Inside the Smartwatch Phenomenon

The times they are a-changin’! As smartwatches become more widely available, will the nonsmart business get left behind?The jewelry industry has long acknowledged—sometimes with pride—that beyond being pleasing to the eye, its products have no practical use. But watches always have been the exception because they served one not-to-be-scoffed-at function: They told time.Then, about a decade ago, the advent of mobile phones made watches all but superfluous. Even so, the business kept on ticking, as ritzy and ever-more-complicated timepieces began to be seen as symbols of style and success, fueling unprecedented growth: At press time, 2013 Swiss watch export figures had yet to be finalized, but they were widely expected to set a record.Now, however, the standard watch may be morphing into something more: a high-tech gadget that can be used to check Facebook, change channels on your TV

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