Watches are a vanishing accessory among the young. If you are younger than 24 years old there’s a 60 percent chance you don’t own one, or so says the Center for the Digital Future. Not surprisingly, it’s the low end of the market that’s taken the hit. The cheap utilitarian watch is being replaced by the cell phone. The luxury market, on the other hand, has rebounded in recent years. As jewelry watches are becoming nostalgic emblems of the analogue age. A NYT article from last year identifies the trend among “heritage-macho types in their 20s and 30s who are drawn to the wristwatch’s retro appeal, just as they have seized on straight razors, selvedge denim and vintage vinyl.”
The demands of fashion aside, there’s good reason for watches to stay in production: the wrist is (if you’ll forgive the pun) a handy place for a tool.
Now a start-up called Pebble Technology is giving our wrists a new reason to be: a device that communicates wirelessly with your cell phone to transmit reminders, text and email messages and alert you to incoming calls. Pebble can control music playback, track your workout and manage a host of other apps. It also tells time.
Some 48,000 backers have funded Pebble on Kickstarter to the record-breaking tune of $7,149,712 on an initial goal of only $100,000.