By Harlan Chapman-Green
‘Switzerland is in trouble’. These are the words of Apple’s British head of design, Sir Jony Ive. The American technology giant has finally released the first glimpse at its new watch, simply dubbed the Apple Watch.
Since Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear about a year ago, we knew it would be obvious that Apple would have to do something about it. They just wouldn’t be able to cope if the Korean super firm stole their crown, would they? Indeed we’ve already seen offerings from Sony, LG and Motorola but it just wouldn’t be enough if Apple wasn’t trying to dominate this market as well.
The Apple Watch range comes in three ‘Prestige tiers’, so to speak. To start with there’s the simply Apple Watch which comes in either steel or ‘Space Grey’ steel featuring a sapphire crystal display. With this you can have one of Apple’s many colourful wrist bands which are sure to be colour coordinated with the iPhone 5C, or a rather attractive bracelet. Next up is the Apple Watch Sport which is made of Aluminium and also gets the same choice of coloured straps along with what Apple calls Ion-X glass. At the top is the Apple Watch Edition, this offered is solid 18 carat yellow or rose gold which Apple claims is over twice as scratch resistant as normal gold.
As for features, well there’s a whole computer on your wrist to start. Linking up to your iPhone to display notifications and such. If we turn over we can see that Apple really has gone mental as it’s put in a sapphire crystal display back and even engraved the edge with the kind of writing you’d find on a mechanical wrist watch. However, there’s no movement to display here. No solid gold rotors will be spinning around in here. Instead we’ve got 2 lasers and two LEDs which are all used to detect and measure heart rate and can be used in conjunction with Apple’s health software.
Speaking of which, Apple’s crammed loads of stunning features in the watch which include things such as custom watch faces, messaging, music and much more. However those who are familiar with the Galaxy Gear, don’t expect a camera in the Apple Watch. It’s most likely Apple didn’t add one simply because they launched the iPhone 6.
All the clasps featured are designed as having a solid feeling click, however it’s only time that will tell if it lasts or not. Also, there is a quick release button so you can interchange the straps. Even better, there’s two sizes. A 38mm and 42mm (that’s measured in height). You control it through a crown on the side. You spin it back and forth (don’t worry, it won’t unscrew!) to cycle through menus and clicking it takes you back to a slightly higgledy-piggledy home screen. And yes, it is a touch screen.
To charge the Apple Watch, you simply click a Mag-Safe style charger on the back of it. Through wireless charging it recharges you Apple Watch without compromising the water seal. If you want to pre-order it, you can’t. The Apple Watch will be released to the world in 2015 (this is probably so they can make enough of them). My only criticism at the moment is that the bracelet clasp doesn’t have the Apple logo on, it’s a personal thing really. Being a proud Android user, I’m a little worried that I would require an iPhone to use the watch at all (messaging I can do without) and being Apple it will almost definitely be very expensive. For more info, please visit apple.com
Harlan Chapman-Green – Contributing Writer
First introduced to horology with the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 by his father two years ago, Harlan enjoys his passion for fine horology. He prefers to spend his time in the boutiques of upmarket brands, trying out new pieces constantly. His preferred 3 brands are A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin. Although not much for the smaller brands, he still finds the complications intriguing and wishes to own one watch from each of his three favourites. Read his articles here.