I tried on Watch last Friday. I had a try-on appointment at 7 pm and another scheduled for Lucy at 7:15. We arrived right on time and went straight to our try-on session almost immediately after checking in at the front of the store.
– The Try On –
During the try on appointment, I was mostly concerned with how each case size and each band looked on my wrist. I pre-ordered the 38mm Space Black Watch Sport, so I was particularly interested in seeing how that looked. I went with the 38mm because I have small wrists and I prefer small, thin watches. I also compared my currently most-used watch against the “actual size” feature in the Apple Store app and the 38mm was about the same size.
The Cases –
After trying on both the 38 and the 42, I am happy I pre-ordered the 38. Although both are surprisingly small and it would be cool to have more screen real estate, the 42mm was just too tall for my wrist in that the top and bottom of the case (the areas where the case meets the band) stuck out beyond my wrist. This caused a spacial gap between my wrist and the Watch. There should not be a gap there. Aesthetically, a watch looks more elegant and natural when it fits snug on the wrist. It should look as if the watch is a part of you. Also, from a functional stand point, this lowers the probability that the watch will get caught on or hit anything.
I was able to hold and inspect both the silver and black Sport case as well as the silver steel case. They all felt substantial, way more than just a cheap gadget. They feel like a piece of jewelry, a real watch. The only thing that prevents the Watch from feeling like true jewelry is the plain black glass face. When the display is off, it still looks beautiful, but it looks less like jewelry and more like a gadget. It looks like a small iPhone. When the face is on, however, the feeling of it being jewelry is more easily invoked.
The Bands –
I tried on one of each band type, but not every color or size.
The Sport Band: Super smooth “rubber.” But it doesn’t feel rubbery at all. It really feels like velvety-silk. It doesn’t stick to your wrist or wrist hairs in a way that a normal rubber-band would which can be annoying and painful. It was not too hard to put on, but it was different from a normal belt buckle type clasp because you push a pin through a hole and feed the slack into the interior of the band rather than through a belt loop. In all of the pictures I saw of people wearing the sport band it appeared to not fit snuggly on anyone’s wrist and I think it might be because the case was sticking out beyond their wrist as I discussed above. The black Sport band I tried on was with a 42mm case and although I was able to find a notch on the band that fit snuggly, there was still a gap. However, the 38mm case with the white Sport band that I tried on fit very snuggly and there was no gap. What will be important to note is how the Sport band responds to sweat. Given how soft the material is, I think that the band will perform well while exercising and sweating. Until then, I can at least say that the band looks and feels nice, not cheap at all. With this band more than any other, its important that the correct case size is worn because it’s shape and design make it prone to looking not snug on the wrist, especially because the slack is tucked into its interior which creates even more visual space between the wrist and the watch.
The Milinanse Loop: I tried on a 38mm Apple Watch with this band. Overall it was beautiful. Great versatile option that can be worn for both casual and formal events. I didn’t get a chance to try on a 42mm Milanese Loop and I still want to because from the pictures I’ve seen, that size appeared to be very wide. But I need to go check that out. I rubbed the band across my arm to try to see if my arm hairs would get stuck and they did not so that was great. Only negative I saw on this band was that the part that loops through the case was not as thin and low profile as I would prefer and so what happens is that when you are looking at the watch face, the band-case-joints are not symmetrical because the side that contains the loop is slightly bumpy. This is a small negative detail but something that I think can be improved overtime as the case joint becomes thinner and the band more flexible. Although this band will be great for both males and females, this band looks great on females and should prove very popular with them.
The Classic Leather Buckle – This is by far my favorite band. Simple, classic, elegant, and versatile. Very minimal and low profile. Can be worn for both formal and casual events. I will definitely be getting this band and I hope it comes in other colors in the near future, at least in dark brown. The only negative is that I prefer a more square buckle with rounded corners whereas itsbuckle is more oval. Small negative for an otherwise beautiful band. Also, the leather feels great and substantial, not cheap. Real leather.
The Modern Leather Buckle – This buckle has a more feminine look although I think males can pull off the black, brown, and blue colors. Drake even pulled off the red and gold very well. Nevertheless, the round buckle has a more feminine look and will be a popular choice for women. Solid leather. The buckle was a little awkward to clasp and when performing size adjustments.
The Leather Loop – This band looks great but feels cheaper than the other leather. Very lightweight and almost like plastic. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful option. Will be popular among males. The Link Bracelet – Beautiful. I will definitely get a link bracelet eventually. Great for both males and females. Link bracelets on women are and have been trendy. The deployment clasp is impressively thin. Beautifully designed and engineered.
The Try On Experience – The Try On Experience was great. Apple has done an amazing job by seamlessly incorporating into their retail experience products that you look at and play with to products that you wear and try on. How Apple would handle this shift was a big question leading up to the launch and Apple nailed it. None of it should have been much of a surprise though because the Try-On experience in store is essential what the demonstrations and try-ons were like for the media and event-attendees for both the September and March Watch events. Lastly, Apple was smart to put demo software on the try on units because the try on experience is more about how the watch looks and feels on your wrist and if live software were on the units people would waste time playing with the software rather than focusing on how the watch feels and looks as a wearable/piece of jewelry.
The Demo Units – Go to the Apple Store and play with Apple Watch. I was able to park myself at a demo unit and play with it for 30 minutes. I would have played with it for longer but the store closed. I had fun customizing my own watch faces and playing with every feature and app. There is a learning curve, but interacting with the watch won’t truly make sense until you are using it day to day. The digital crown is really easy and fun to use. I worried that it would be hard to rotate it but it was very smooth. Its cool because the crown stops rotating when you’ve reached the end of the page, etc. Its like the physical manifestation of the rubber band effect in iOS.
Overall, the Try-On experience was great, Apple Watch is beautiful and so are all the bands. The store was packed with people playing with the demo units and going through their try-on appointments and everyone, including the employees were excited. Apple Watch is going to be huge.