Thursday, October 2, 2014

Customized Apple Watches Present More Questions Than Answers

Customized Apple Watches
Present More Questions Than Answers

So what are the REAL RAMIFICATIONS of Apple entering into the watch market? The truth is that nobody, not even Apple really knows, but we know about Apples determination and extreme resources  coupled with Jonathan Ive's design prowess, and this makes this a fascinating time in watch history (pun intended). 

One of the obvious unanswered questions, is wether Apple intends to collaborate or partner with other watch brands? Even if they decide to go it alone, there is a very high likelihood aftermarket companies with seek to offer customized and bejeweled versions of bespoke Apple Watches such as the ones pictured below. As a matter of fact, as an example, the bespoke aftermarket is one that has flourished for the past decade for companies who customize Rolex watches.

So how does Rolex feel about companies that purchase new Rolex watches, customize them, and offer them for resale? I don't know, but my best guess is they probably don't know what to make of it. On the one hand, it helps them sell more watches, which they can't really service or warrant any more, and on the other hand, they may feel like it dilutes their brand, or they may be frustrated since they don't control them. So how will Apple feel when this inevitably happens? Once again, hard to say.

I recently published a story which gave an overview of an extremely detailed story Arial Adams' published about Apple watches on his blog named Ariel is friend of mine, and I have not had a chance to speak with him yet about the impact of the Apple watch, but it appears he is as fascinated with its value proposition like I am. Today, Ariel Adams published a story named "Wondering How The Swiss Luxury Industry Will Handle Smartwatches? One Cheeky Watch Maker Proposes This Option."

Ariel's story showcases the fascinating renderings of customized Bejeweled Apple Watches seen above in this story, and they were created by a designer named Yvan Arpa, who is considering offering such a product to his customers.

Just to give you a little bit of background on my relationship with Ariel Adams. Ariel used to live in San Francisco, where I have lived my whole life. Years ago, Ariel invited me to be a guest on his Hourtime Podcast he does with John Biggs. He invited me to discuss Rolex history, and it was fascinating. This was before He really developed a real appreciation for Rolex. Just for the record, I bought my first Rolex more than thirty years ago, when I was sixteen and suffice it to day, I have been a Rolex fanatic ever since.

Jake Ehrlich, James Dowling, Benjamin Clymer, and Ariel Adams on November 18, 2013
At Rolex World Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
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Ariel Adams and I are brother's of sorts, along with Benjamin Clymer, who is the founder, and Editor and Publisher of Benjamin Clymer from Hodinkee is also very impressed with the all-new Apple Watch.

I say we we are like brothers of sorts since we all roughly started our online blog/magazines around the same time back in 2008. I also met Benjamin Clymer soon after he started The three of us have much in common, as we were really the first major horological bloggers on the web.

Last year, Rolex invited the three of us to Geneva, Switzerland to tour all four Rolex facilities, along with Rolex book author, James Dowling, who was also a founder of

Rolex's invitation was unprecedented in the sense they never invited online horological journalists to tour all four of their facilities. To the best of my knowledge, it was the first time they invited any journalist to tour all four of their facilities. As a result, I wrote a super-detailed story about the amazing experience we had touring Rolex in Switzerland.

When Worlds Collide

So what does this have to do with anything? The three of us are all fascinated with the value proposition of the Apple Watch, and we are all tripping on the reaction of the Swiss Watch industry. I have written extensively about my thoughts on this subject on Jake's Rolex World. In all my detailed articles I wrote on the subject, I argued that the Swiss Watch Industry, and everything it stands for is about to be very seriously challenged by Apple.

There have been many naysayers saying I am overblowing or exaturating the reality of the situation and that the status quo will continue unaffected. I don't believe this for one moment. I argue the renderings in this story from Ariel's article are more proof-positve of the mounting evidence that the Apple Watch changes everything...and of course, that is why I started Jake's Apple Watch World!!! 

In the months and years to come, it will be fascinating to see how things play themselves out...As they say, "Time Will Tell."

On a sidenote, and speaking of customization, the irony is that the Apple Watch is meant to be extremely customizable. So what did I do with the image below? I took the photo of Yvan Arpa's customized and blinged-out Apple Watch, and customized the watch dial with Mickey Mouse, which I think looks cool...and that is the point...the future is about freedom of expression...

P.S. If you think about it, the watch above could almost be a blinged-out Rolex Prince, all it would need is the Rolex crown on the Apple Digital Crown...

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