Are pocket watches making a comeback in 2015?

As the smart watch struggles, does that mean there’s now a place for the humble pocket watch as next year’s big trend? EDGAR investigates.

Peter Iantorno December 25, 2014

In a year that's been billed by many as the year that the smart watch is going to break into the mainstream, here at EDGAR, we predict another trend emerging in 2015: the rise of the pocket watch.

2014 saw the unveiling of the much-awaited Apple Watch, but the supposedly groundbreaking piece of wrist candy has quite frankly struggled to inspire consumers ahead of its muted summer 2015 release. Some projections suggest that just 8 million will be sold in the first year - as opposed to the hugely successful iPhone 6, which shifted an incredible 10 million units in its opening weekend alone and is expected to sell 200 million more in 2015.

Of course, the runaway success of the iPhone 6 can hardly be used as a stick to beat the Apple Watch with, but the fact remains that for a concept released to such fanfare, so far, the iWatch has failed to live up to expectations, and if any product was going to ignite the public's interest in smart watches, that was it. watch Apple So with the timekeeping technology that was set to change the world proving to be something of a damp squib so far, that leaves a slot open for 2015's big trend. Step forward, the humble pocket watch.

You might think it's something you'd be more likely to inherit from your grandfather than buy for yourself during the next year, but there are a number of reasons why we think the pocket watch is making a comeback in 2015.

Firstly, traditional watches in general are still on the up. The smart watch market was worth some $711 million at last count, but that's nothing compared to the almost $21 billion that the Swiss watch industry alone is worth - a rise of 2 per cent from last year. Pocket watch. Away from facts and figures, the pocket watch has a certain intrigue and appeal that a smart watch simply cannot match. After all, if you take the back off your pocket watch and look inside you'll be greeted by the sight of an intricate set of gears all moving in harmony, whereas if you take a peek inside your brand new iWatch you'll see nothing but a few micro chips and a battery.

Another reason why we think the pocket watch is set for a comeback is the rise of the hipster. An almost ubiquitous style amongst young, well-educated professionals, the hipster has a very specific style which places enormous importance on the long-standing quality and heritage of whatever he wears. And the retro-chic style and elegance that a pocket watch affords its owner is pretty much the perfect accessory for anyone who follows this trend.

What is perhaps ironic is that the majority of people who buy pocket watches in 2015 may well be fascinated by the intricate inner workings and complications, but the likelihood of them using it for its intended purpose - checking the time - is actually rather slim. They'll probably just keep it as a fashion accessory and use their iPhone to check the time instead...