Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Apple Watch and Mechanical Watches

Marco Arment’s Apple Watch got him hooked on mechanical watches:

Logically, I shouldn’t like these. I’m a usually-rational software developer and computer geek. Mechanical watches are ancient technology that’s outclassed in every objective metric — accuracy, reliability, simplicity, cost — by any inexpensive quartz watch, let alone the high-precision timekeeping and unmatchable connected-computer features on the Apple Watch. […]

But I simply like mechanical watches more. I’ve completely converted, and I don’t foresee myself wearing the Apple Watch much in the future — the additional functionality it offers isn’t useful enough to me (your needs may vary) to overcome the far greater joy I get out of wearing a nice mechanical watch.

Conversely, Jack Forster — the respected high-end horology journalist — can’t stop wearing his Apple Watch:

The big picture, though, is that you get something that has enormous thought put into every detail – both hardware and software – to such an extent that it would be oppressive if it weren’t in general so good. What scares me about luxury watchmaking nowadays is that it often forgets that good design, and getting the details right, still matter. Yes, luxury is storytelling to some extent, but that often turns into products and companies that over-deliver on marketing and under-deliver on product quality, and when the gap between the story and the product becomes too noticeable people simply lose interest.

I find these two articles, which were published within days of each other, completely compelling in their disagreement. Arment is a long-time tech guy who does not find Apple’s effort good enough — in many places, he sees it as unfinished. Forster, meanwhile, is someone who wrote a book on Cartier’s watches, and is used to wearing tiny lumps of metal on his wrist that are worth more than a car. Two completely opposing experiences from two totally different writers.