Still driven by 200-year-old technological principles of cogs, springs and flywheels, it keeps worse time than the plastic digital that fell out of your cereal packet this morning.
So, rather than reinventing said wheels, Switzerland's tweezer-wielders are keeping their time machines Alpine-fresh by tinkering with the packaging.
By switching up from the usual steel or gold to high-tech, lightweight materials, a watch's case is becoming the most innovative part of the piece as a whole.
Materials scientists are the watch industry's newest recruits.
Carbon fibre leads the super-light revolution, as pioneered by Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet.
Its shiny black weave looks cool while reflecting the tech underpinning two of watchmaking's favourite sporting partners: motor racing and yachting.