The main aspect that sets wrist watches apart from digital and smart watches is that classic wrist watches are meant to be long-term investments, while watches that incorporate technology are meant to be replaced. Digital watches and smartwatches are designed with the knowledge that while they might be improvements on a former technology, they are also only objects in that long continuum of ever advancing technology. There will always be a newer digital or smart watch that is better than the last, a version 2.0, 3.4, 4.1 and so on.
Classic digital watches are a no-no
Because digital and smart watches are always going to be improved upon, they are not really objects of investment. Like an automobile that depreciates as soon as you drive it out of the lot, digital and smart watches devalue as they are replaced by newer generations. But classic wrist watches increase in value as more time passes because the longer they last, the greater a testament they are to the skill and craftsmanship of the watchmaker.
As an object of investment for a lifetime, classic wristwatches have achieved their highest form. True, other mechanical watches are also investments, such as pocket watches, but the impracticality of everyday wear with a pocket watch doesn’t really attract people. A classic wrist watch has been a consistently functional and aesthetic accessory for men’s fashion since the early twentieth century. And throughout that time, the classic wrist watch has gained cultural significance and a historic weight. There is something suggestive about how passing down a watch symbolizes a rite of passage that a father presents to his son as he becomes a man.