Why a die-hard mechanical watch lover can’t get the Apple Watch off his wrist (and why that matters)

Jack Forster has been a mechanical watch enthusiast for over three decades; he’s been covering them professionally for the last 20 years. Before joining HODINKEE, he was first the technical editor, and then the editor-in-chief, of Revolution Magazine. He is also the author of “Cartier: Time Art,” a comprehensive look at the timepieces of the French design house. One month ago, he put an Apple Watch on his wrist, and hasn’t taken it off since. Nobody is more surprised than he is.

“In April of last year, Apple launched the Apple Watch, with a design by Jony Ive and Marc Newson,” Jack Forster writes for Hodinkee. “Ever since Apple first announced the existence of the Apple Watch, there has been considerable speculation about what effect it might have on the health of mechanical horology, and whether or not it, and smartwatches in general, might actually pose the sort of existential threat to mechanical watches that quartz watches posed in the 1970s and ’80s.”

“Having worn an Apple Watch almost exclusively for the last month, I feel absolutely confident that mechanical watches aren’t going anywhere for now. But the Apple Watch isn’t either,” Forster writes. “It’s almost improbably well done, and it shows a willingness to think creatively that ought to be heeded by the luxury watch industry – and it also suggests to me that underestimating its impact, and Apple, is dangerous.”

Forster writes, “Apple’s actually succeeded in doing with the Apple Watch what they did with the iPhone: inventing a new experience.”

Tons more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you do not yet have an Apple Watch on your wrist, you’re missing out.

Apple Watch gets $100 discounts ahead of rumored March event – February 12, 2016
This is why you will buy your Apple Watch – February 8, 2016
Canalys: Apple shipped over 12 million Apple Watches in 2015, two-thirds of all smartwatches shipped in 2015 – February 5, 2016
Apple Watch kickstarted interest in wearable devices; sales of fitness trackers and VR headsets are set for rapid growth – February 2, 2016
Apple Watch beats Rolex in luxury brands ranking – January 29, 2016
Apple Watch revenues expected to be $8.4 billion for first year – January 26, 2016
Juniper: Apple Watch has already cornered the smartwatch market – January 12, 2016
Apple COO: ‘Apple Watch marks the end of single-function wrist devices’ – January 7, 2016
Fitbit either doesn’t understand Apple Watch or hopes consumers won’t; neither is good for the company – January 6, 2016
Fitbit exec calls Apple Watch a ‘toy,’ Fitbit shares crater more than 13% after unveiling Apple Watch Sport knockoff – January 5, 2016
It’s official: The Apple Watch is destroying the so-called competition – November 20, 2015
As Apple Watch sales ramp, Swiss watch makers suffer biggest slump in six years – November 19, 2015
Apple Watch models take top four spots on 10 most-wanted smartwatches list – November 18, 2015
Apple Watch is 2016’s hottest holiday gift – November 18, 2015
Apple has already sold more than $1.7 billion worth of Apple Watches – October 29, 2015
Strategy Analytics: Apple Watch sells 4.5 million units in Q315, takes 74% global smartwatch market share – October 28, 2015
Apple Watch users are abandoning traditional watches – September 15, 2015
Over 1 million Apple Watches already sold in China – September 3, 2015
Apple Watch already dominates smart-wearables market, says IDC – August 28, 2015
IDC estimates Apple sold 3.6 million Apple Watch units in Q2 – August 27, 2015
Best Buy CEO: Apple Watch demand is ‘so strong’ that we’re expanding sales to all 1,050 stores – August 25, 2015
Swiss watch exports decline most since 2009 – August 20, 2015
Apple Watch takes 88% of total smartwatch revenue – August 14, 2015
Apple Watch kills a entire industry in three months – August 12, 2015
U.S. wristwatch sales post biggest drop in seven years after Apple Watch debut – August 7, 2015
Apple Watch dominates smartwatches with 75% market share – July 28, 2015
Juniper Research: Apple is world’s #1 smartwatch maker – July 23, 2015
Canalys: Apple ships 4.2 million Apple Watches in Q2 to become world’s top wearables vendor – July 21, 2015
Apple Watch satisfaction is unprecedented at 97%; beats original iPhone and iPad – July 20, 2015
Non-techies love their Apple Watches even more than tech users – July 20, 2015
Apple Watch is Apple’s most successful product debut ever – June 1, 2015


  1. I’m certain AppleWatch has already been considered a failed product by most of the tech industry so I’m not sure this person’s opinion really carries much weight. It’s true that Apple is winning in a market that’s has already reached a saturation point. No one considers the smartwatch market a growth market.

    1. They said the cell phone market was already saturated when the first iPhone was released. Now they all deny that they said or ever even thought something so foolish and short-sighted. The smartwatch market is even less saturated than the cell phone market was in 2007. HUGE potential room for growth. Already 12 million sold in 9 months. That’s better than the first iPhone and iPad did in their first 9 months. Some “failure”. The Apple Watch has a customer satisfaction rate that’s through the roof and there’s nowhere for it to go but up.

      Looking forward to revisiting your comment in a few years, macnificentseven48. In the words of Bruno Mars, “Don’t believe me just watch.”

  2. The article is a well written rehash of all the features Apple Watch enthusiasts know and love. It really does not suggest that someone with a mind to purchase a fine mechanical watch will purchase an Apple Watch instead. It’s simply saying that as something new and different, the Apple Watch is a fine example of how wrist computers of the future will differ from watches. As I’ve said before, it’s two different markets.

    In other words, if I had the $8000 to purchase the Omega I’d like, notifications would not be the feature on my mind. If I found someday that shaving a second off the time to check a notification became of vital importance to me, I’d look at an Apple Watch.

    Looking over Hodinkee (which is the online bible of fine watches) I also took note of the fact that NASA chose the Samsung Smartwatch as opposed to Apple’s. WTF is up with that NASA? At first I thought that Samsung must be sponsoring their coding contest, but no… This seems to be an all NASA effort.

  3. Had mine since summer 2015. Absolutely CANNOT stand to be without it at this point. I feel like I’m missing a sense if I don’t have it on. I haven’t intentionally had my phone’s ringer on since; no need for noises anymore. A subtle and discreet wrist vibration is enough. Will never go back to the days of having to keep my phone with me all day as I move from room to room at home or room to room at the office. Will never go back to the days of having to fish my phone out of my pocket for every received email or text. Will never go back to the days of signing on to icloud.com in a browser to find my iPhone. Will never go back to the days of not having Siri on my wrist. I just fucking love this thing and I can’t wait to see what amazing new things version 2, 3, 4 etc. will do.

  4. Why I don’t have an Apple Watch yet:
    – I don’t like the shape. I prefer round.
    – not enough watch faces.
    – release 1.0
    – low battery life
    – no GPS built-in! (yes, I know, because of the battery life)

    1. – It’s bulbous as hell
      – Exercise functions are very limited
      – Health functions are very limited
      – Sleep track functions are very limited

      I fully expect all of the above to be solved by version 3. Plus I expect Siri to get really smart over the next 5 years. A smart conversational siri on the wrist will be the killer app.

  5. After 6 months with my Apple Watch Sport, I’ve swapped for a Pebble Time Round. Never got past hating the blobby square shape, and although it had some nice touches none of them were killer, or unique. I’ll probably miss Apple pay the most, but even that I used all of once a month and can still do it on my iPhone anyway. Sure, the pebble isn’t nearly as powerful, but it does most of what most smartwatch users will need and looks much nicer while doing it. It’s also, ironically, more Apple-like in not doing loads but doing essential things simply and really, really well. The Apple Watch is undeniably complex and at times fiddly.

    But I also traded up because it’s absurdly fragile. I looked after mine incredibly well, but the anodizing was showing chipping round the screen and there was a small patch of discolouration. Sure, with a case on you can’t see it – but who the hell buys a nice watch to stick it in a case?

    I might swap back come generation 3 if the looks change, but for now I’m pleased to be off the upgrade treadmill early. And I now have a watch that looks like a watch, not a 1970s sci-fi prop. Sorry Johnny – this really wasn’t your best work.

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