So anyone that knows me, knows that I am an early adopter. I almost always get the latest gadget from Apple (except often I skip the middle version of the phone series – like the S), I drive a Nissan Leaf (although not for much longer), I like nice things and especially when they are gadgets. My wife will often ask if I have already ordered what is being shown during the latest Apple Keynote event.
I have been “waiting” for the Apple Watch for sometime and watching all the rumors at some of my favorite sites: Macrumors and MacNN. I was excited and yet concerned that it would be all that I had hoped. I had seen how Samsung failed at delivering with the Galaxy Gear and was already anticipating what the Android side was working on after seeing the sneak peek of the new watches they had in store. Being a current user of the Pebble and knowing that, at the time, a new version of that was coming out I was curious if Apple had done enough in the first version to compete with those that were either already successful, like Pebble, or trying to figure it all out like Samsung.
I watched the keynote and was happy to see that, as usual, Apple had engineered and designed something that was beautiful and functional. Many pundits focused on the gold Apple Watch Edition because of the price and how it was so out of touch. I don’t think that is completely fair given what Apple was going for here. So watches cover the complete range of prices from the Citizen you can get anywhere to the Rolex and Apple was right to realize that if we are going to put something back on our wrist (yes for awhile I too stopped wearing a watch because of my iPhone) that it is as much a functional choice for some as it is a fashionable choice for others. With all that said, I did not order on day one like I often do, but not because I didn’t want one. I most certainly did. I wanted to actually try one on and really see what band I liked best and in a sense I was doing exactly as Apple had expected. They had said this was the most personal device they had ever made. Me wanting to try it on first certainly made that statement true for me.
Fast forward from the keynote announcement to just a week ago. I am in the Apple store, no big surprise, looking at some storage device when I see the display for all the versions of the watch. I am politely asked if I would like to try one on. “Sure, why not”. I was offered an array of choices from a drawer full of watches. She explained that the watches ran a demo of screens and asked which watch I was most interested in. I tried on the Sport because I was curious about the difference between it and my first choice of the stainless. I was impressed with the design and quality of all the watches, even the sport. The fluoroelastomer band was comfortable and the aluminum was light. I moved to my natural choice of the stainless and immediately loved the stainless with the classic buckle. I was then encouraged to try each band version that was available with the stainless. I must tell you that the leather loop was nice but not my thing, the linked bracelet is an amazing piece of design and the milanese loop is, in my opinion not very manly looking but is hard to deny given the complexity of the design. The link bracelet for me made me think of a Rolex look but at a pricetag of $999 for it on the stainless 42mm I have to say maybe I will wait and just get the bracelet later or see what the aftermarket comes up with. The milanese loop at first makes you think that it is going to catch and grab your arm hair and it doesn’t. It is as thin as paper and has a small loop of rubber on the magnetic clasp to keep the magnet clasp from scratching the steel weave. It is beautiful and very different but was just not for me in the end.
A day after my visit and try on experience, Apple sent me an email asking about my experience. The survey was quick and painless and really showed they are trying to get the personal touch of this device just right with regards to the in store experience. As an Apple developer, I am excited to make some apps for the watch. In the end, a few days later I opened up my Apple Store app and ordered the Apple Watch stainless with classic buckle. I, or course, paid with Apple Pay because well I’m an early adopter. Now I just have to wait until July.