Watch stores should sell smartwatches too

By Adam Zeis on 23 Jan 2014 10:17 am

As more and more smartwatches hit the market, prospective users will be seeking them out like never before. For now the online stores are very fragmented — each device being sold through it's respective site with the exception of a few bigger name devices like the Qualcomm Toq, Galaxy Gear, Sony Smartwatch 2 and even the Pebble, which are all available on Amazon as well. Other upcoming devices like the HOT watch, Sonostar and Kreyos however are currently only available (for pre-order) from their respective sites. They have yet to hit the mainstream and thus many smartwatch fans who aren't "in the know" may never come across them without a bit of work. Even if they do go to big online retailers, it's still hard for consumers to know which is the best watch or the watch for them just by reading reviews.

Even when seeking out a new cell phone, people want to head to a carrier store and play around with a device first to know if it's a good fit. Sure, many people but phones without ever having touched them, but how much better is it to actually try out multiple devices in the store first? To see all the features, feel the device, ask questions — it just makes sense. A good point comes from the forums and poses the question, why shouldn't smartwatches be sold in watch stores as well so consumers can have the same experience?

You can use the analogy of carrier stores for phones as an example. For year the carriers sold just "classic" phones. Dumb phones, flip phones, candy bar phones — whatever you want to call them. Now you're actually hard-pressed to find a classic device among all of the smartphones throughout most carrier stores. There's no reason that watch stores couldn't work the same way. Smartwatches are still watches, so why not offer them alongside "classic" models as well? 

“Maybe that's the critical turning point down the road for watches ... I was thinking that a place like this could really set itself apart from the competition by carrying a selection of smartwatches." davemacd

Watch stores could have a solid selection of smartwatches to sell and customers could actually try them on to get a feel for the device. They could learn the features and see it in action. Some of us have the ability to attend shows like CES to have this experience in person, but what about the average consumer? 

Of course it would take both sides to make it happen. The smartwatch manufacturers would need to put in the effort of seeking out the stores and giving them good terms, and the stores would have to be open to taking the risk in the early days of smartwatches. Still, they could be sold alongside expensive watches and serve as a fun "accessory" to buyers who may even buy one just for fun. There's plenty of room in a nice watch collection for a smartwatch, especially with higher-end designs coming up like the Pebble Steel, COGITO and the Hyeits Crossbow.

So what say you? Do you think smartwatches have a place in retail watch stores? Sound off in the comments!

Related: Editorial

Reader comments

Watch stores should sell smartwatches too


That is exacty where i am with Smart watches. I would like to try one but I want to go to a retail location and see how they fit, how they interact with my phone, color options, screen brightness and ease of reading,etc. The choices are getting many so its more important to be able to get the best one for each person.

I would love it if WatchMakers that I buy watches from like Baume et Mercier, Bvlgari or Paul Pico gave smartwatches away with the purchase of a watch. Average watch from these watchmakers run 3-8 thousand and giving away a $200(even less wholesale) watch would mean nothing to them. They could even brand it " Pebble for Baume et Mercier" or something along that line.


Would the watchmakers want people to get used to these smartwatches rather than their own is the question.

I personally like what Martian does with it's watches. The small notification scroller at the bottom could very well be adopted by any of the WatchMakers.

Now, it would be awesome if they could incorporate their automatic movements into the digital aspect of the phone and get rid of the battery altogether. Wouldn't that be something!!

If you're paying Paul Picot money for a watch, its for reasons unrelated to why you'd wear a smartwatch. Not to say such a person wouldn't want or use a smartwatch, but no one is ever going to say, "Man, I'm so glad I got this Toq. Good bye, Patek Philippe!"

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

Not Really as "Goodbye Patek" but more like "I wish my Patek had notification like my Pebble. It's just so convenient".

HYetis Crossbow has an automatic movement but is just too darn bulky. We need something like a slick 7mm case with notification scroller or a Cogito like lit-up notification icons.

ONLY watch stores should sell smart watches. Smart watches are jewelry first and an electronic instrument second.

Just as smart watch salesperson learns to show how complicated Citizen is set, he/she should learn to show and set a smart watch with a mobile. The only exception being Apple stores (grudgingly). They should NOT sell in Best Buy. In Amazon, they should list in jewelry section.


I think smart watches should be offered in retail stores. I need the ability to test it out and see the features and functions.

If the typical watch retail outlet carried smartwatches, then you could also be able to get a different wristband at point of sale. They probably would have a deal with a nearby technology store for support.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

"also be able to get a different wristband at point of sale" .
A very valid point for add-on sales for retailers.

I feel that Watch stores should have a smaller area dedicated to the fast paced technology watches.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

Hello there, I m Hyetis co-founder.
It s an interesting topic and I would like to give you our point of view and the different feed back we had from retailers .
We had discussions with watch shop owners, some of them were interested to sell our smartwatch ( mid range brand specialist ), but their biggest fear was about their sales team. They were not sure that sellers will be able to explain apps and technology inside, and they don't want to invest in training, so it will be in charge of the brand to train the seller.
The second point is about margins, who should pay the margins of the shop? Client or Brand. For us, it was unthinkable to report shop's margins on our client, so we decided that the fair solution would be to develop exclusive series for retailers, what do you think?

I thought the same thing while walking through the jewelry store on our cruise ship lat week when this posted. I would like to try something on and play with the features for a moment before buying.