Fashionable or geeky? – The modern watch dilemma

It’s Milan fashion week, you’ve got tickets to the catwalk shows and an outfit to die for, but which watch to wear? A chunky smartwatch or chic ticker that can’t tell the time?

Ahead of the hotly-anticipated Apple Watch launch this year, expected to revolutionise tech wearables, there are already watches you can use to check emails, Facebook or the weather, play games or even get your kettle to boil.

Purists might say such a gadget would only distract from the delights of watching Prada, Versace or Armani, but critics and buyers are notoriously bad mannered anyway, often texting or taking selfies in shows, so they might as well be on their watches.

Bare wrists have been all the rage at Milan’s autumn-winter 2015 shows, but an accessory the fashion world had dropped as one less thing to worry about is now making a comeback.

With the rise of the smartphone a decade or so ago came the demise of the ordinary watch — its rebirth is said to have begun nearly three years ago with Pebble, which created one of the world’s first official smartwatches.

That sparked a flurry of activity which will result this year in items on the must-have geek list such as the Puls, built on the Android system, and the Activite Pop for exercise fiends.

But smart watches have already drawn criticism for being bulky and, with no serious fashionista willing to look nerdy, watchmakers and technology developers have been racing to find a way to win over the female market. (AFP)