Try on impressions from a naysayer

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

  1. ninethirty, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    ninethirty macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    I'll preface this by saying that I've made no secret of my being unimpressed with the Apple watch. Based simply on Keynotes, Apple Videos and the recent reviews, I've been asking myself why this thing exists. I should also mention that I'm very much a "watch guy." In the last 5 years I've bought 3 Rolexes, and last week, a Panerai. I really like my watches. Even though I'm not in love with the watch, I planned to buy one because I work in product design/user experience and there's a good chance I'll have to design something for the watch someday.

    Anyway, went down to the Michigan Ave Apple store in Chicago today to check the watch out and try a few on. My first impression from seeing it under the glass was that both models are much smaller than I thought. I knew instantly the 38mm was going to be too small (and I have small wrists). It also seemed a lot thinner than I though, but this is looking down at it. Hard to get a good look from the side. Another thing I noticed right away was how thin the milanese loop looked. I was bummed out about that because that's the one I was interested in.

    I start by trying on the 38mm milanese loop. I absolutely hated the band. It felt so.. unsubstantial, cheap even, and it feels unrelated to the watch. I also knew immediately that 38mm was definitely too small. Then I tried the 42. While it fit better, I noticed that the watch IS actually much thicker than it looked, and I really do not like the way it looked on my wrist. The design, while very Apple, seems totally wrong for a watch. Honestly, even if I loved what the watch did, I couldn't see myself wearing this and glancing down at it like I do with my other watches and admiring it.

    I also thought the SS with White Sports band looked nice, so I tried it on. Same thing.. really didn't like the way it looked. So the girl showed me the space grey sport with black band. This one actually didn't look so bad. I asked if it was thinner, and she said no, but that the color kind of makes it seem that way. On my wrist, it looked more.. complete than the other ones I'd tried on.

    As for software, the demo really didn't let me get a sense for how I'd use the watch so she grabbed the display model that's functional and tried to demonstrate a few things. She tried about 5 different times to open the message app to demonstrate force touch and each time she touched the wrong app. Zoomed all the way and she was still having problems. Once she got in there she handed it to me to try, so I did, and being 100% honest, I really didn't think it was all that great. I found it hard to navigate, the screen too small to be able to really navigate with touch, and the digital crown wasn't the easiest thing to manipulate while on my wrist.

    So, I'm sure a lot of you will write off these thoughts as a guy who went in intending to hate it, but I assure you I was quite the opposite. I'd have loved to have changed my mind some about it, but after seeing it in person and using it, I can say with absolute certain that this is not for me. I'm actually in shock even that Apple is releasing this thing the way they are. It feels so unlike them to do something so half assed. Design seems wrong, interacting with it seems clumsy, and still I don't understand what the need for it is (other than that we all think it would be cool to have a smart watch on our wrist, even if we don't know why).

    If you're on the fence, I'd say pass - see if they improve it in future years. If you're sold but haven't seen one, I really think you should check it out yourself, and if you're sold but don't know which one to get. I really think the space grey sport was the nicest of them all.

    Oh, and because I've had quite a bit to say about it, I'll say with even more certainty than before now: If you spend $17k on the Edition version of this, you have no regard for money at all. As it is, sport feels appropriately priced, watch seems overpriced, and edition is the complete joke I thought it would be.

    Edit: Oh and if you're wondering about 38 vs 42.. I have small wrists and the 38 was WAY too small. 42 for absolute sure.

    Anyway, flame away, discredit me, tell me I'm wrong. Those are my thoughts and I'm sticking to 'em.
  2. DayOfChaos macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2011
    I had the same exact feelings as you. I ordered the Space Gray model, and while I think it looks great, the experience really took me for a ride. I was handed a working demo, but was locked in some display case and when she told me to try to use the Messaging app, it took me three tries before the app opened (all the watch did was think I was doing a force touch), and then said press like your going to reply. It took me four tries before the force touch "Reply" came up. Overall, I was very dissatisfied with the experience and may return the watch when it comes but I want to give it a chance and really like it. I couldn't try on the watch I ordered (only was the sport they had for demo), the interface was so hard to use (maybe just buggy software) but it will take some getting used too. I'm excited for the future of the device, but right now, I can see why they made it order online only. I wouldn't have stood in line for it.
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I obviously have different views on the Watch and 38mm, but regarding releasing a product too early, Apple certainly did that with the original iPhone. The software was slick, but it lacked a LOT of useful features such as MMS, 3G, copy-and-paste. I think we'll see some significant improvement in the software over time, just as we did with the iPhone. Even the first iPhone improved a lot with the first major iOS update.

    I think Glances will be more important than apps ultimately, and this may be where Google got things right with Android Wear, but we'll see. I think the less we wind up tapping on a small screen the better.
  4. gorkt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2007
    A person who didn't like the idea of the watch doesn't like the watch. Shocking.

    My experience was the complete opposite of yours in every regard. I had no problems tapping on the app I wanted, loved the Milanese band, and thought the 42mm was too big for my wrist. But then again, I am not a watch person. I have no idea why anyone would want one Rolex let alone three because they look ugly to me.

    Different strokes and all that.
  5. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    There are MANY Rolex watches, and I find the vast majority of them to be ugly, so we agree there. I wear a SS Daytona (white dial) which I think is really nice. Also look at the new Milgauss with electric blue dial - it's a beautiful watch.

    I went not understanding why it exists, but willing to give it a chance. Sorry I wasn't sold. I've been nothing but honest.

  6. fs454 macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2007
    Los Angeles / Boston
    You're entitled to your opinion, that's fine, but I had no trouble navigating the menus / selecting apps and walked away generally impressed. I wouldn't expect anyone to be immediately 100% with the interface on day one as the reviews state. I felt the bands were of very high quality (save for the classic buckle, it's maybe too thick?).

    It's definitely not for everyone.
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The classic band is high quality, but it is a bit plain. I don't get where ninethirty is coming from on the Milanese Loop. It's not supposed to feel "substantial." I've had mesh bands before and it's definitely a high quality band. The point of infinite adjustment is that it fits "perfectly" and unlike a link band does not put "weight" on your wrist.

    The Watch is definitely not for everyone, but I think the "watch" aspects of the Apple Watch are pretty good (apart from it not being "on" all the time). I haven't had a chance to really use the software so I'll reserve judgment until I have.
  8. chris975d macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2008
    Georgia, USA

    Glad to hear your thoughts on it. I haven't been by an Apple Store yet to see one in hand, but I think I'll feel very similar seeing as how we usually agree on most points regarding watches...except Rolexes...I love them and can't get enough.
  9. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    Well, I do like Rolex, but you've got to admit, they make so many god awful models (leopard print with diamonds, etc). I like the standard tool watches, GMT, Daytona, etc. Though to be honest, I've never cared for the Sub, though mostly because of how popular it is. The day I bought my first Rolex it was between the GMT and the Sub, and the security guard in the jewelry store said to me "For what it's worth, me, and most of the guys on the force (I guess he was off duty) wear subs, I decided GMT immediately. I didn't want what everyone else had.

  10. Domino8282 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2010
    Southeast USA
    Have you ever had one of those friends where you show them some new (relatively large) purchase you're excited about, and all they can do is tell you how you got a bad deal, or how this other model is better, or why they would never buy it?

    I'm not saying your post is totally unwelcome here. I'm sure there are a handful of people here who are on the fence or feel the same as you. Just saying, don't be surprised at the negative responses when your audience is overwhelmingly comprised of people who just shelled out hundreds of dollars for one.
  11. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    I knew what to expect here. I'm a big Apple fan, just not of this particular product. To be honest, I'm a bit shocked I didn't receive more hate, but I guess that's good.

  12. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    Nicely written. I'm impressed you gave it a try. It was a shame the demo didn't seem to work very well. I do hope the worst of the problems I've read about are ironed out in the production ones.

    You're certainly not the only person to critique the interface. There do seem to be issues with it. For all of the thought they claim to have put into it, the development seemed to have lacked an "editor".

    People seem to either really love that Milanese band or feel the way you do about it. I guess it's a highly subjective thing. But I think it being thin isn't the worst thing if large sections of it end up doubled over the wrist.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your impressions from the point of view of someone who really appreciates luxury timepieces and craftsmanship.
  13. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Unlike the OP, I've been looking forward to the watch and think it has a lot of potential -- but I did experience a lot of the UI problems he described when I went to try the watch. I also agree that I liked the space grey sports watch the best, and I didn't even try the Milanese and steel link bands because the steel just didn't appeal to me for some reason. I'll probably go back and look at them at some point when the madness has died down, and maybe I'll change my mind if I handle them in person. But you know how you walk into a cookware store and all those nice steel knives and pots are gleaming and just calling for you to come touch them? I just didn't get that kind of feel from the steel watches and bands. Maybe the lightning was wrong for the steel?
  14. pflau macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2007
    I am surprised you said that and I know for a fact that Rolex makes thick watches since I have two.
  15. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
  16. Wishbrah macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2013
    Since when is a piece of technology, while bridging a gap on wearable interfaces, supposed to look as good as some dated-looking mechanical device only designed for two things (time and prestige)? Totally different design goals...a display vs a dial.

    Dunno why "watch guys" feel the need to chime in with reviews like this. You can't even compare the capabilities of a mechanical watch to what is the best smart watch to date. As tech gets better, mechanical and Quartz wrist watches will go the way of the pocket watch...a conversation piece, a trinket, a memory. Why do you think watch makers like Tag Heuer are scrambling to catch up?
  17. papa8706 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2010
    Appreciate the honest review you gave. While, I'm still going to be an early adopter, it's refreshing to read someone's opinion that wasn't just talking up the watch they choose, or bashing the one they couldn't afford.
  18. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    a lot of people who wouldn't object to the thickness of the Rolex find the Chubby Chiclet look of the Apple Watch jarring. It's about shape, I think. The thickness of the Apple Watch is stark because it's got no other features to detract from the thickness of it.
  19. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    Yeah, Rolex makes some thick watches (Seadweller, Sub, Deepsea) and I'm most definitely not a fan. As I pointed out, I wear a Daytona, which is a much smaller case size (still 40mm, but smaller in terms of thickness). I've worn that for the last 4 years and been ok with it. Last week I bought a Panerai 512 (42mm case size but WAY thinner than the Daytona) and I love it. Yesterday I put the Daytona on the first time since buying it and it did feel awfully thick and chunky in comparison.


    Sensing a bit of hostility here, and I'm not sure why, but I'll try to respond anyway. Jony Ive has stated that he's a watch guy, and that for them, to tackle this project meant they needed to design something as beautiful as the things they've admired and appreciated their wholes lives. In my opinion, they really missed the mark here. You might feel that a traditional watch is "dated" but there are some absolutely beautiful designs out there, and I'm not so against the idea of a smart watch that I don't think Apple could have nailed the look here. As Grumpymom pointed out, the Apple watch looks like a fat chicklet on your wrist, and it doesn't matter what it actually is (traditional vs smart watch), it's an unappealing look (at least to me).

    Why do "watch guys" feel the need to chime in? It's a forum, dude. I love watches, and I love Apple. I'm entitled to an opinion, and certainly a specific type of opinion given that I love watches. You did notice that it's called the Apple "Watch" right? It's not like they created something entirely new and then said "This isn't a watch, so don't try to compare them"

    I think you're somewhat right and somewhat wrong though about the future of traditional watches. When Apple (or anyone) gets this right, they'll absolutely eat up the market of $100-$1000 watches. Brands like Nixon and Fossil are going to be screwed, yes. But the people spending 5k+ on watches right now are going to continue to do so, even if they also wear an Apple watch. The Tag thing is interesting, because Tag isn't in the same category as Rolex, AP, Panerai, Patek, etc. It's a notch below, so naturally they're scrambling as you put it.


    Yeah the strange thing was, that ever since the watch was announced, I thought that Milanese band was beautiful. Like I said, I had intended to buy the watch despite not being a huge fan and that was absolutely the band I was getting with it. Seeing it in person really changed my mind and I was bummed out about that. Even where it doubles up, still seemed really really thin in my opinion.

    I didn't mention in my original review as well that my wife tried on the 38mm with the soft pink modern buckle and I thought that was a nice band. She's really into fitness tracking and stuff (wears a fitbit right now) and I think she's going to get that one. But still, I felt it was too thick on her wrist. I imagine in the future where they're able to slim things down a bit, it'll look a lot nicer.

  20. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    I appreciate ur comments and opinion. And ur right..the watch isn't for everyone. With that being said, I've seen a lot of negative opinions about the UI and OS. And to be fair, no one can really give a real life impression at this point looking at a demo loop, or using a half baked sample. Sure it's going to feel awkward. We're not used to using anything like this. And force touch is also brand new. It's gonna take a while before we get the hang of it. But I'm pretty sure it will become second nature very fast. And this is also a first gen OS. Remember the original iPhone? lookong back, it was pretty bad. But updates come and things get better. I have a 42SS black sport band coming 4/24-5/8. I decided that I didn't want to see the watch at all before it arrives at my door...Because of ur exact experience. I want my first impression to be a real life one. Not some rushed 15min demo. But thank u for ur opinions on size. I have a 175mm wrist and glad I went with the 42.
  21. HelloMikee macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2009
    San Diego
    I totally disagree and perhaps this watch was not intended for a guy who already has 3 rolexs. I myself prefer a more simple design for watches so I think the apple watch is quite classic looking but also modern.

    I don't really understand how people can get a good impression of how the watch will actually fit into their lives in a few minutes without real experience.

    For one, I get texts all the time that I can't reply to on the fly because it takes a long response but the fact that I'll be able to quickly say "busy I'll get back to you" without pulling out my phone is pretty awesome. But that's not something you can experience at the store.

    Plus, it seems like you're comparing a smart phone experience with a watch experience so of course it's going to fall flat.

    But Yoir opinion is your own but I do feel these apple watch try ons are simply 90% feel and look 10% function and fit to your lifestyle.
  22. edlex macrumors 68000


    Apr 14, 2010
    Exactly my feelings. I have no doubt that the UI issues will be polished over time. I'm also skipping the try-on for a much more personal and private experience. It's the same reason I don't let anyone open the box or set up an iPhone or iPad for me. My personal discovery is the majority of the fun. That and obsessively coming to macrumors in anticipation of receiving a new Apple toy. #
  23. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    I bet a lot of negative opinions change once people actually start using them in their daily routine.
  24. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    Well, and maybe this is why it feel so off, Apple products are generally "for everyone". I'll also point out that anyone who knows me would describe me as a gadget geek and the definition of an early adopter. I just also like watches (but as I pointed out, I do think that most Rolex watches are gross looking).

    Here's the one I bought last week. VERY minimal design, and it's absolutely gorgeous. The Apple Watch looked like a chunky mini iPhone. It's a bit soulless in it's design (again, to me), and I'm very much someone who prefers a minimal, modern design.

    As for what you're saying about texts and stuff... well different strokes I guess. I get a lot of texts also, but if I can't respond, I don't need to send a quick "I'll write you back later," I just write back later. Also, the only time I can think of where I can't text back is when I'm riding a bike. One thing I didn't get a sense of in the store, but I certainly can't imagine myself doing is using Siri with this thing. I NEVER use it with my iPhone as I find talking to my phone to be extremely awkward. In fact, since voice assistants became a thing, I've only ever known one person to speak to his phone regularly, or dictate text messages, and not only did it seem goofy to me, it was annoying to the rest of us. My biggest complaint about the watch, over the looks even, is that I still think this thing is a solution in search of a problem. Apple's at their best when they're solving a problem we all have.

  25. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    That Panerai is stunning. If Apple would have applied maybe a bit more shape or sculpturing to their case it might have escaped that 1980's Casio look it has with some band selections, and the Chubby Chiclet look from the side views. However, I think in time the Apple Watch look is actually going to grow on people and become iconic in its own right. I do think it looks better than the other Smart Watches I've seen.

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