it quite amusing that high-end watchmakers think sending cease and desist letters is going to hold off the tsunami that is about to hit them over the coming years as smartwatches go mainstream.
Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot, did a great job at describing the paradox facing high-end watchmakers and the coming smartwatch era when he said, "[a] smartwatch is very difficult for [Hublot] because it is contradictory... Luxury is supposed to be eternal... How do you justify a $2,000 smart watch whose technology will become obsolete in two years?"
In four months, Apple will not only begin selling a luxury smartwatch that will cost well over $2,000, but also a mass market $349 smartwatch that could sell in the 10s of millions of units annually. Apple Watch will combine luxury with personalization and technology; something that current luxury watchmakers are incapable of doing.
I just don't see a place for a luxury "dumb" watch in a luxury "smart" watch world.