Coming across this piece, you’ve probably read many articles and video reviews already of the Apple Watch.
Instead, I want to talk about what hasn’t been mentioned so far, and what my experience of an appointment, and the watch, was like.
Pre-orders opened up at 8:01 AM last Friday, and so did appointments to try an Apple Watch on.
After watching video reviews of it, Joanna Stern’s piece especially (link), I wanted to see if it justified itself and if it was better than wearing the Pebble Steel I currently own.
I made a booking for Sunday the 12th, and the road trip began.
There’s watches attached to an iPad Mini display, which guides you throughout as you use one. Siri was turned off mostly, except when you tried to create a reply in Messages. The Maps app easily brought up Sheffield and my position in seconds, while the watch faces were clear, concise, and fast. You could use the crown to zoom into the apps from the home screen, or push it in to return you to it as well.
Using the crown required no extra force, it’s able to be used with one finger only and you can accurately customise watch faces with it. The ‘Contacts’ button below it brings you, to contacts. The button might confuse someone who thinks its a standby switch, as it looks similar to an iOS power switch, but its only for contacts, and a great way of using the feature of drawing a message. The heartbeat worked too, with the taptic engine kicking in, but other than sending your heartbeat to a family member, I can’t see this getting much use.
Walking up to the table where everyone was trying one on, I said I had an appointment for half 11, and right away I was asked which model and strap I’d like to try on. Looking at the site the night before, I knew i wanted to try the 42mm Stainless Steel model with the blue leather loop. Using his EasyPay pad, it unlocked a drawer stocked full of every Watch (bar the Edition models) with a strap, and the chosen Watch was brought out, then put on my wrist.
This felt really nice, and what was apparent was how strong the magnet was. You had to apply some force to peel it off the strap, but it was never uncomfortable, and kept the watch in one position. The leather loop could be in blue or black, and as every strap is usually in black, in leather, this was a nice change.
After five minutes of seeing how it felt and talking to the guy about applications, I asked for the link bracelet next.
What caught my eye was that the guy shortened the links for it to fit my wrist better, and it was done in the same way as switching straps on the watch. Usually if this needed to be done, the watch would have to be brought to a watch shop, and after either a half hour or day wait, the strap would be shortened or lengthened to be a better fit. This could be done in up to a minute as i saw firsthand, and it was incredibly useful.
Wearing this, it felt comfortable, and really smart. I can see myself wearing this strap for work or family events, while wearing the leather loop for day to day use. What I also liked about the straps was that it kept the watch in one position. Constantly with the Pebble Steel I’ve had to move it up my wrist just a bit more in order for it to stay in one place. Then it doesn’t. Then it annoys. Then I just put up with it.
The final try-on was one to satisfy a curiosity. I’d seen the space grey Watch Sport online, and wanted to see what it looked like, but also how the fluoroelastomer Sport bands felt. The strap was comfortable to wear, and you could imagine wearing this when jogging instead of an iPhone attacked to your arm with an accessory.
Soon after, I asked about its water resistance, and the watch faces, then my hands on was up.
It almost felt like I was at a tailors. I’d been at a friends’ wedding recently, and a few months before this, I was arranging a suit to be fitted for it. Colours were chosen, different sizes were worn, and in the end I was in a suit I felt comfortable in. This was strikingly similar, and at no point did I feel under pressure in 15 minutes to try everything I wanted to, or pushed for a sale.
Having only two tables for the Watch is smart, as you can look at every single strap on a Watch through a glass case, while opposite this, you can simply walk over, confirm your appointment, and try one on.
As the friend was in his appointment, I thought I’d see what would happen if I streamed a video using a watch on demo. Periscope (App Store) is an app recently launched by Twitter, which broadcasts what you’re doing live, and anyone on Twitter can join and comment in the stream.
As soon as I hit ‘Broadcast’, the views went from 0 to 100 in a half minute, it was incredible. Being asked many questions such as:
‘How much does it cost?’
‘Show the Photos App’
‘Does Siri work?’
‘Is that the Sport?’
The demand is everywhere, and its no wonder shipping times are now June.
In this day and age, we are tethered to our devices. I look in a crowd as I wait for a train to pass, and everyone is on a smartphone or even an iPad.
So does this eclipse the Pebble Steel I own? Does it justify itself?
I don’t need to state the obvious this far down the article.
If someone was to only think of this as a technological device, they’d be missing 75% of what this watch is.
It’s a fashion statement along with being a really nice, well designed timepiece, which can be tailored to anyones lifestyle thanks to the smart interchangeable straps.
The Steel, Gear S, Moto 360, try to fulfil the need to be tethered to the phone, and thats it.
With Apple Watch, that still applies, but that’s only 25% of it. The rest is to be fashionable as a rolex, but useful to help you improve your fitness, while matching the lifestyle you have.
It also seemed to me that the only reason of ordering a watch from the site would be to reduce the heavy footfall in all of the stores, but now that I’ve walked away from an appointment, it looks more like they want the experience to be in a store, while going through the process of ordering a watch can be done on their online store.
But I imagine once you read that, you thought of a PC in your home, having to log into an Internet browser. A friend ordered his Watch on his iPhone, using the Apple Store app as we were at Starbucks. It’s a convenience, but it’s not one method I can see happening for future iPhone launches.
This watch is going to sell millions, and if you want to try and push back from being on your iPhone constantly liking many ‘Instaquotes’, this Watch is a start.