October 16, 2014

Horse 1776 - iWatch?

Apple Watch is everything we think a watch should be. And it's available in three distinctive collections.
- via the Apple Store Website

I usually don't do tech reviews on this blog (because I know next to nothing about the latest iDevice 320GHz with IEEE 802.11 and 32-bit cheese waffle - hmm yummy) but if there's one piece of technology that I know loads about, it's watches.

What's everything that I think a watch should be?
Reliable at telling time - that's it.

One of the things which I'll love about an Apple Watch is that because it will have GPS and be able to search for the local telephone networks for the time; that is a plus. The time would always be correct for whatever time zone you happen to be in; where ever you are in the world. In that respect, the Apple Watch would leave my old watch in the digital dust, however the opening word of my criteria is highly important - reliable. Can an Apple Watch ever be as reliable as I demand?

I have a Seiko watch which I bought back in 1997. Since then I've only needed a few batteries to keep it running and despite the fact that it isn't waterproof any more, it still keeps time accurately enough that if I set it either to or from daylight savings time, it will be within one or two seconds of the pips on the radio several months later.
For me to spend several hundred dollars on a watch, it would have to be at least as good as that. There are very few electrical devices which have been produced since about 1980 which will even last 17 years.
The abuse that my watch has had to endure in that time frame must have been immense. It has several scratches and a very nice chip in the glass, near the nine minute baton. I feel kind of an attachment to my existing watch and so a new one would have to meet the second criteria, which is really a retelling on the first one. Reliability in that respect would mean that the product is physically tough enough to survive the rigours of life.

One of the things that would really get my goat, is having to recharge an Apple Watch every night. My mobile phone will semi-regularly whinge at me that it wants its batteries recharged and that's kind of annoying. I think that in the 17 years that I've had my Seiko, I've needed maybe three replacement batteries? What ever the number actually is, the inaudible and noiseless foot of time has stolen by, ere we cannae effect it.

On the plus side, I've gradually found the usefulness of having a camera in a phone but a camera isn't the reason that I have a phone. Yes, that's trite but it does illustrate a point - the biggest problem that an Apple Watch faces is that people already have iPhones.
Apple is touting a service Apple Pay as their "killer app" which will bring the Apple Watch into consumers' minds but the problem with that is that Apple Pay will work just as well on an iDevice. What incentive is there for them to buy it? Maybe the Apple Watch is for people like me who'd like to ditch their phone altogether but until you can make telephone calls on an Apple Watch, there's little point.

When my Seiko does finally expire and die, the most obvious replacement for it would be another Seiko. The Grand Seiko 9F looks fairly similar to the Seiko that's been sitting on my wrist since 1997. To knock that sort of style off my wrist would have to mean that the Apple Watch is pretty stellar because everything that I think a watch should be, I already have.

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