I think the key difference this time is that the smartwatch is connected to smartphone (or information network). A wristwatch has been the place to check the most important information (i.e. current time) for achieving job efficiently. Today, email and SNS msgs are a part of such info. In that sense, I agree with what NTKN says above.
I think Smartwatch's often overlooked setback is that it usually requires two hands; one hand or wrist to wear the device and the other to operate it. This is an unfavorable condition, considering most users can operate a smartphone with one hand. It could be great if a technologies like the following gets applied... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10bzMZJO4Vk
Anyone remember when the first LED digital watches came out. These were then replaced by watches with LCD displays. Ironically, it seems like the good 'ol analog watch may be more popular today than the digital watch. It will be interesting to see where the smart watch goes.
Smart watch screens are too small and impractical. In fact, this is why the tablet is making so much progress alongside the smartphone. Most people I know who have smartphones have migrated or are migrating to the bigger screen smartphones.
A smart watch is an adjunct, not a replacement, for a phone. I started wearing a Pebble recently, after not wearing a watch for some years, and it is convenient to have time and notifications on my wrist rather than having to dig in my pocket for the phone.
I do not see much of a market for watches. They are obsolete relative to a smart phone, which can tell the time just fine. Tablets and smart phones are what most people need, along with a laptop for work and school. Most electronics are just commodities these days.