Assessing My Need for an Apple Watch

I didn’t think I’d find the Apple Watch very interesting. The #1 reason is that I was sure it would be priced beyond my reach, for a timepiece. The #2 reason was that I thought it would be more timepiece than anything Apple should be willing to brag about.

Then I watched the various short tutorials at the Apple website. It does seem to have some nice features. Certainly, if you want to, you can pay $10k for a special edition. But for a few hundred you can get the same technology with less but completely satisfactory luster.

Still, a few hundred dollars? I wear a watch I paid less than a hundred for and everybody thinks it’s a Rolex. And I have a smart smart phone, the iPhone 6. I could strap it to my wrist.

If Apple and its loyal customers have watch envy, they have some catching up to do. They may want to drool over “The World’s Most Expensive Watches.” For my money, I’d go with the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatnour. Unfortunately, it’s priced at 1 million Swiss francs, and I have only a few dozen francs left over from my last trip to Zürich.

I think I’ll stick to my policy of waiting for the second or third generation Apple Watch before I buy the first—at a discount.

Here’s a New Yorker cartoon that captures the tech zeitgeist, and my own mood, in good humor:

Daily Cartoon: Friday, April 24th – The New Yorker.

About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

2 Responses to Assessing My Need for an Apple Watch

  1. Mark says:

    The romantics would have it that these are mediating devices, and as such are “distractions” that keep us from what is real, and from each other. For a silly argument some get an amazing amount of mileage out of it. But I don’t buy it at all. Our bodies themselves are mediating devices. The biggest distraction is reading and study, and a highly unsocial activities.

    But I’m probably not going to get a first generation watch either, though I could see my self getting a watch and upgrading my iPhone 4s to a 6 or 7 plus later this year or next and skipping the iPad mini that I’d like to have. That would give me a macbook air, a 5.5 inch iPhone, and a watch. I carry a macbook and an iPhone with me now, and a watch doesn’t add to the baggage.

    My company encourages and gives incentives for me to wear a pedometer that was clunky, or was clunky until I lost it. So now I use an iPhone app that I like but I have to keep it in my pocket and pull it out to check it periodically. But the whole phone/pocket issue is a thing anyway. I don’t want to keep a big phone in my pocket, and much of the time I really don’t even want my 4s in my pocket either and so I put it on my desk when I’m at work. I could use an iPad mini but that would be too cumbersome. Just being able to glance at some notifications that are always strapped to my hand would be a big plus for me, and having an iPad mini equivalent always nearby would be great. I’ve made my own devotional tool for an iPad I’m quite fond of.

    I also don’t see multiple devices as a big deal. More complex devices take the place of less complex ones. Dedicated cameras are disappearing. For years now people have used the calculator or stock ticker or portfolio manager on their mobile phone while using their PC if it is more convenient, though they could do the same thing on their PC. The same thing used to happen with desk calculators and PCs while doing taxes, but now everyone uses calculator smartphone apps. We pick the best tool for the job at a given instant, and often we want to see multiple sets of data at once and compare them. Having multiple devices available to you is like having a large screen or multiple ones.


  2. Joe says:

    Hi Doug,

    I can understand the reluctance but I don’t think it’s “twice as obnoxious” as the iPhone. Although this is purely anecdotal and may be due to my particular color scheme (band and face), my experience walking around with the watch is that it may be less obnoxious than the iPhone. When I got the iPhone 6+ when it first came out, I would place it on the desk in class, and students would take notice and ask about it. I took it out while on the subway and people asked if it was the new iPhone. One guy stared at my phone for quite some time until he asked if he could even hold it. (For some reason, I obliged.) For a few days now, I have walked around with the watch in several classes, in the subway, and on the street. No looks, no questions, and it’s in plain view while wearing my short sleeve shirt. Again it is just me, and a short period of time, but with the phone, it elicited a noticeable reaction on the first day or two. Perhaps it’s because people want the phone more and it’s of more interest, and that I purposely chose a color scheme that was more subtle (space gray Sport with black sport band). I certainly felt awkward because I thought I would get more questions and looks, but no one seemed to notice. Maybe no one cares. I’m not sure if you’ve seen it in person, but it is smaller than it looks on videos and TV. When I first demoed multiple watches in the store, I asked several times if the one I was trying on was the smaller (38mm) version. You’ll also be impressed with the quality of the watches. Having said all this, though, it’s probably wisest to hold off until the next gen model.


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