The Timers, They Are A-Changin’

The sports watch is having an identity crisis—and consumers love it. It used to be that sports watches were easy to define. They were water-resistant, shock-resistant, and sometimes used as stopwatches. Period. True, there were some specialized timepieces for pilots or divers, but no one wore them to work or a dinner party. How timers have changed. Today’s sports watch can be a dressy accessory for men or women—useful at work or at home—or a rugged digital with cutting-edge technology. These sports watches are sturdy enough for a game of tennis but handsome enough to be worn to the office or on an evening out. Clearly, this category has been adapted to Americans’ casual lifestyle. The watches are informal and versatile, possessing what industry insiders call “crossover wearability.” Another factor fueling the category’s popularity is Americans’ fascination with techno

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