An Uncritical Look At The Apple Watch

2015-04-25 11.16.19I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for quality timepieces. When LED watches first came out, I bought a Pulsar, and then several other “multi-function” watches. As I matured, gimmickry gave way to elegance, and I moved to Cartier, Movado, and Omega.

More recently, I’ve gone more to the sport watches, including several iterations of Garmin’s GPS watches, which I use to track my running activities.

But, as an Apple aficionado, when the folks at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino announced they were releasing a watch, I was fascintated.

At first, I said to myself, “No, I’m not interested in another watch.  Even if it comes from Apple.”  Then I convinced myself that I would wait to see how the one-dot-oh release fared with the early adopters.

Yet, I found myself at midnight on April 10 on the Apple web site, curious as to how the “pre-order” process was going to work.  After minutes ticked by, I realized that “midnight” meant Pacific time — a full three hours later my time.  No way I was going to stay up.  And I wasn’t disappointed.

Somehow, for reasons I can’t explain, I found myself waking up in the pitch dark (I was staying at my daughter’s home at the time — that’s another story, for another time).  Fumbling for some light, I tapped my computer keyboard, and up sprang Apple’s pre-order web site.  Curious, I selected a watch (38mm stainless) and a strap (leather classic buckle) and hit the “order” button.  Wow!  Order accepted.

I thought nothing of it until later that morning.  I heard on the news that pre-orders for the watch had sold out in something like 15 minutes.  I guess the combination I ordered didn’t sell out as quickly, as I was a good hour “late to the party” as they say.

Nonetheless, my watch arrived on April 24, as promised.  Good thing, too, as I was heading out on vacation the following day (I’ll post something about my vacation later).  The first “test” of my watch came as I used it to have my airline boarding pass scanned (passed!).  I also used the Map application in conjunction with the watch to help me find destinations I had never before visited.

To cut to the chase:  An article I read spoke about the value of the Apple Watch is in “glances.”  There is no point to having a full-blown app that you navigate on a tiny screen.  What makes the Apple Watch valuable (for me) is that I can pick up data (message, news headline, map instructions, etc.) through a quick glance at the watch, which doesn’t require me opening an app and pointing, clicking, swiping and otherwise getting distracted.

I’m not always an early adopter, but at this point (which, ironically, is on the same day Apple has announced WatchOS 2.0) I’m very pleased with my choice.

(Postscript:  I have since added two more bands to my watch.  My experience has shown me that during hot and humid days, my perspiration causes a lot of wear on leather straps.  Since bands are easily interchangeable, I added a Sport Band and a Milanese Loop.  I keep the leather band stashed away for “dress” occasions!)

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