The Apple Watch…that won’t tell the time.

The Apple Watch…that won’t tell the time.
10 Mar 15

So this morning, I woke up to a few emails and a mixed bag at that. No Apple device seems to have divided the vote as much as The Apple Watch did last night.

Shockingly (even to me) some die hard Apple Fanbois are dead set against a watch and think its the most stupid thing Apple has done (“A solution looking for a problem which isn’t there”). Others are fine with the idea but don’t believe that anyone in their right mind would buy anything other than the sports version at £350. And then, of course, there are those that would buy an Apple iDoorstop at £2000 if they made one and tell me that I’m a Moron for any slightly negative views I may have on Apple at all (I have no idea why these people continually listen when they clearly hate me).

So lets look at the the logic of buying an Apple Watch.

It does some cool shizz.

No doubt about it at all. Some of the things they showed at the keynote were cool.  Super Cool!

Answering calls and talking into your watch to talk to people like Dick Tracey appealed to everyone just those of us who are able to remember Madonna acting badly but getting away with it because of THAT Dress (or even older)

Opening the garage door for someone when you’re on the road and being able to see it…was just amazing (Other equipment may need to be purchased to make this stuff happen. Other smart watches are available)

During the demo, even I caught myself getting pulled in and thinking how I could smuggle a watch in to the house without the wife noticing.

And then the health kit and…It was incredibly cool. Insanely Greatly Cool!

The Price

So I got a few emails that reminded me of Doc Rock’s point that expensive watches DO sell. That Switzerland exports watches at up to £30k and 1/2 million of them per year at that and people buy all of them. 

I couldn’t and don’t disagree with those facts at all but I’m not sure how that argument even closely relates to The Apple Watch and the Keynote we all watched last night.

Forget what price you are going to pay or the model you intend to buy. Apple did not deal with the question of obsolescence AT ALL last night, which means one thing only. At some point this ‘watch’ will become obsolete. A Swiss Watch won’t. It will tell you the time (accurately) for the rest of your life.

So, this morning I put on my Pebble Watch. I haven’t updated it or used it for over 6 weeks. It was 8 minutes out from the correct time.

With the reliance on the iPhone 6 to function, Apple didn’t even tell you if this would tell the time when it was away from your iPhone (I’m sure that it will). That topic was not covered AT ALL! Is the amazing accuracy of this watch totally reliant on the atomic clocks that the iPhone routinely samples? Probably! 

 This means that you run the risk that in 3-5 years when the Watch OS needs upgrading, your not inexpensive ‘Watch’ will stop telling the time! Yes, you bought a watch that will stop telling the time in 3-5 years (Swiss Watch Makers…THIS is your USP)

I am not being naive in asking in last weeks Mac Show for Apple to deal with obsolescence. Apple needed to stand up yesterday and CLEARLY say, ‘OK this is a tech device and as such there is a cutting edge which means that it will need to be upgraded at some point if you want to keep pace with the fantastic innovation which Apple persues but…don’t worry, your beautifully craft Apple Watch will ALWAYS function as a watch”

Yeah, again, think hard. In 3 to 5 years time there will be a blog post from me linking back to this one titled “The Watch That No Longer Tells The Time” REALLY!

Now at £350 for that experience, its not the end of the world (although do remember that £350 is a weeks wages to a lot of people in the UK and a lot more to some of those in other countries in the world). But that experience doesn’t warrant £1k for the Super Duper Stainless Steel version and certainly at £8k for the Gold…really! A Disposable Watch at £8K.

Apple didn’t need to say that the device had a shelf life but they needed to tell you that your watch would continue to tell the time.



Ewen Rankin


Avatar Martin Kelly

What happens if you dont recharge the watch for a few days? Will it lose all track of time or does the on board processor keep track and then readjust next time it syncs with your phone?

Avatar Paul Thomas

Spot on Ewen! I have a watch I use every day. I don’t need another. Why would I spend £300+ to do stuff my iPhone 6 plus and my Watch does better? After a few years it’s also out of date. Nah ya alright Apple I’ll pass this one up. Besides I just spent nearly £800 on my phone. £1100 for a phone and watch combo jeez, that’s ridiculous.

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