I miss my watches, and so do a lot of others, which may be troubling news for watchmakers.
It’s been a week since I got my 42mm Apple Watch in stainless steel with the Bright Blue Leather Loop strap. And, I figured it might not be a bad time for an Apple Watch Review. Over the past week, I’ve learned more than just a bit of fodder for an Apple Watch Review, I’ve realized that the Apple Watch (which I still think they should’ve called it the iWatch) is actually causing a few headaches for the luxury watchmaking world. Whould’a thunk it?
Apple Watch Review Part of This Apple Watch Review
Okay, so here’s my Apple Watch Review short, short version. I like it. It has flaws, things I wish it did, but since I got it, I haven’t worn any of my other watches. Basically, flaws or not, the Apple Watch is addicting.
Apple made some pretty smart decisions when putting out their first foray into wrist-wear. First impressions are very important. Apple did a great job packaging their watch. A white outer box and inner box greet you before you even see your watch. Packaging looks little different than any other Omega, Breitling or Rolex box and papers. That’s a reassuring thing when you’re spending $699 on a toy… er, gadget… er, watch.
After getting through the box, set up of the Apple Watch is stupid-easy. Basically, you turn the watch on, turn your phone Bluetooth on, open the Apple Watch app and press go. After a few configuration steps and about 10 minutes, you new Apple Watch is good to go.
Once on your wrist, the Apple Watch is very comfortable. The Bright Blue Leather Loop strap is soft and pliable out of the box. A lack of breathing is my only complaint about the strap. It gets a little warm, especially in Miami’s August. Granted, everything in Miami gets a little warm in August.
The watch itself, especially the 42mm, is a bit heavy on the wrist but not overly so. It’s significantly lighter than pretty much any gold Audemars Piguet or Piaget. You get used to it quickly. The “crown” and button are well positioned are reversible for both right-handed and left-handed people. I wear my watch on my right hand, like a lefty, but opted to keep my watch in the right-handed set-up.
So far, I have 44 Apple Watch apps. In reality, I use about a dozen. Of the Apple apps, I actually find myself using the Activity, Workout, Messaging and phone functions quite a bit. Non Apple apps, I’m a fan of Dark Sky, a hyper-local weather app and Pandora.
This is an Apple Watch Review after all, so I should probably comment on the apps. Activity and Workout are a good pair. I had a Fitbit, but the Activity app does a better job tracking steps, calories and activity (hence the name, I guess). Workout takes the tracking a step further and correlates my activity to a specific exercise. I’ve found, however, my Apple Watch says I burn on 630 calories in an hour on an elliptical machine. The elliptical machine says I burn closer to 780. So… there’s a bit of a gap there. I find myself taking an average of the two.
Messaging needs the capacity for more preset responses. While customization, the 25 or so preset responses don’t quite cut it. Do I really need 3 different ways of saying “Thanks”? No. I don’t. Siri does do a good job of picking up the slack.
As far is the phone is concerned, I am impressed with the clarity of the speakerphone function on the receiving end. But, the speakers on the phone itself are way too quiet. It’s fairly hard to hear someone’s voice coming from the Apple Watch.
Basically, the long and the short of this Apple Watch review is this… I am addicted with checking emails and text messages, keeping tabs on my workouts and getting hyper-local weather reports. But, when it comes to actual communication, more than just checking in on what my phone is doing, the Apple Watch has a long way to come. Something tells me Apple Watch 2 will be out before we know it.
Pontification Part of this This Apple Watch Review
The previous section was the easy part of my Apple Watch review. This part, kind scary. All of that being said, today is the first day since I got my Apple Watch that I’ve worn a real watch. And, while I missed wearing my Apple Watch, when I wore a real watch today, I found myself missing my Apple Watch more. Crap.
When I got my Apple Watch, I wasn’t what impact it would have on my daily choices of wrist-wear. Boons and foibles of my Apple Watch review above, I can honestly say that after a week, I am wholly addicted to my iWatch (it just rolls of the tongue so much better).
Today I wore an Oris Aquis. I like that watch. It’s comfy. It’s accurate. And, the rubber strap smells like chocolate. But, I found myself wondering what my Apple Watch was doing. I had to look at my phone to check my emails, like a sucker. And, I have no idea how many calories I’ve burned today.
As a watch collector, this represents a problem. I love watches, almost as much as I love cars. But, I also have begun to fall in love with my Apple Watch. I’m not the only person this has happened to.
I have two friends who are serious, serious watch collectors. Waaaaaaay more serious than I am. One has a Patek Philippe collection that would make all of Switzerland jealous. The other is the same deal, just with Audemars Piguet.
Both have Apple Watches. And, both have said they have curtailed the acquisition of new real watches because they’ve worn their Apple Watch every day. Apple Watch review or not, that is some telling stuff.
I can say for a fact that none of the high-end watchmakers ever thought that the Apple Watch would ever eat into their sales. Hell, even the most techie of watch journalists agreed with them. But, I’ve seen it first-hand, serious watch aficionados are laying down their automatics and opting for a battery-operated Apple smartwatch.
Will that last? I don’t know. I’m actively working to vary my watch choices, but it’s more difficult than I care to admit. My advice to watchmakers, embrace the Apple Watch, somehow.
Damn, this is a scary post.