Some watchmakers are responding with "jigged up" styles that appeal to young people, said Paula Correri, accessories editor for the Tobe Report, published by a retail consulting and trend forecasting firm in New York. They're light-years beyond the first wristwatch, made by Patek Philippe in 1868.
Microsoft has teamed up with Fossil, Swatch Group and another watchmaker to create what it calls the Smart Watch. Wearers pay a monthly fee to get up-to-date information including news headlines, stock quotes and weather reports.
About 84% of adults have cellphones. And manufacturers are counting on both seniors and youngsters to expand future sales, experts note.
Targeting older consumers who are "a little techno-phobic," said analyst David Chamberlain of the high-tech consulting firm In-Stat, at least one company has a stripped-down cellphone (no camera, video, text messaging or wireless connection) that sports larger numbers and a bigger screen.