In a sense the first true Apple Watch prototype was, like 10,000 Kickstarter projects, just a weird iPhone case with a strange accessory sticking out of it.
On such a small display, small things assume outsize importance, and the human interface team designed some novel ways of interacting with the device. There’s the digital crown, of course, and also the so-called Force Touch that lets you press a little harder on the screen to access hidden menus. They also designed an entirely new typeface, called San Francisco, which is more readable on a small display than Apple’s standard Helvetica. The letters are more square, Dye says, “but with gentle, curved corners,” mimicking the Watch’s case. It’s wide and legible at small sizes, but when it gets larger the letters tighten up a little more.
Options were central to the plan from the beginning: two sizes, three tiers, easily interchangeable straps, and tons of watch faces and so-called complications, digital add-ons that show relevant information like the weather and your activity level, to make your Watch uniquely yours. (The term complication is a nod to high-end watchmaking and refers to a function a watch performs beyond telling the hour and minute.)
- Wired: iPhone Killer: The Secret History of the Apple Watch
- See also: Apple’s “1997” concept video from 1987 & Apple Porn.
I originally found the Apple Watch to be ugly, but in the time since it was announced it has really grown on me, to the point where I’ve even picked out my favourite model: The stainless steel link bracelet and Apple Watch in all ‘space black’.
I’m currently wearing a black Pebble Steel, so I clearly like this look. It remains to be seen if the 38mm or 42mm will be the right fit for me – I’ll have to try them on if I ever decide to go ahead and buy one.
The smart thing would be to wait for at least the second revision of the Apple Watch, which is usually my pattern, but it’s one I’ve come to regret. I like to keep my old tech around and I kind of wish I had the original iPhone and Eee PC in my collection. The later models were better, but it’s the originals that become design classics.