Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The ‘PC Guys Are Not Going to Just Figure This Out’ of Watches

This part of Benjamin Clymer’s review of the Apple Watch Series 3 stood out to me:

So again, the Swiss were dismissive of the Apple Watch because it’s not even a watch, right? How could someone who appreciates a fine timepiece ever want a disposable digital device on their wrist?

Still, we now have smartwatches from two of the three big luxury watch groups, and likely more to come. And that’s before we actually talk about sales numbers of Apple versus the traditional players or the fact that all of theirs use what is the equivalent of an off-the-shelf caliber in Android OS while Apple’s is, to borrow a term they’ll understand, completely in-house. Ironic, really.

Recall, if you will, Tim Cook’s slide during the Series 3’s unveiling indicating that the Apple Watch is now the bestselling watch in the world by revenue. Recall, too, Ed Colligan’s now-infamous dismissal of the then-rumoured iPhone:

“PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

The Apple Watch has, very quietly, become a hit product. There have been plenty of those with doubts about its potential — yours truly included, by the way, shortly after it was announced — but, now, I see them everywhere. I’m sure you do too.

One more thing that Clymer wrote caught my eye:

And if Apple did want to have some visual cue to let others know you’ve copped the new hotness with that cellular bizness inside, why make it a red dot, a logo well known and loved by a brand with which many consumers of “luxury digital products” are well acquainted – Leica? Hell, Apple designers Jony Ive and Marc Newson even collaborated on a Leica for the Red Charity Auction in 2013. Again, the red dot isn’t a huge deal, but I’d love to get the background on this. Why that and why there?

I’m also confused about the red dot. I don’t find it revolting; I do find it ostentatious. Some configurations of the original gold Edition model also featured a red dot on the Digital Crown, and I didn’t care for it much there, either.

But, more to the point, I have a Leica, and my camera was not the first thing I thought of when I saw the red dot on the Watch. I would also like to understand why it’s red, why it’s on the Digital Crown, and why there’s anything at all to indicate that a particular Watch is an LTE model. Only the aluminum model has a non-LTE option.

Update: Matthew Achariam points out that Tim Cook’s personal Apple Watch has always had a red dot on its Digital Crown. Interesting.