My Apple Watch Try-On Experience

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by JayDH, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. JayDH macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    Awoken by my infant daughter at 4AM, I remembered that the Apple Watch pre-order started an hour earlier. After browsing the Apple Store app, I noticed that you could also schedule appointments to try on the Apple Watch and the schedule was wide open. I made an appointment. Here’s how it went, with some comparisons to trying on traditional high-end watches.

    I arrived at my local Apple Store fifteen minutes ahead of my 2:15PM appointment. I’ve been at the same Apple Store on the launch day of nearly every new product for the past six years. The store was relatively empty. I’ve seen it twice as crowded on a random Tuesday afternoon. There were a couple new tables in the middle of the store, one being a showcase for each model the Apple Watch. As I walk towards it, excited to finally see the Apple Watch in person, I’m stopped by an Apple Store employee. He asked if I needed any help and I informed him of my try-on appointment in fifteen minutes. “Please stand over there, by the iPads, to be sure you are seen on time,” he instructed. So I walked to the front table in the store and stood next to the iPads, behind one other person, presumably also waiting to see the Apple Watch because he wasn’t looking at iPads.

    After a few minutes standing next to the iPads, an Apple Store employee walked over (let’s call him Charles), asked for my name, and told me he will be showing me the Apple Watch. Finally! Charles walked me over to the showcase table, and asked which was my favorite. I had already chosen my four favorite models in the Apple Store app, and was hoping for some Disney MagicBand magic, but it never came. “The stainless steel model with the Milanese Loop is my favorite,” I said. Charles nodded. We both stared silently into the showcase together for another 20-30 seconds. Eventually I asked if I could try them on. “Absolutely, that’s next.”

    Next to the showcase table is another table with individual try-on stations. Little jewelry store mats are the only thing on the table, with the watches in drawers around the perimeter. I reminded Charles that I really liked the stainless steel model with the Milanese Loop band, and he retreived it from the drawer. After carefully wiping the watch with a microfiber cloth, Charles insisted that he place the watch on my wrist. He did this with each of the four watches I tried on. A nice touch.

    I’ve tried on hundreds of watches, ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to over $100K, at stores all over the world. This wasn’t as nice as any of them. The table is wrong. Instead of standing across from each other as we would in a conventional jewelry store, Charles and I were standing next to each other. And next to the other customers and employees also trying on watches around the table. We also had to keep stepping backwards into store traffic as Charles retreived different models from the hidden drawer. Even in a relatively empty store, I felt crowded, in the way, and rushed.

    The 42mm model felt much lighter and smaller than I had imagined. Very comfortable. The Milanese Loop band was also very comfortable and the magnetic closure felt secure. I lifted the watch up to display the time. Nothing. Tapped the screen. Nothing. The digital crown? Nothing. The other button? Nothing. “They don’t work,” Charles said. “You can watch a demo over there when you’re finished,” he told me, pointing to a few demo units along the wall. The battery had died on all of the watches except the fourth one I tried on. And even then, it was a demo loop that didn’t let me test the responsiveness of the watch, the haptic feedback, or experience using the digital crown. Bummer.

    In most high-end watch stores, each watch is wound and set to the correct time. Sometimes they aren’t, but even then, you are allowed, and often encouraged, to wind the watch yourself, something I enjoy doing immensely. Winding a watch and making the second hand come to life is very satisfying. Bringing a watch to life makes you feel instantly connected to the watch. Staring at a black screen is not satisfying, and doesn’t create the same connection to the watch. It feels hollow.

    My try-on ended and I thanked Charles for his time, and for recommending the Leather Loop band, which despite having no interest in when I came to the store, was my second favorite. I tried a demo model on the perimeter of the store, but it wasn’t the same as using it on my wrist. It felt like using a tiny iPhone, not the most personal device ever created.
  2. dyzfnctional macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2008
    I'm sorry but the employee here in hawaii - ala moana shopping center sucked. Wasn't paying attention, didn't know any questions I asked... such as how wide the bands are, or when i asked how does it look... she was silence. This was an horrible experience.

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