Few topics are as likely to induce eye-twitching spasms in horology's true believers than the the old chestnut, "Is the Apple Watch a watch?" Well, with the announcement of the Apple Watch Series 4, it seems like Apple might be answering that question in a pretty declarative way. Sure, it's got watch-like functions, but really — really — it's a health device. Early generations of the Apple Watch seemed to be a little vague in their purpose, almost like they were working out what this cool thing was for as they were going along. The future got a bit clearer with the Series 3, as Apple added heart rate monitoring, and other fitness functionality. Series 4 dials that functionality up to 11. The Watch, thanks in no small part to its FDA-certified status, can now record electrocardiograms in 30 seconds, with only a touch of the crown. On top of this, it can detect if there are signs of atrial fibrillation — all this data is stored in Apple's health app. On top of that, this new Apple Watch can also detect if you've had a sudden, hard fall, and will automatically notify emergency services and your emergency contacts if… Read More
Late last year, one of the more surprising (and contentious) inclusions in my "best watches of 2017" list was the Apple Watch Series 3. For me, the addition of cellular functionality made the already formidable smart watch that much more intimidating — and appealing. So, as you can imagine, I was keen to get my hands on one for review, and just after SIHH a courier dropped one off at my desk. Fast forward to now and I've had the grey ceramic Apple Watch Series 3 Edition on my wrist on and off for a few months. Did it live up to the phone-free utopia that I imagined when it was released? Well, obviously watch the video to get the full rundown but, spoiler alert, it turns out I'm just not ready to go iPhone cold turkey, but you could definitely do it, and I suspect that by the time Series 4 rolls around, it will have gotten even easier.
Last night, as Australia slept, Apple unveiled their latest and (they hope) greatest smartphones, a new Apple TV and the Apple Watch Series 3. At the start of the year I had a prolonged tryst with the Series 2 Edition, and the functionality and utility were pretty compelling. The most surprising takeaway for me was how the Apple Watch, rather than adding another screen to my life, went a long way to freeing me from my at times intense love-hate relationship with screens. In particular, I noticed that my iPhone stayed in my pocket more and was no longer a fixture on the bedside table. And while there's quite the bevy of technical upgrades on the Series 3, the really crucial one is cellular connectivity. This is huge. You are no longer tethered to your phone. I can easily imagine (like this guy), a world where my phone is optional. I've currently got 115 apps installed on my phone – I would use 10 per cent of those with any regularity. My first iPhone was mostly for phone calls(!), messaging and Doodle Jump. These day's it's a hugely powerful work tool that is, sometimes, too much work. Work that's always… Read More
Mechanical watches are very important to me. Not only are they the way I earn my living, they're also a real passion. So it was with a sense of very real unease that I prepared for this review. Not because I have a fundamental aversion to quartz, connected or smart devices, but because I was concerned, deep down, that what the Apple Watch offered might be more compelling to me than the bridges and barrels I love so much. You see, while I've been a 'watch guy' for the past decade or so, I've been an 'apple guy' for far, far longer. I learnt to type in ClarisWorks, to create in Paint. And later, the covetable objects of my teenage years were iPods, iBooks and (later) iPhones. I'm typing this right now on an iPad, surrounded by a sum total of five Apple screens, so it's fair to say I've drunk deep from the Cupertino Kool-Aid. And if any smart watch can win me over, it's likely to be the Apple Watch. The hardware From its launch in 2015, the Apple Watch has evolved from a few products into a fully-formed ecosystem. Now offered in two sizes, numerous case materials and finishes as well… Read More
What do Apple and Kim Kardashian's derriere have in common? They both broke the internet – Apple did it yesterday, finally announcing the release date, specs and pricing for the Apple Watch. The burning question, right away, was, who actually cared? There was a deja vu atmosphere to the announcement as the first one, in November 2014, brought all the pundits out prophesying again the doom – or boom – of the Swiss watch industry as a result. It all happened again yesterday, with much the same result – a general bemusement from the industry. No-one in Switzerland is running scared. No-one at the Time+Tide office is looking for work elsewhere. And no-one who loves watches is going to wholesale replace them with another gadget. If there's any interesting twist here, it's that we at Time+Tide are watch people AND Apple people – we all use MacBook Pros, we all have iPhones – so what about us? What about you guys? A huge amount of our traffic is from Apple products. So the next question, the by far more interesting one, was who was going to buy one and how were they going to use it? We took to Instagram for… Read More
With the news that Australian designer and multidisciplinary artist Marc Newson is to join friend Jony Ive at Apple still ringing in everyone's ears, it's probably a good time to look at one of their earlier collaborations; a wristwatch they co-designed for Bono's (RED) auction in November which raised $26.2-million for charity. The watch alone, pictured below – in all its grainy iPhone glory – was listed as an item worth $10-$15,000. When I met Marc and he told me the story he said, "I think it sold for $300,000 or something." It was $365,000 to be precise. So reason enough for a quick recap on my recent interview with Newson in his office in London. First, Jony Ive on Marc (as quoted in Vanity Fair): "Marc is without question one of the most influential designers of this generation. He is extraordinarily talented. We are particularly excited to formalize our collaboration as we enjoy working together so much and have found our partnership so effective." Marc on Jony: "I'm full of admiration and respect for the extraordinary design work that has been produced by Jony and the team at Apple. My close friendship with Jony has not only given me a… Read More
In the wee hours of the Australian morning, Apple finally announced its entry into the smartwatch field – the, drum roll… no, don't bother, 'Apple Watch'. To paraphrase one of our former PMs, it's the smartwatch we had to have. But rather than focus on the iOS, the battery life (clue – it'll be terrible), the vaguely creepy Apple emoji, or any of the other technical aspects that you can read about on your favourite tech blog, we're going to try and look at it as a watch. Compare 'apples with apples' if you will. So my first reaction upon seeing the Apple Watch seconds after I woke this morning was "I've seen that before." While the Apple Watch certainly looks a lot like an iPad or any other Apple product it also bears a suspicious resemblance to the designs of Dieter Rams, famous for his work with Braun. It also reminds me of some more recent Braun designs as well as little known mechanical/digital hybrid watches from Ventura. These associations shouldn't be taken as negatives, it means that the Apple Watch fits comfortably into the existing watch design canon – making it something more of a recognizable and familiar object. This… Read More