iPhone App?

It's been exactly one year ago since a member of this forum posted a suggestion that an iPhone app with a catalog, history, vintage, ect. would be a nice marketing tool (click here to see the post).

More recently in an answer to the thread "What's missing in VC's offering?", someone else pointed out that an iPhone app is still missing.

Until today, there appeared about 20 iPhone apps from watchmakers, now in Apples app store. Some are really nice looking and some are ... well not that appealing.

Exactly at the time Berny posted his suggestion in this forum, I was at BaselWorld '09 and showed a couple of selected vendors a demo application of two nicely animated watches on the iPhone. These prototypes took me about ten weeks to develop. Although many watchmakers seemed to be excited about the show case, none of them dared to start a project at this time. So, eventually I canceled my efforts to bring a realy cool idea to life.

So, what do you think? Is an iPhone app an idea for VC which should be realized?

If so, I would love to help here. I put a lot of effort into a framework - which makes it easy to simulate watches. The quality of the simulation of a watch will be better than that what is currently available in other apps. Especially the mechanical simulation of the weight of automatic watches is generally poorly done - I use a physical exact simulation. Animated watches can be even "interactive" - that is, starting, stopping - what ever - on user tabs. The simulation may behave as a real watch. The other stuff like catalog browser, store locator, history browser, etc., is pretty much "standard" and can be nicely animated as well (zooming, scrolling). Quality and the effort required to make an app depends mainly on the quality of the feed material and the desired features and the desired design.

I'm totally aware of the fact, that whether this idea comes to life depends on VC only, and - of course - there may be other ways to realize such a project. I'm just here to figure out the interests of the community, and offer help if required.

Will love to here your comments.

Kind regards

Who needs a virtual watch?
03/26/2010 - 00:49
I'm sure the novelty is interesting, but not having an iPhone myself, I can't really see the utility in a virtual watch when I'd rather fondle the real thing .
Re: Who needs a virtual watch?
03/26/2010 - 10:52
Well, besides it shows the time and that it may be exciting to look at a gorgeous animated clock you never can afford, there may be a couple of things an application can tell you which people may consider useful, interesting and exciting: Suppose you are really after a certian watch. An animation shows you how the hands move - is it 3Hz is it 4Hz? You can hear the sound when the minute repater chimes. You can see how the hand snaps back to its starting position in a retrograde. You can see how the seconds hand snap to its zero position, and the minute hand is exactly alinging when you adjust the time of the clock. You can see how the weight of an automatic rotates when you tilt the iPhone ... And you can actually do it yourself - its not a video! So, maybe you dreamed every night of this beautiful watch - after watching it animated on the iPhone, you probably cannot sleep anymore ;) Andreas
Totally agree,move with the times !
03/26/2010 - 01:32
Have to agree with Andreas on this one,you cannot preserve the brand in aspic,I have a JLC app - its great. Dr S
I believe VC is working on an App but the problem is finding
03/26/2010 - 11:07
something never done before and of excellent quality so it will take time.
I agree with AG
03/26/2010 - 13:28
Actually I was the one that in an answer to the thread "What's missing in VC's offering?" pointed out that an iPhone app is still missing. I have some watch applications and I find it very handy, when I have a discussion with a friend, or even want to suggest to him a watch, to be able at least to show him some good quality photos . George
Face of the Future?
03/26/2010 - 16:50
Your enthusiasm is obvious and my kids would probably get it...for them the cellphone has replaced their land line, personal camera and wristwatch, while their PC has replaced the television.  But hey, I'm into pocket watches . I'll be interested to see how electron-based technology melds with mechanical technology to create a new form of horology.  In the past we've seen cross-over marketing between watches and automobiles, fine pens, jewelery, etc.  In all of these cases, the associated object complimented the primary product, ie, the watch.  This new direction may lead to its replacement!  So how will luxury manufacturers retain a high perceived value in something thas is relatively inexpensive?  Perhaps we will soon see a haute joaillerie Vacheron cellphone?
Re: Face of the Future?
03/26/2010 - 17:18
The object is not for the application to replace your watch. Mostly to have with you an electronic form of the catalogue and to be able to locate easily the AD near you. If you compliment this with some gadgets for fun like the ability to put your favorite watch as baground, or to hear the sound of the minute repeater, that's a bonus. Actually Ulysse Nardin prodused the first hybrid smart phone (with a Rotor (kinetic power system) and Crown (for winding the phone) i.e. generating additional electrical power to the battery) but this is something entirely different.
how about a cell phone with a tourbillon in it? Nope its not a
03/26/2010 - 17:28
What the h....?
03/26/2010 - 17:39
Re: how about a cell phone with a tourbillon in it? Nope its not a
03/26/2010 - 19:10
Looks like a watch has been assimilated by a Borg's cell phone. "Resitance is futile!"  :D But admittedly, it looks cool.
Re: iPhone App?
03/27/2010 - 23:30
I think this is a great idea.... useful to check out the catalogue (and thus you don't have to carry any around to do it) and check out the watch's functionality. I'd use it. The rotor thingy is a bit gimmicky, but kinda cool at the same time!