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Smartwatches shake up Baselworld, industry divided


Since day one, Smartwatches are all anyone could talk about at the exhibition

Usually a platform for traditional Swiss watchmaking, this year, Baselworld has been overrun by the debate over Smartwatches.

The high-tech timepieces are the talk of town and the crowd – including watchmakers themselves – are divided on the issue, with some embracing the notion that connected devices represent the future of the industry and others opposing it.

Italian luxury brand, Bulgari, unveiled a concept “intelligent” watch that can act, through Smartphone connectivity, as a virtual vault for all personal data.

“It [the watch] answers the question what can technology bring into watchmaking to help a luxury client,” Bulgari’s managing director Diego Terreni told us.

Despite the move in that direction, Terreni stated that luxury watches and Smartwatches run in parallel, shrugging off any threat posed on the industry.

“Smatwatches today are basically gadgets with functions that are not really useful in a luxury watch.”

Manuel Emch, the CEO of Romain Jerome, an avant-garde Swiss luxury watchmaker believed that the future lies in the “share of wrists,” in reference to collaborations combining traditional craftsmanship of watchmaking and connectivity of the “smart” world.