…It’s A Watch

Full disclosure: I have a Moto 360 and I like it. I don’t have an Apple Watch, nor do I have any plans to acquire one for myself, though I did see a guy showing his Apple Watch off to some friends while waiting in line at Shake Shack the other day. He seemed to enjoy it.


The Apple Watch is a watch. The Moto 360 is a watch. The LG Whatever is probably a watch. The Pebble is a calculator watch.

Watches, to some, are like headphones, or mechanical keyboards, or any other EDC that people get all particular about. There’s a sense of importance to how it feels, how it looks, and how it performs.

When the Apple Watch was announced, I kind of shrugged it off. I mean, it’s a watch. It’s also a tethered extension of your pocket camera (which usually has telecommunications functionality built-in, by pure coincidence), complete with motion controls, a rechargeable battery, a tiny high-definition screen, and a smudge-sensitive interface, as well as other bells and whistles (meaning it has the ability to make noises). Did I mention it can tell the time too? Y’know, like a watch?

Watches come in all shapes and sizes, partially because most humans have at least two wrists, and there are billions of us walking around just waiting to hang as much stuff on them as possible. Like every mass-producible commodity ever, a full industry exists around this human want. The idea of convenient and accessible time-keeping is appealing to us wrist-having peoples (and I’m sure to some wrist-lacking peoples, too). Thus, watch prices fluctuate and marketplace competition is a thing.

Image source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CoatFullOfContraband (Sorry for the TV Tropes. You’ll thank me later.)

Watches can be expensive. These clickbait-y examples all cost well over $200,000. There are plenty more where that came from, I’m sure. Hell, the Watches subreddit has a buying guide that goes beyond $10,000, and that’s just a small, curated list from a small, curated group of small, curated internet horologists.

If you look at the Apple Watch (and the redundant — yet redundant — Apple Watch Edition Apple Watch by Apple), it’s set a competitive price point. It’s just, it’s a watch.

If I keep saying it’s a watch, then someone’s going to revoke my right to italicize. But let’s break it down. A watch:

— Tells the time — Is small enough to wear on your wrist or keep in your pocket — Is usually a fashion statement — Wikipedia is probably better at explaining it than me.

By all accounts, the Apple Watch is indeed a watch. But it’s also a watch. I mean, a watch. With a really poor battery, when comparing it to other watches. An 18-hour battery life is really unacceptable for a watch, especially since winding it isn’t an option either.

Apple Watch is first and foremost an incredibly accurate timepiece. It does everything a watch should, but in ways no other watch ever has. It’s also connected to your calendar and your contacts.

Now I’m gonna stop you right there — it’s like Apple decided halfway through their introduction that they don’t know what it is that it has that other watches don’t have, and also here is a feature that is unrelated to what we’re talking about and is already a feature on that other thing you have that we made that’s already hanging out in your pocket.

The Apple Watch is a watch. It’s a moderately-priced, digital watch with a really poor battery and a codependency problem.

You might be thinking, it’s not fair to compare the Apple Watch to other watches, they’re completely different! You might also be thinking I wonder if I left the iron plugged in. They’re not different, it’s totally fair, and you should probably go check the iron if you feel like that’s a scenario which may apply to you.

I’m rambling now. My point is that the Apple Watch is a watch, just as the Moto 360 and the LG CBA and the countless other wearables (which is a weird word, since my nephew seems to think that grape jelly is a wearable) are watches. The Pebble, by all accounts, is a calculator watch, but that’s a different ramble for a different article.

So treat these lunchables like the things they are — watches, wristbands, ankle bracelets, candy necklaces, or cool Star Trek visors. The future is now, and now is the past, and things were pretty much the same now as they are five minutes ago. Duck, duck, gray duck.

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