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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's not my intention to steal DougFNJ's thunder so soon after his carefully-written thread. I've been mulling on this idea for a while, too, and had enough time tonight to take pics (while my wife stared and laughed; also possibly while DougFNJ was writing his post).

Here’s a shot of almost* all the watches, and watch-like objects, that I’ve got on hand. The two in the top left — a Honda souvenir watch and my grandpa’s quartz Seiko — aren’t running (the Seiko being in worse shape), but all the others work. I’ll give a brief description of each and how I feel they compare to my Apple Watch.

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* “almost” means that I left out two of my wife’s watches — a pink plastic Guess? quartz and a very cheap blue fashion watch with plastic crystals glued on. You don't want to see them.

These are our mechanicals: my maternal grandpa’s manual-wind Bulova from, I’m guessing, 1940 (may have been bought here in DC, too); my wife’s Rolex Oyster, handed down from her mother; my dad’s Omega, gifted from Mom after she landed her first job early in their marriage; my PVD-plated Rado Centrix, randomly gifted from my godfather earlier this year; and my Seiko SKX009, granted by Domo in a WUS giveaway.
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The Watch alongside both vintage men’s watches for a size comparison. I wouldn’t trust the water resistance of either the Bulova or the Omega (I’m hesitant to run the Bulova at all because I don’t know the movement’s true condition), but the Watch is good for a dip in the pool and rinsing in the shower.
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The two most comfortable watches I’d wear:
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Watch enthusiasts talk about the romance and artistry of mechanical watches, but sometimes there isn’t much to see:
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Compare the above pic to the Rado’s sapphire display back. Even an elaborè grade ETA is nice to see.
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Back to the Omega. I’ve easily switched bands on it, but I need a tool to do so, and I’ve broken the prongs off my only springbar tool. In practical terms, the Omega — or any of the other watches — can’t compare to how easily I could change straps on the AW. Oh, and forget trying to resize Dad's old Twist-O-Flex band.
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The AW will never have the flash of the Rado or the rugged style of the SKX, but it can change moods with a quick face change:
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The AW next to Apple Watch Beta Version 0.6.x (aka sixth-gen iPod Nano). This Nano is probably my favorite iPod of all time — super tiny, easy to navigate, runs forever, with the awesomely useful clip on the back — but it’s a terrible wristwatch, needing a button press to display the time and possessing no water resistance. I haven’t converted to Bluetooth earphones yet, though, so I still use this iPod (without the wrist strap) to listen to podcasts while I walk to work.
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Ah, the fitness watch gorilla in the room, my Garmin 410 (since discontinued). Always-on display, touch bezel, tracks GPS and heart rate (plus cycling speed/cadence and running cadence with ANT+ add-ons), can record for 7-8 hours straight.
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But the 410 is a brick on the wrist. I tried wearing it all day a few times and couldn’t get used to it. I switched to its optional fabric strap full-time because its rubber strap was more uncomfortable (my wrist size happens to fall between two buckle holes, so the watch either flopped around or was too tight). Even on the fabric strap, the 410’s extra mass is made obvious when I simultaneously wear my AW on the opposite wrist; the 410 is always heavier and does not fit the curve of my wrist well, while the smaller and rounder AW (even this steel model) nearly disappears. The 410's touch bezel is worse with sweaty fingers than the AW's screen, too, which explains why Garmin doesn't use this bezel anymore.
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Here's what I need for each device to gather HR data on runs. Not exactly a fair comparison, because I could get a bluetooth HR strap for the AW, and I could also get a newer Garmin 225 which includes optical HR — but the 225 will never look appropriate anywhere except on a jogging trail or in a kid’s playroom, and the AW will still be more comfortable and more acceptable for daily wear.
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AW with my two dead-nuts-accurate, solar-powered, radio-synchronized quartz watches. Both of these will run for at least a decade with no servicing whatsoever (Citizen says to send it in at ten years for fresh gaskets) and are, IMO, the best grab-and-go watches I’ve got. The AW can match either style to some degree, though, and neither the Citizen nor the Casio can give me the weather while I’m getting dressed in the morning.
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Pictured with my three most-worn traditional watches. The Citizen is listed at 43mm, and the Seiko at 41.5mm and about 13mm thick. The Rado’s published size is 38mm, but lug-to-lug, it’s about 40-42mm, which explains why it doesn’t wear any smaller than the no-lug 42mm Watch.
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Also, the Rado will always be **flashy**, and the AW can go from sporty to casual to — I’ll dare say it — elegant by just changing the face.
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tl;dr: (as if “tl;dr” matters when you’ve read this far!)

AW disadvantages when compared to the collection:
- Not as blissfully comfy as the modestly-sized vintage pieces;
- Not as flashy or rugged as the Rado or Seiko;
- Won’t gather as much workout data as easily as the GPS/HR/ANT+ Garmin;
- Can’t use cheap, wired earbuds like the iPod Nano;
- Isn’t zero-maintenance like the Citizen or Casio;
- Can’t beat the f**k out of it like the Casio;
- Won’t be running 75 years in the future like the Bulova does now.

AW direct advantages:
- More comfortable than any of the other watches, especially the Garmin and Casio;
- Will always dress up nicer than the Garmin, Casio, Citizen, or Seiko;
- Can dress down better than the Rado, Omega, or Bulova;
- Can change style in seconds via the utterly genius strap mechanism, which itself can allow traditional springbar-attached straps with an inexpensive adapter;
- Gives me enough exercise data to motivate me, and I’ve pretty much ignored the years of Garmin data I’ve accumulated anyway;
- Will survive splashes of water, unlike the iPod;
- Will always be more accurate than the mechanical watches.

Bonus points for the AW:
- Gives me the weather when I’m standing in the closet at 6 AM deciding what to wear;
- Gives me snippets of news while I’m “meditating” in the bathroom (ahem);
- Gives me texts and notifies me of emails from family and my work email account;
- Reminds me to keep moving during the day (and ruthlessly displays how little I move on off days);
- Works as a remote for my AppleTV (and works very well, too);
- Wakes me up with some silent taps on my wrist;
- Lets me receive, read, and quick-reply to messages without distracting my work colleagues during lunch;
- Secretly shows me the hockey score while my wife and I hang out with Grandma;
- Taps and dings when I need to get our laundry from the communal laundry room;
- Lets me tick items off the grocery list without lifting my hand from the cart;
- Lets me control my iPhone’s music;
- Taps my wrist to tell me when to turn left or right;
- Lets me put my phone in my wife’s purse so I can give her all my attention while we’re out.

I cannot overstate how big of a deal that last point was for me. It’s taken me years to realize how easy it is to progress from merely checking the time on the phone to getting lost in Flipboard or playing through levels of Candy Crush. I have to carry my phone to stay connected to my job, but I don’t have to also keep using it to distract myself from the people in the room with me. With the Watch, I can remain accessible without becoming distant.

Take all of these points together, and the Watch either loses or wins every comparison. My only knock against it is that it’s not a “forever watch” like some of the others will be.

There’s so much more to it, though. It does all the current smartwatch tricks and does them well — but it’s also smack in the middle of every role played by my traditional watches. It’s not better than the Garmin at tracking workouts, but it’s better than the Garmin at everyday wear; it’s not as purely elegant as the Omega, but it’s more durable and more purposeful. It’s better at something than all the other watches I’ve got.
 

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Thanks for another nice review of the Apple watch. Cool to see it compared to the others and your following pros and cons, very well put together and summarized. Also so nice to see a collection with what I would assume has a lot of sentimental value as well, Nice!
 

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No such thing as thunder stealing in a forum community :-! This was a very well thought out post that you put a lot of work into, and I appreciate posts like this. I also really enjoyed looking at your collection, you have some great pieces in there. Comparing them to the AW was a great idea when there are so many comparisons drawn in so many threads.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I figured it was high time I explained why I have been wearing my AW so often.

No, I haven't spent four-to-five figures on any single watch like many on WUS (not to say that I won't someday), but at least I've dabbled in most categories, too. So, I'm not just pulling my reasoning out of thin air.

There have been many days when, just to see if the AW had become necessary, I purposely wore a regular watch. I still had to revert to dragging out my phone for minor tasks which, by then, had become delegated to the watch.

When Charlie Rose asked Apple's Senior VP Phil Schiller about whether he was worried that their products competed too closely with each other, Phil said, of course they will. "The iPhone should be so good that you wonder why you'd need an iPad; the iPad should be so good that you'd wonder why you'd ever need a laptop," and so on. What happens is each product cements itself into its category and remains untouchable. If you use both a tablet and a laptop, you'll learn what the laptop can do that a tablet will never manage, and you'll find it to be invaluable.

Go the opposite direction -- here, moving from iPhone to AW -- and it's more clear what the watch is meant to do. With the phone, I can do a whole lot of things, like playing MMORPGs, typing up work documents, or browsing discussion forums -- all of which are activities far beyond mere communication.

Isn't it funny, then, that the AW is pretty good at doing the basic tasks once handled by cell phones less than a decade ago?
 

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You know, the sad thing is my Tag Link which I LOVE, my Doxa, along with my Darth Tuna and MRG all were in my regular rotation all sit now longing to be worn. I love all of them, but when I have slapped them on my wrist I feel my phone vibrate on my belt and look at my wrist out of new habit lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
^^^^^^ So I just wrote about the gadget-y-ness of the AW (post 5)…

As a wristwatch, as you've read in my opening post, it does very well, too.

What's the worst aspect of every watch you own? Changing straps, of course. In some cases, it's such a pain that the thought never crosses your mind in the first place. Now we've got AW owners who change straps multiple times per day -- without tools, and without risk of gouging the lugs. Plus, they're not shutting themselves out of all the traditional strap styles already on the market (apart from NATOs, which would block the wrist sensors).

Some people complain how they can't have "real watch faces" (whatever that means) on the AW. I think this is unfounded. The dial is a big part of a brand's visual identity. I've never wanted to put my 009's dial on my Rado, for example, because it just doesn't fit Rado's aesthetic. Jony Ive's studio came up with a clearly identifiable series of faces, all pleasant in their own way, so I don't feel like I need to bastardize the AW with, say, a knockoff of a Sub or Patek.

The AW's case is underrated, too, I'd say. I've remarked that the 009's gentle curves make it a pleasure to wear. The AW goes even further, and it doesn't feel like a gadget anymore. No exposed screws, no rivets, no electrical contacts, no plastic mold lines. It has no visual clutter to clash with alternate straps, either -- it looks at home on oyster-style bracelets, fabric straps, and leather bands.

It really is hard to fault its style, IMO. It's not perfect for every situation, but it's pretty damned good everywhere.
 

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^^^^^^ So I just wrote about the gadget-y-ness of the AW (post 5)…

As a wristwatch, as you've read in my opening post, it does very well, too.

What's the worst aspect of every watch you own? Changing straps, of course. In some cases, it's such a pain that the thought never crosses your mind in the first place. Now we've got AW owners who change straps multiple times per day -- without tools, and without risk of gouging the lugs. Plus, they're not shutting themselves out of all the traditional strap styles already on the market (apart from NATOs, which would block the wrist sensors).

Some people complain how they can't have "real watch faces" (whatever that means) on the AW. I think this is unfounded. The dial is a big part of a brand's visual identity. I've never wanted to put my 009's dial on my Rado, for example, because it just doesn't fit Rado's aesthetic. Jony Ive's studio came up with a clearly identifiable series of faces, all pleasant in their own way, so I don't feel like I need to bastardize the AW with, say, a knockoff of a Sub or Patek.

The AW's case is underrated, too, I'd say. I've remarked that the 009's gentle curves make it a pleasure to wear. The AW goes even further, and it doesn't feel like a gadget anymore. No exposed screws, no rivets, no electrical contacts, no plastic mold lines. It has no visual clutter to clash with alternate straps, either -- it looks at home on oyster-style bracelets, fabric straps, and leather bands.

It really is hard to fault its style, IMO. It's not perfect for every situation, but it's pretty damned good everywhere.
Agree with the ease of changing straps. Funny that I didn't even consider that when I first purchased but now I'm like, WOW, how awesomely convenient. And by the way, Clockwork Synergy does indeed have Nato's, though they are 2 piece but you can buy them with very nice adapters (with colors that match your watch), already attached.
 

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Some people complain how they can't have "real watch faces" (whatever that means) on the AW. I think this is unfounded. The dial is a big part of a brand's visual identity. I've never wanted to put my 009's dial on my Rado, for example, because it just doesn't fit Rado's aesthetic. Jony Ive's studio came up with a clearly identifiable series of faces, all pleasant in their own way, so I don't feel like I need to bastardize the AW with, say, a knockoff of a Sub or Patek.
That’s not to say that Rolex or Patek face on the AW would be impossible—very very very unlikey due to egos involved, but still technically possible.

Unlike other luxury brands going into smartwatches *coughtagcough*, the Hermès watch faces don’t try to pretend to be “real” watch faces. These faces use Hermès’ in house typefaces and carefully chosen colors against the black background of a canvas on the AW, and the result is an elegant adaptation of the the Hermès branding into the computer-on-wrist format.

The beauty of this is that that strategy can be replicated should Apple decide to do another collaboration and it proves there’s no need for faux textures and faux lighting reflecting off textures which, imho, detract from branding.

The AW's case is underrated, too, I'd say. I've remarked that the 009's gentle curves make it a pleasure to wear. The AW goes even further, and it doesn't feel like a gadget anymore. No exposed screws, no rivets, no electrical contacts, no plastic mold lines. It has no visual clutter to clash with alternate straps, either -- it looks at home on oyster-style bracelets, fabric straps, and leather bands.

It really is hard to fault its style, IMO. It's not perfect for every situation, but it's pretty damned good everywhere.
I thought the AW would wear big because of its rectangle size. But because of its smooth, rounded edges, it actually feels less sizable than other smaller rectangle watches I’ve tried. Unlike other rectangle watches, if it hits my wrist bone, I don’t feel it.

The silicone sport band is why I don’t go hog wild with buying straps—this thing is so darn comfy. But even if this band didn’t exist, this watch goes with a lot—from nylon to canvas to leather to metal.
 

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late response to a GREAT review. I was on the fence about getting an AW but this helped helped make my decision of getting an AW. Thanks a lot for the time and effort you put into this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
late response to a GREAT review. I was on the fence about getting an AW but this helped helped make my decision of getting an AW. Thanks a lot for the time and effort you put into this.
Thanks. Like I said back then, I had been letting my thoughts marinate for a while. I wasn’t an on-the-bleeding-edge early adopter, either, having waited four or five months after sales began before finally deciding to get my own.

For a year now, I’ve worn my other watches for two main reasons: when I wanted to “disconnect” at school, and because we can’t bring personal gadgets like cell phones and smartwatches to the office at my new job. It’s fun to have the variety again, but I can’t ignore how useful the AW has proven itself to be, either.

I also accidentally broke the AW you see in those pics. You know how we’ve see photos of ceramic-cased watches like Panerai or Omega where a piece cracked off when they got dropped? The ceramic back on mine suffered cracks when I dropped it flat on its back on my bathroom tile. Dangit.

What happened after that helps show why I keep sticking with Apple, though. I got a hold of Apple Support via chat, and we found out that my AppleCare Plus coverage (which gives a reduced cost for two accidental damage repairs) had expired the day before. The rep said, “Hang on a minute,” then came back to say I’d be covered for the reduced fee anyway.

So, I took it to the store and waited. After two weeks, the store contacted me to discuss my options. They had sent it to the repair center twice (which is why it took two weeks), but it was refused each time. Rather than leave me out to dry, they said that because I had been promised to receive a working watch, they’ll give me an aluminum Series 1 — which is already an upgrade from my first-gen — and I can choose to bump up to another model for the difference in price.

Less than half an hour later, while we were driving to the store, they called again and said that because I had owned the steel-and-sapphire model, and because two weeks was a long time to go without a watch (how long does an average automatic service take again?), they’ll give me a new Series 2 off the shelf instead. No extra charge. They also added the full two years of AppleCare Plus to the new watch, also for no extra charge.

So, now I’ve got a Series 2, with an extra white strap, charger, and adapter. Ain’t that something.

The only drawback now is, I can’t really justify ditching this for a new Series 3. Although as I think about it, maybe someone out there wants a steel AW without having to pony up for the top-slot S3 with LTE (which is now the cheapest way to get a steel AW brand-new from Apple).



 

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The only drawback now is, I can’t really justify ditching this for a new Series 3. Although as I think about it, maybe someone out there wants a steel AW without having to pony up for the top-slot S3 with LTE (which is now the cheapest way to get a steel AW brand-new from Apple).
Since you stay up to date on the latest details of the Apple Watch I can not
suggest what you should do. However, the thought occurs to me that you
really want the Series 4. If you get a new Series 3 now, Series 4 is going to
be difficult to justify when the day comes.


Thanks,
rationaltime
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Since you stay up to date on the latest details of the Apple Watch I can not
suggest what you should do. However, the thought occurs to me that you
really want the Series 4. If you get a new Series 3 now, Series 4 is going to
be difficult to justify when the day comes.


Thanks,
rationaltime
Yeah, pretty much. Series 4 or 5 would probably be my next AW purchase.

It would be an easier decision if I still had my S0 and if my job called & texted my personal number. Nearly all communication is done via corporate email and messaging, though, and nobody needs me after hours, either.

For my phone, I normally skip at least one generation, if not two, before upgrading. My iPad and laptop are a different story; the iPad is now two iOS versions behind (being an iPad 2, it maxed out at iOS 9) and the MacBook Pro is from 2012. So far, I plan on treating the AW more like the iPad than a phone, holding off on an upgrade until the battery can’t be swapped or the OS won’t support it.
 

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This is a good post
 

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very interesting read
 

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Im glad you like your apple watch
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Since I last posted in this thread, I’ve upgraded to a Nike edition Series 4 with LTE.

With my non-LTE S0 and S2, I was starting to find times when I thought it would be great to just leave my phone at home. Going on walks, making a short hop for groceries, or going shopping with my wife, I don’t really need the phone at all.

Now, much of the time, the only reason I bring my phone is for navigation (CarPlay and Siri are years ahead of the effectively-outdated Garmin nav in my car). Even my music comes with me on the AW as it pairs with my car’s audio system.

The 64-bit S4 is fast, the display is great, I’m starting to appreciate the high-tech lightness of the aluminum, and the Infograph Analog face is my new go-to. I’m looking forward to watchOS 6 this fall.

 
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