I just want to lay out for others my experience with smartwatches. Maybe others will find this interesting. Let me start out by saying I am a long time watch guy and have a collection of watches that includes a Rolex 116610LV Sub and Breitling Avenger GMT along with several other automatic, quartz, and solar watches. I have been dabbling with picking up a smart watch for a while and have bought and subsequently returned several of them including the Ticwatch E, Fitbit Ionic, etc. Well this Christmas my wife (who doesn't wear a watch) told me she wanted me to get her one.
I went to Bestbuy and was initially interested in the new Samsung Galaxy Watch. Here in Canada the 46mm runs for about $450cad. When I picked it up I immediately thought it felt less than solid. I flicked it around a bit and played with the bezel and the software was smooth. I put it on my wrist and noted my impressions. The watch itself was too thick. The strap felt cheap and had a curve to it which means it did not appear to be easily replaceable like a standard watch. The lug to lug "height" of the watch was too much for what I consider to be a pretty standard wrist at 7". I decided I would try the 42mm version but the store unfortunately did not have it. By sheer luck, sitting beside the new Galaxy Watch was last year's Samsung Gear Sport watch. At 43mm, the watch had a dark gunmetal solid steel case with the same rotating bezel controls and exact same OS and applications of the Galaxy Watch. It also had a silicone strap with straight ends that could easily by replaced by any other 20mm band. I placed it on my wrist and the size was excellent. The thickness is not overbearing and the height of the watch felt very good on my wrist. It was also significantly cheaper than the Galaxy Watch. On my initial impressions I thought maybe the Galaxy must have more features, but upon leaving the store and doing some research, the Gear Sport and new Galaxy Watch essentially do the exact same thing. The only benefits to the new watch are that it has better battery life and there is an LTE version available for significantly more money. I was not interested in that anyway.
After comparing the 2 watches and also some of the other watches available on the market, I decided to go with the Gear Sport, which is very easy to navigate due to the 2 side buttons and rotating bezel. The downside is it runs off of the Samsung app store rather than Google but the Samsung store does not seem to be lacking in any way. Because it was last year's model, I was able to find one on Kijiji for $170 and bought that for my wife. I liked the look and features and eventually decided to pick one up for myself as well. I thought I would probably give it up within a couple of days but instead of losing it's charm, it's growing on me instead.
I've been wearing my Gear Sport for about 1 week now and am completely satisfied with the performance and style. I love seeing the health trends it records. I placed it on a nice leather rally strap and I think it looks killer. My wife has even started to experiment with making custom faces for this watch. So now I have a problem. I have several nice watches which I really do love the look and style of in my watch box. I used to have a role for each of my watches - work, casual, formal, gym, etc. I have tried to think of the benefits of these watches over my smartwatch but I really am drawing a blank. Other than the toughness of my Victorinox Inox and the fact that the smartwatch needs to be charged every couple of days, I really can't think of a reason to keep the other watches. I am considering selling off most of them and just keeping the ones that are sentimental such as my wedding watch etc. I can't help but think that these expensive watch brands like Rolex and Breitling are just clinging to a name and a Legacy and need to innovate and innovate quickly if they are going to survive. The reason I say that is because where I used to view a Rolex as a status symbol, these days they really just make me think less of the person wearing them for spending so much money on a watch rather than drawing any kind of prestige. I know that statement will bring out the flames on a forum like this but that's my opinion. I wonder whether more people will start to think this way in the future.
To those of you that are joining the smartwatch crowd, are you keeping or selling the rest of your watches and why?