I’ve said this for years, but Apple doesn’t play the watch game like a tech company, it plays it like a watch firm. In fact, Apple pretty much said this when they launched the first model, but it has largely stayed true to that ethos. The new Apple Watch 7, which launches a bit later in the year, has a slightly new look but it’s not a radical redesign.
I like this, because watches should be timeless. Well, not timeless as such, because that would really defeat the point, but they should have a style that transcends yearly iterations. It’s this that Apple has stuck to, although if you lined them all up together you would easily spot differences.
One of the rumours about the Series 7 was that it was going to get a more square look, similar to the iPhone 12 and 13. As it turns out, this rumour has caused a little bit of a fuss within the leak community, as it turned out to be so totally wrong.
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The new Apple Watch will have a screen that fills more of the device, and its rounded corners are designed to give a sense that the watch faces curve around the device. But this small adjustment is designed to make the watch nicer to use. It’s not supposed to change the whole look of the watch. That means that if, somehow, you’re still using the first generation of Apple Watch, it will be harder for people to tell than if you were using a similarly aged iPhone.
It’s this, I think, that sets the Apple Watch apart as more than just a piece of technology. It means that straps last longer, and that’s important if you spent a lot of money buying really nice ones.
And because Apple does keep updating a large number of the past watches, you’re also getting new features too. Obviously some are tied to hardware, but there’s not fast cut off here. The biggest problems Apple Watch owners are going to face is when the battery in their device dies, because there’s still no easy way to fix that.
A smartwatch is never going to have the resilience of a traditional watch. A really nice watch could last a lifetime, and no one is pretending that the Apple Watch can manage that. However at least when it’s on your wrist people probably thing “oh, and Apple Watch” rather than “oh, that’s a really old Apple Watch”. In a fast-moving word of consumerism, I think that’s a really nice thing.
That said, I do want the new Apple Watch, it looks absolutely stunning.