Comparing my AW to the rest of my collection (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by BarracksSi, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    Posted this earlier over at WatchUSeek and wanted to duplicate it here:

    Here’s a shot of almost* all the watches, and watch-like objects, that I’ve got on hand. The two in the top left — a Honda souvenir watch and my grandpa’s quartz Seiko — aren’t running (the Seiko being in worse shape), but all the others work. I’ll give a brief description of each and how I feel they compare to my Apple Watch.

    * “almost” means that I left out two of my wife’s watches — a pink plastic Guess? quartz and a very cheap blue fashion watch with plastic crystals glued on. You don't want to see them.

    These are our mechanicals: my maternal grandpa’s manual-wind Bulova from, I’m guessing, 1940 (may have been bought here in DC, too); my wife’s Rolex Oyster, handed down from her mother; my dad’s Omega, gifted from Mom after she landed her first job early in their marriage; my PVD-plated Rado Centrix, randomly gifted from my godfather earlier this year; and my Seiko SKX009, granted by Domo in a WUS giveaway.

    The Watch alongside both vintage men’s watches for a size comparison. I wouldn’t trust the water resistance of either the Bulova or the Omega (I’m hesitant to run the Bulova at all because I don’t know the movement’s true condition), but the Watch is good for a dip in the pool and rinsing in the shower.

    The two most comfortable watches I’d wear:

    Watch enthusiasts talk about the romance and artistry of mechanical watches, but sometimes there isn’t much to see:

    Compare the above pic to the Rado’s sapphire display back. Even an elaborè grade ETA is nice to see.

    Back to the Omega. I’ve easily switched bands on it, but I need a tool to do so, and I’ve broken the prongs off my only springbar tool. In practical terms, the Omega — or any of the other watches — can’t compare to how easily I could change straps on the AW. Oh, and forget trying to resize Dad's old Twist-O-Flex band.

    The AW will never have the flash of the Rado or the rugged tool style of the SKX, but it can change moods with a quick face change:

    The AW next to Apple Watch Beta Version 0.6.x (aka sixth-gen iPod Nano). This Nano is probably my favorite iPod of all time — super tiny, easy to navigate, runs forever, with the awesomely useful clip on the back — but it’s a terrible wristwatch, needing a button press to display the time and possessing no water resistance. I haven’t converted to Bluetooth earphones yet, though, so I still use this iPod (without the wrist strap) to listen to podcasts while I walk to work. The Nano's auto-dim LCD turns out to be difficult to photograph well.
  2. BarracksSi, Dec 21, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016

    BarracksSi thread starter Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    Ah, the fitness watch gorilla in the room, my Garmin 410 (since discontinued). Always-on display, touch bezel, tracks GPS and heart rate (plus cycling speed/cadence and running cadence with ANT+ add-ons), can record for 7-8 hours straight.

    But the 410 is a brick on the wrist. I tried wearing it all day a few times and couldn’t get used to it. I switched to its optional fabric strap full-time because its rubber strap was more uncomfortable (my wrist size happens to fall between two buckle holes, so the watch either flopped around or was too tight). Even on the fabric strap, the 410’s extra mass is made obvious when I simultaneously wear my AW on the opposite wrist; the 410 is always heavier and does not fit the curve of my wrist well, while the smaller and rounder AW (even this steel model) nearly disappears. The 410's touch bezel is worse with sweaty fingers than the AW's screen, too, which explains why Garmin doesn't use this bezel anymore.

    Here's what I need for each device to gather HR data on runs. Not exactly a fair comparison, because I could get a bluetooth HR strap for the AW, and I could also get a newer Garmin 225 which includes optical HR — but the 225 will never look appropriate anywhere except on a jogging trail or in a kid’s playroom, and the AW will still be more comfortable and more acceptable for daily wear.

    AW with my two dead-nuts-accurate, solar-powered, radio-synchronized quartz watches. Both of these will run for at least a decade with no servicing whatsoever (Citizen says to send it in at ten years for fresh gaskets) and are, IMO, the best grab-and-go watches I’ve got. The AW can match either style to some degree, though, and neither the Citizen nor the Casio can give me the weather while I’m getting dressed in the morning.

    Pictured with my three most-worn traditional watches. The Citizen is listed at 43mm, and the Seiko at 41.5mm and about 13mm thick. The Rado’s published size is 38mm, but lug-to-lug, it’s about 40-42mm, which explains why it doesn’t wear any smaller than the no-lug 42mm Watch.

    Also, the Rado will always be **flashy**, and the AW can go from sporty to casual to — I’ll dare say it — elegant by just changing the face.

    tl;dr: (as if “tl;dr” matters when you’ve read this far!)

    AW disadvantages when compared to the collection:
    - Not as blissfully comfy as the modestly-sized vintage pieces;
    - Not as flashy or rugged as the Rado or Seiko;
    - Won’t gather as much workout data as easily as the GPS/HR/ANT+ Garmin;
    - Can’t use cheap, wired earbuds like the iPod Nano;
    - Isn’t zero-maintenance like the Citizen or Casio;
    - Can’t beat the f**k out of it like the Casio;
    - Won’t be running 75 years in the future like the Bulova does now.

    AW directly comparable advantages:
    - More comfortable than any of the other watches, especially the Garmin and Casio;
    - Will always dress up nicer than the Garmin, Casio, Citizen, or Seiko;
    - Can dress down better than the Rado, Omega, or Bulova;
    - Can change style in seconds via the utterly genius strap mechanism, which itself can allow traditional springbar-attached straps with an inexpensive adapter;
    - Gives me enough exercise data to motivate me, and I’ve pretty much ignored the years of Garmin data I’ve accumulated anyway;
    - Will survive splashes of water, unlike the iPod;
    - Will always be more accurate than the mechanical watches.

    Bonus points for the AW:
    - Gives me the weather when I’m standing in the closet at 6 AM deciding what to wear;
    - Gives me snippets of news while I’m “meditating” in the bathroom (ahem);
    - Gives me texts and notifies me of emails from family and my work email account;
    - Reminds me to keep moving during the day (and ruthlessly displays how little I move on off days);
    - Works as a remote for my AppleTV (and works very well, too);
    - Wakes me up with some silent taps on my wrist;
    - Lets me receive, read, and quick-reply to messages without distracting my work colleagues during lunch;
    - Secretly shows me the hockey score while my wife and I hang out with Grandma;
    - Taps and dings when I need to get our laundry from the communal laundry room;
    - Lets me tick items off the grocery list without lifting my hand from the cart;
    - Lets me control my iPhone’s music;
    - Taps my wrist to tell me when to turn left or right;
    - Lets me put my phone in my wife’s purse so I can give her all my attention while we’re out.

    I cannot overstate how big of a deal this last point was for me. It’s taken me years to realize how easy it is to progress from merely checking the time on the phone to getting lost in Flipboard or playing through levels of Candy Crush. I have to carry my phone to stay connected to my job, but I don’t have to also keep using it to distract myself from the people in the room with me. With the Watch, I can remain accessible without becoming distant.

    Take all of these points together, and the Watch either loses or wins every comparison. My only knock against it is that it’s not a “forever watch” like some of the others will be.

    There’s so much more to it, though. It does all the current smartwatch tricks and does them well — but it’s also smack in the middle of every role played by my traditional watches. It’s not better than the Garmin at tracking workouts, but it’s better than the Garmin at everyday wear; it’s not as purely elegant as the Omega, but it’s more durable and more purposeful. It’s better at something than all the other watches I’ve got.
  3. tesarver macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    Can't disagree with any thing that you have documented. The only other downside that I can add about the watch is that once you start using it, the rest of your collection begins to see from little to no use. I find myself grabbing the Apple Watch as my daily use, since the day I put it on my wrist.
  4. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    Nice comparison and pros/cons summary. The ability to stay connected to the world without dealing directly with the phone is the main hook for me. In close second is the ability to field reminders and alarms independently of the phone and with a gentle tap instead of a buzz or alert sound.

    I've also always hated bulky watches, and the 42mm is thankfully plenty sleek for me.
  5. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    Decided to wear my Rado (the blingy gold-plated Swiss auto) out and about today.

    One knock against the Rado: While standing in my closet, deciding what to wear, I habitually looked at my wrist for the temperature. Nope, just three hands and a gold dial. ;)

    One point for the Rado: Boy, it sure looks neat, especially under grocery store lighting.

    Result of my experiment: Instead of thinking about selling it, I need to get a nicer-looking strap for my Watch. The body itself looks really nice to me. I like it better than the other smartwatches I've seen. But the Sport strap, as comfortable and practical as it is, just doesn't have pizzazz. I plan to get a bracelet later this year, hopefully by mid-summer (my wife and I agreed to not get a new strap until I get a new job), and I expect to get more visual entertainment from the Watch.
  6. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    After owning the SS 42mm with leather loop for 9 months, I finally splurged on a genuine Link Bracelet. I knew by then that I was hooked on the watch and would never go back to not having one. So I got the Apple strap that I always wanted. Gotta say, while it was a big spend, it feels and looks absolutely amazing, and blends in with the watch body nicely. Three weeks in, and I still stop to admire it a couple times a day.

    If that's a bit spendy, the Milanese is worth a look if you like the style. And it's very likely Apple will announce a black one next month.
  7. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    I've almost completely set on a bracelet, too, and I've narrowed my choices to three -- Apple's mesh and link bracelets, and one of the Juuk models. Wish I could check out a Juuk firsthand. I was able to find a really nice fit with the Link bracelet last summer, though.
  8. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    A little something to note about my ol' Garmin…

    When the battery runs down after disuse, it totally forgets to keep time. This is unlike my Casio and Citizen solar watches, which would turn off their display (or, in the Citizen's case, stop running its hands) if stored in the dark or left to run low while maintaining the current time in their internal clocks.

    I wanted to compare workout data again between the Garmin and my AW, and had to recharge the Garmin first. Never mind the hours and minutes being about six hours off; today is February 28th, far ahead of the Dec 19th displayed on the Garmin. I think I last wore the Garmin in December.

    The easiest way to fix the Garmin's time is to let it pick up a GPS signal. If the GPS is switched off for saving battery life, setting the time manually is kind of a hassle. And, unlike Citizen's or Seiko's GPS-synced watches, the Garmin won't automatically select the correct time zone, even as it acquires GPS coordinates.

  9. Jeans89 macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2012
    Helsinki, Finland
  10. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    Just one thing - citizen Eco drives don't sync time from gps. They get it from radio signals emitted at one of 3 distinct points around the globe (US, German and Japan I think)
  11. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    They have a few Satellite Wave models (and Seiko has their Astron series) which use GPS signals for time sync.

    My Citizen is one of the radio-sync models, and is good for the US, Europe, Japan, and China, at least. It picks up the signal from Ft. Collins in Colorado at least three nights a week here in DC. My G-Shock finds the signal less reliably, and would run 0.2 sec fast per day if it never syncs.
  12. DougFNJ macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    I'll tell you what, I have been wearing the Apple Watch so often, my watch collection is beginning to shrink. I have my keepers in there of course, but watches I have not worn or even looked at have been getting chopped. Have you been finding the other watches are getting worn less and less these days?
  13. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    Oh, definitely. I'm still keeping most of them because almost all are gifts. But if I had spent my own money, I'd feel better about selling off a few and using the proceeds for more AW bands. A foursome of the Sport, mesh, and both leather straps would give me all the styles I'd need.

    With the right face, the AW doesn't look too clumsy, does it?
  14. Nightrich macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2015
    I still think I may wait a couple of weeks and see what the March event reveals. My wife and I went antiquing in North Carolina recently looking for old mechanical watches recently and I stumbled upon some presumably third party Quartz apple watches? Looks like they would've been from the early 2000s. image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    Attached Files:

  15. DougFNJ macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    Heh heh that's why it's only shrinking, not going away. I could never sell the gifts or the ones with sentimental attachment. From my purchases, my Omega and Tag will forever remain in my collection along with my DW-5600C "Speed" Classic screwback G-Shock. The others have been slowly but surely going.

    I'm personally looking forward to the Marxh event to see the additional strap options they offer. Very very happy with the space black bracelet, and leather Loop.

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14 December 21, 2015