The Essence of Style in the Digital Age: The Wristwatch.

by Keverne Denahan

With the proliferation of mobile phones these days, you would think that wearing a timepiece, or wristwatch, would be obsolete.  Everything is digital and people can just look at their phones, but if you notice, there are some that prefer to continue wearing a wristwatch.


There is a certain panache, a “je ne sais quoi” when it comes to true style and genteel living as it relates to wearing a wristwatch.



If one were to truly understand time and all its elements, one would know that the wristwatch is, at its very essence, a symbol of time.  Only the very few have the luxury of having time, which is one reason wearing a wristwatch has endured as an unshakeable status symbol throughout this Digital Age.


Imagine you are at a luxury hotel having an important meeting, but you need to check the time to ensure you talk to your children before their bedtime.  Glancing at your watch, for the rich and famous and the people who can afford to dine out or attend a business meeting, has a certain level of elegance and style.  It’s unobtrusive.  It doesn’t convey that you’re distracted or inattentive.  Pulling out your phone to check the time however, conveys a completely different message.



Style can be deep-rooted or it can be learned.  Watches are a timeless symbol of achieving that level of style.  Whether wearing a timepiece that is modern and innovative or passed down from generation to generation, it’s rooted firmly, internationally, as a status symbol.


Image by Keverne Denahan


When one conjures up images of deep-rooted status symbols, one thinks of classic luxury brands such as Hermes, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Mikimoto.  What would style be without an Hermes scarf, a Burberry raincoat, a Louis Vuitton handbag, strand of Mikimoto pearls, and of course, a timepiece worn boldly on the wrist or clasped casually as a bracelet, dangling just….so.


Image by Keverne Denahan


Consider these rich Heritage Brands that have an everlasting presence on the wrists of the strong and powerful:  Audemars Piguet, Patek Phillipe, Breitling, Gevril, Rolex and TAG Heuer to name of few of the many Luxury Swiss Watch Brands in the world.


Overall, many watch brands have not seen a downturn in sales since the mobile phone because much of their clientele is aware that a wristwatch signifies the essence of style, professionalism, and quite literally, the luxury of time.




Then you have the demographics that have little to no experience with analog.  They are rediscovering books, LP’s, and wristwatches as they seek a more tangible and grounded experience for their lifestyle.  The wristwatch is seen as a fascinating accessory, and trendy in many circles.


There is a time and place to dig your phone out and check the time.  The wristwatch, regardless of brand, make or model, continues to capture the essence of style and remains a status symbol accessory, even during the Digital Age.

Top 5 Reasons Why a Watch is a Timeless Accessory

by Keverne Denahan

When we think of a watch, we think of it as an accessory that not only has function, but has design.  Design can be as intricate as different time zones, diving altimeters and lunar phases to as basic as two hands moving around a dial.


So how is it that while some accessories that were considered “de rigueur” in their time have gone by the wayside, while the wristwatch marches forward?  Think about sweater clips in the 50’s for example. Whether for sport, business, deep sea diving or an evening out, watches march on as the “it” wrist accessory.



Let’s explore the top five reasons why a watch is timeless (pun intended):


  1. Fashion: As fashion tides ebb and flow, a steady symbol throughout cycles is the wristwatch as an accessory.  As luxury and fashion watches go, it gives the added benefit of serving a function as well as a new meaning to the term ‘arm candy’.   More elaborate watch models give you the Lunar Phasedual time zones and more. Fashion can be classified as Classic with more understated models such as the Cartier Tank watch, or more trendy styles with rubber watch bands and bright colors such as the Fitbit Smartwatch Versa 3.



  1. Iconic: When we say “iconic”, our minds instantly go to large, groomed swaths of land, horse stables, wooden yachts, classic cars, Italian leather goods, rich linens, cashmere and luxe fabrics.  We conjure up living with ease in comfort and style as our way of life.  This style is often passed down through generations of living in luxury, but it can be learned and replicated at most demographic levels.  A Swiss made watch would fall into the category of iconic style with just an ounce of indulgence.

    Man Sailing Luxury Yacht



  1. Collectible: Many High Net Worth individuals understand the value of collecting a well-made and highly sought-after timepiece.  Talk to a man with a stunning timepiece and oftentimes you will discover that this is one of many in his collection.  Understanding a quality timepiece and its unique value is what attracts those in-the-know to begin their collections.  Once begun, it’s hard to turn down even the most expensive of watches when you know that it could be sold at auction such as Sotheby’s or Christie’s.


  1. Heritage: Selling at auction is one possibility for a watch collector, but another is the value of passing your watch down to the next generation.  Time literally marches on no matter where you live or what you do.  As families continue, so does the legacy of time which makes receiving a watch as inheritance or special gift, all the more meaningful.  Knowing you are wearing your grandfather’s watch as he built his company and raised his family brings the heritage aspect of a timepiece so much closer. It’s a connector to others in your family tree, a way of keeping them here with us.

    Image by Keverne Denahan


  1. Professional: Check any wrist on Wall Street and you are sure to see the likes of many high-end watch brands.  Time is critical to a successful businessman or businesswoman who has to attend meetings, power lunches, catch a flight or even catch up on the golf course.  The practicality of checking the time makes the luxury timepiece an essential accessory.  It’s been noted that successful people wear a watch.

    Image by Keverne Denahan


So, there you have it.  If you have always worn a watch, then you understand the significance.  If you’ve been questioning the value of wearing a watch rather than just using your mobile phone to check the time, then this should validate your decision, no matter what brand you choose.

The Fashionable Future of Smart Watches

Moto 360 Smartwatch

by Adrian Herscovici  

The Shapes of Things to Come

So called smartwatches are appearing at an accelerated pace on the production lines of tech manufacturers and traditional watch manufacturers alike. Fueled by the desire to make headway into the market for new and different portable technology, each manufacturer hopes to be the first to design a device that consumers feel they actually need. But what should the ultimate smartwatch look like? The answer: it doesn’t matter, because function will dictate form.

The Latest Smartwatches

On January 1, 2015 Montblanc introduced its e-Strap, with smartwatch technology built into the strap rather than into the watch itself. Theoretically the e-Strap is interchangeable with all sorts of watches, and could therefore be classified as more of a smartwatch accessory. The e-Strap uses Bluetooth wireless technology to provide notifications and track physical activity in conjunction with a smartphone.

Montblanc E-Straps Adds Functionality to Luxury Watches
Montblanc E-Straps Adds Functionality to Luxury Watches
Click to Enlarge Image

Other companies are opting to integrate smartwatch technology directly into more traditional looking cases, which may be an attractive compromise for people who want high-tech functionality but don’t want an unattractive gadget on their wrists. The Withings Activaté watch is a good example; it has a stainless steel case mounted on a fine leather strap, a Swiss made dial and a sapphire crystal. The Activaté is also compatible with a smartphone.

Withings Activaté Watches
Withings Activaté Watches
Click to Enlarge Image

And last year the world took note when Apple made its first foray into smartwatches with the introduction of the Apple Watch, a unique device that is at once totally futuristic in appearance but incorporates classic elements of watch design including high-end case finishing, interchangeable straps and an external crown. The Apple Watch rolls out this year and, no surprise, works exclusively with an iPhone.

Apple Smartwatches
Apple Smartwatches
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Ambiguous Value Propositions

The one thing that all of the aforementioned examples have in common (along with the numerous other smartwatches on the market), is that their “smart” functions work only with a smartphone – the human race’s standard equipment in every demographic from pre-teen to septuagenarian. If the smartwatch is going to complement, let alone eclipse, the smartphone, it needs to work more independently or offer more meaningful enhancements.

Sure, there are tech-savvy people who will adopt smartwatches immediately; yes, there are purists who have no interest whatsoever in wearing a wrist computer; and yes, there are those in between who require a compelling reason to consider switching from what they already wear, or to wearing any watch at all.

Sony Smartwatch User
Sony Smartwatch User
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Current smartwatches offer few luxuries of convenience to drive anyone’s willingness to adopt them as mandatory equipment. Figuring out the value of the smartwatch to the consumer is therefore the obvious million-dollar question. Whatever the “ultimate” smartwatch does, be certain that this functionality will have a greater impact on dictating its shape than whether or not the device is 50 or 100 mm wide. Ultimately, the decision to wear a smartwatch is about function, not form.

Function First

Companies like HYT, MB&F and Urwerk already produce mechanical watches that stretch the imagination about how a watch looks and displays time. Some of the watches by these companies are impractical and all of them are exclusive and expensive, but they do indicate that people have an inherent interest in new shapes, sizes and designs if the device’s purpose is clear – all of the watches by these companies are high-end timepieces designed to tell time and appeal to their respective audience.

Once there is a smartwatch with a clear purpose that offers essential advantages to the wearer, fashion will adopt the form and people will make the shape – whatever it is – fit within their daily lives, just like smartphones. The bottom line is: first, create something that people need and then experiment and refine the shape and style.

Maybe designing a strap to attach a smartphone to the wrist is a smarter approach than trying to transform the smartphone into some type of wrist device; maybe shirts with custom sleeve lengths to accommodate such a smartphone strap will become commonplace. We’ll find out soon enough.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group, watchmaker and wholesale watch distributor, is the exclusive U.S. agent for exquisitely designed and crafted European luxury and fashion watch brands, distributing and servicing some of the best affordable luxury and Swiss watches and trendy fashion watches. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair, staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Will Google Win the Smartwatch War?

Google Android Wear

by John Sealander  

Will the company with the best hardware win the smartwatch wars? Or will it be the company with the most data?

GoogleAlmost everybody agrees that wearable technology will be the next big thing. What is unclear at this point is who will come up with the winning formula for a successful smartwatch. Pundits and industry insiders could learn a lot by looking at what has happened to Blackberry. This popular platform actually incorporated very sophisticated technology when it was introduced. It was left behind in the dust however, when other manufacturers discovered that software was much more important to smartphone customers than the hardware.

Innovative, inexpensive and even free apps turned the modern smartphone into a versatile tool that could do virtually anything. Ten years later, the same thing could be happening with the emerging market for wearable technology. This time, it won’t be the apps that make the difference; it will be how effectively these apps will be able to access and utilize vast amounts of data.

A Data Goldmine

Who has access to the most data these days? One company stands head and shoulders above the rest is Google. Google has access to such an enormous amount of data that they already have the capacity to do things that other companies can’t. This is why when Google announced recently that it was exploring a new line of Android Wear, it caused a lot of speculation within the watch industry.

Imagine a watch with motion sensors and a microphone. It might figure out that you’re dancing and tell you what song is playing. A Google smartwatch could interface with your online calendar and not only remind you about upcoming events, it could also suggest what you might bring to the party, based on what stores are nearby. Google is all about putting data in context. Instead of a long list of Apple style apps, a Google smartwatch might continually track what you are doing and suggest an appropriate response, based on the context of your actions at the time.

Instead of traditional apps, a Google smartwatch will probably be based on a set of actions. This is what Google is already exploring with its innovative Google Glass wearable project. Using context based actions, you could quickly and easily use your watch for calling a cab, exploring a new city, finding nearby friends, or planning an alternate route to the airport. Google’s innovative creative team lives in a world where cyborgs are cool and talking to your gadgets is as normal as striking up a conversation with the person next to you. They want to go beyond technology and create a watch that becomes an extension of you.

Google in the Driver’s Seat?

Just as Apple understood what a new generation of customers wanted better than Blackberry, Google seems to understand what future generations are going to want better than most current technology companies.

The smartwatch wars have just begun and there won’t be a single winner. Companies as diverse as Sony, Apple, Motorola, Samsung, and even watchmaking giant Swatch, are all planning to introduce their own versions of wearable technology in the near future. Anything could happen at this point, but it would be unwise to count Google out. Google has something that other companies don’t. Google has all the data.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group, watchmaker and wholesale watch distributor, is the exclusive U.S. agent for exquisitely designed and crafted European luxury and fashion watch brands, distributing and servicing some of the best affordable luxury and Swiss watches and trendy fashion watches. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair, staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog digest.